A Simpler Approach to the Faithful and Discreet Slave Part 6

13-06-2019 00:06

Food at the Proper Time

“For you are a holy people to Jehovah your God, and Jehovah your God has chosen you to become his people, his special property, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. “It was not because you were the most numerous of all the peoples that Jehovah showed affection for you and chose you, for you were the smallest of all the peoples. Rather, it was because of Jehovah’s love for you and because he kept the oath that he had sworn to your forefathers that Jehovah brought you out with a mighty hand, to redeem you from the house of slavery, from the power of Pharʹaoh king of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 7:6-8)

It is clear from this passage that God chose the nation of Israel to represent him. God also speaks of his Son as being chosen. (Matt. 12:18) And Jesus speaks of choosing his disciples. (John 6:70)

But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession, that you should declare abroad the excellencies” of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

All Christians in the first century were chosen by God to be adopted as his sons. (Ro. 8:14,15)

These chosen ones would be on hand when Jesus returns and he will gather them together at that time. (Matt. 24:31)

Beyond this, the Bible mentions no other group that is chosen by God or Christ.

We have seen that the Watchtower society claims that, after an inspection, to have been chosen by Christ in 1919 to serve as his faithful and discreet slave to explain the Bible for all other Christians and the rest of the world. Note how this is stated in the July 15, 2013 Watchtower:

“When did Jesus appoint the faithful slave over his domestics? To answer that, we need to go back to 1914—the beginning of the harvest season. As we learned earlier, at that time many groups claimed to be Christian. From which group would Jesus select and appoint the faithful slave? That question was answered after he and his Father came and inspected the temple, or spiritual arrangement for worship, from 1914 to the early part of 1919. (Mal. 3:1) They were pleased with a small band of loyal Bible Students who showed that their heart was with Jehovah and his Word. Of course, they needed some cleansing, but they humbly responded during a brief period of testing and refining. (Mal. 3:2-4) Those faithful Bible Students were true Christian wheat. In 1919, a time of spiritual revival, Jesus selected capable anointed brothers from among them to be the faithful and discreet slave and appointed them over his domestics. (The Watchtower July 15, 2013 pgs. 22-23 par. 12)

To arrive at the 1919 date for the inspection and appointment of the slave, Malachi chapter 3 is relied upon. In fact, it is the only scriptural support I am aware of that is used by the society to back up their chronological claims on this point. What does that prophecy say?

“Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will clear up a way before me. And suddenly the true Lord, whom you are seeking, will come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant will come, in whom you take delight. Look! He will certainly come,” says Jehovah of armies. “But who will endure the day of his coming, and who will be able to stand when he appears? For he will be like the fire of a refiner and like the lye of laundrymen. And he will sit as a refiner and cleanser of silver and will cleanse the sons of Leʹvi; and he will clarify them like gold and like silver, and they will certainly become to Jehovah people presenting a gift offering in righteousness. And the gift offering of Judah and of Jerusalem will actually be pleasing to Jehovah, as in the days of long ago and as in the years of antiquity. “I will come near to you for judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who take false oaths, against those who defraud the hired worker, the widow, and the fatherless child, and against those who refuse to help the foreigner. These have not feared me,” says Jehovah of armies. (Malachi 3:1-5)

However, Jesus specifically tells us that this prophecy was fulfilled in the first century by the ministry of John the Baptist:

While these were on their way, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed being tossed by the wind? What, then, did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft garments? Why, those wearing soft garments are in the houses of kings. Really, then, why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and far more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: ‘Look! I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way ahead of you!’  (Matthew 11:7-10)

Nowhere is there any indication that Malachi’s prophecy would have a greater fulfillment.

It is further claimed that we cannot understand the Bible without the help of the faithful and discreet slave. This claim is made quite regularly in the publications. For example:

“No question about it. We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the “faithful and discreet slave” organization. (The Watchtower February 15, 1981 p. 19)

“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, no matter how much Bible reading we do.—Compare Acts 8:30-40. (The Watchtower December 1, 1981 p. 27 par. 4)

“That faithful slave is the channel through which Jesus is feeding his true followers in this time of the end. It is vital that we recognize the faithful slave. Our spiritual health and our relationship with God depend on this channel.—Matt. 4:4; John 17:3. (The Watchtower July 15, 2013 pg. 20 par. 2)

Since there is no way for anyone to fully understand the Bible without the faithful and discreet slave, and since our spiritual health and our relationship with God depend on this channel, one would expect to find Jesus explaining how critical it is for one to identify and be taught by this slave. Yet Matthew 24:45-47, the scripture most often used, in fact the only scripture used as support for the society’s role of explaining the Bible, gives no such explanation. Instead Jesus mentions the Holy Spirit as doing the teaching of his disciples. (John 14:26) This did not mean that the apostles played no role in teaching others. (Acts 2:42) But, according to the scriptures, the teaching was not limited to them:

“Pursue love, yet keep zealously seeking the spiritual gifts, but preferably that YOU may prophesy. For he that speaks in a tongue speaks, not to men, but to God, for no one listens, but he speaks sacred secrets by the spirit. However, he that prophesies upbuilds and encourages and consoles men by his speech. He that speaks in a tongue upbuilds himself, but he that prophesies upbuilds a congregation. Now I would like for all of YOU to speak in tongues, but I prefer that YOU prophesy. Indeed, he that prophesies is greater than he that speaks in tongues, unless, in fact, he translates, that the congregation may receive upbuilding. But at this time, brothers, if I should come speaking to YOU in tongues, what good would I do YOU unless I spoke to YOU either with a revelation or with knowledge or with a prophecy or with a teaching? (1 Corinthians 14:1-6)

However, what they taught needed to be in harmony with what Christ taught and was subject to verification as coming from the spirit. (Gal. 1:8,9; 1 John 4:1)

If Jesus actually prophesied that there would be a composite class that would provide spiritual food for all true Christians, one would also expect the information provided by that composite slave to be of the highest quality, and that it would be the truth based on the Bible and not the ideas and opinions of men. (John 4:23,24; 16:13; 17:17)  Jesus placed a very high regard upon truth. That being the case, one would think that the standard Jesus would use to measure any organization during the time of his supposed inspection would be very high.

In 1917, the society printed a book called The Finished Mystery. On the title page the following words appear:

"The Path of the Just is as the Shining Light,                                                      Which Shineth More and More                                                                                      Unto the Perfect Day."

Right during the middle of the time of Jesus inspection one would think this would be a prime example of the latest spiritual food for the master to base his selection upon.

The book was held up as the fulfilment of prophecy, “God-given interpretation” (The Watch Tower December 15, 1917 pg. 379) and “the first and only book that makes clear every part of Revelation and Ezekiel.” (The Watch Tower October 1, 1917 pg. 294) It continues to proudly be described in the Proclaimers and Revelation Climax books as a powerful classic.

The Proclaimers book states:

“Through the close of 1917 and into 1918, the Bible Students energetically distributed the new book, The Finished Mystery. By the end of 1917, the printers were busy on the 850,000th edition. The Watch Tower of December 15, 1917, reported: “The sale of the Seventh Volume is unparallelled by the sale of any other book known, in the same length of time, excepting the Bible.” (Jehovah’s Witnesses-Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom p.69)

Revelation Climax states:

“In 1917 the Bible Students published The Finished Mystery, a powerful commentary on Revelation and Ezekiel.” (Revelation – Its Grand Climax At Hand! p.165)

The October 2018 study edition of the Watchtower contained an article entitled: 1918 One Hundred Years Ago”. On page 4 it states:

“For several months, the Bible Students had been distributing the book The Finished Mystery. Honest-hearted readers reacted positively to the Bible truths it contained. E. F. Crist, a traveling overseer in Canada, told of a couple who had read The Finished Mystery and accepted the truth in only five weeks! He said: “Both husband and wife are fully consecrated and are showing wonderful progress.” One man who received the book shared it with his friends immediately. He was “struck” by its message. He recounts: “I was walking down Third Avenue [and] I was struck on the shoulder by what I thought was a brick, but, alas, it was ‘The Finished Mystery.’ I brought it home and read it all. . . . I have since learned that it was a preacher . . . who threw the book from his window in a rage . . . By that one act of his I firmly believe that he converted more people to a living hope than by any other act of his life. . . . Through this preacher’s wrath we now praise God.”

Such a glowing resume moves us to ask what is contained in this book? Why is such an important and powerful tool no longer in print?

In reality, almost every page of The Finished Mystery contains information that a Witness today would mock if they did not know it was one of their own publications. The majority of its teachings were incorrect and later discarded. Some of the claims in The Finished Mystery were;

Charles Taze Russell is the faithful and wise servant (p.4)

The remaining Anointed would all be taken from earth to heaven in the spring of 1918. (p.64)

Jesus began his reign officially in 1878 (p.66)

88 “proofs” that Christ’s “Second Advent occurred in the Fall of 1874” (pp.68-71)

The rider on the white horse in Revelation 6:2 is “the Bishop of Rome, the embryo Pope, the personal representative of Satan” (p.106)

Demons will invade the minds of churchgoers in 1918, leading to their destruction. (p.128)

Palestine will be re-established in 1925 (p.128)

The earth was created 48,000 years ago (p.139)

The “Time of the End” started in 1799 (p.171)

The “Great Tribulation” started in 1914 (p.178)

Michael the Archangel is the pope of Rome. (p.188)

The Great Pyramid of Egypt confirms the fact that the time of Harvest has come (p.226)

Revelation 14:20 predicted the precise distance from the place where The Finished Mystery was produced in Scranton, Pennsylvania to its shipping destination in Bethel in New York City (p. 230)

“Even the republics will disappear in the fall of 1920….Every kingdom of Earth will pass away, be swallowed up in anarchy.” (p.258)

The glory of the angel of Revelation 18:1 refers to modern discoveries such as correspondence schools, celluloid, Divine Plan of the Ages, talking machines, vacuum cleaners, induction motors, pasteurization, Panama Canal, shoe sewing machines, subways, skyscrapers, Roentgen rays. (p.273) 

The “voice from heaven” of Revelation 18:4 is the voice of The Watchtower Society. (p.276)

The Kingdom of a thousand years started in 1874 with the second coming of Jesus (pp.301,386)

Jesus is the Alpha and Omega  (Rev. 1:8 pg.15,Rev. 22:13 pg. 336)

Jerusalem was destroyed in 606 BCE (p.398)

God’s Day of Vengeance started in 1914 and will culminate in 1918 (p.404)

“Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions….” (p.485)

“the realization that Christendom is smitten by the onslaughts of revolution, might be expected to flash throughout the world on or about April 27, 1918, a year, five months and twenty-six days after the death of God’s great watchman.” (p.530)

Due to the many erroneous views expressed in The Finished Mystery, new books explaining Revelation have been necessary to replace previous wrong interpretations. How does the Organization explain such a major rewrite of the prophetic explanations? Revelation, It’s Grand Climax At Hand! P.8 states:

“As early as 1917, the Watch Tower Society published the book The Finished Mystery. This was a verse-by-verse commentary on the Bible books of Ezekiel and Revelation. Then, as world events continued to unfold in fulfilment of Bible prophecy, a timely two-volume work entitled Light was prepared, being released in 1930. This offered an updated study of Revelation. Light continued to ‘flash up for the righteous,’ so that in 1963 the Society published the 704-page book “Babylon the Great Has Fallen! God’s Kingdom Rules!”

The claim is made that these changes signify ‘a flash of new light’. But wasn’t The Finished Mystery said to be ‘God given’? Can it truthfully be said that God gave the original interpretation if it was blatantly incorrect?

I remember in 1988 participating in the campaign to offer the latest flash of light “Revelation It’s Grand Climax At Hand! At one home I approached, a woman answered the door and said her minister told her that Revelation was a sealed book. No one could understand it. I asked her if she thought it was better to trust what her minister said rather than examining the book for herself. But she still refused and politely shut the door. Since then there have been several changes to interpretations in the book. Now it is no longer in print.

When there have already been 4 vastly different attempts to get a prophecy right how can people believe a rewrite is new light from Jehovah and not just more of the same wrong light or more accurately no light?

It was the publication of The Finished Mystery book that led to the trial in federal court of J. F. Rutherford and other Society officials and their subsequent imprisonment. Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, on page 91, says that in 1919 (when their claimed release from “Babylon the Great” came) the brothers:

“recognized that a compromise had been made [in 1918] by cutting out pages 247-253 of The Finished Mystery in order to please those who had assumed the position of censor.”  (Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Divine Purpose pg. 91)

These pages contain a commentary on Revelation 16:13, relating to “three unclean spirits coming out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.” The “dragon” was Satan, the “beast” was the “Papal system,” the “false prophet,” was the “Protestant sects” (the “image” of the “Papal beast”). The majority of the pages contain scathing denunciations of the military and of war. Yet today, for one of Jehovah’s Witnesses to voice his opinion on political matters would be seen as a violation of Christian neutrality.

The Revelation Climax book states:

“After his death in 1916, many of his writings [C.T. Russell] were collected and published in a book entitled The Finished Mystery. In time, though, this book proved to be unsatisfactory as an explanation of Revelation.” (Chapter 24 pg. 159 par. 18)

Unsatisfactory? How could this book have been acceptable to Jesus, leading him to appoint J. F. Rutherford and other Society officials as his faithful and discreet slave in 1919 and yet later prove unsatisfactory as an explanation of Revelation? The book is now out of print. Most Jehovah’s Witnesses have probably never seen it or, unless they make a search for it on the internet, ever will. In order to produce this review, I purchased a copy of the book from E-bay. But witnesses are discouraged from searching the internet for such information. Do you wonder why?

Because of the efforts of the Bible Students many of the teachings considered false by Jehovah’s Witnesses, such as the Trinity, immortality of the soul and hellfire were discarded long before 1919. However, for decades afterward, the Bible students celebrated Christmas, Birthdays, accepted the Cross and the Great Pyramid of Giza?[1] 

CT Russell believed that Jesus invisible presence began in 1874? Did the holy spirit guide him to this date?[2]  A clearer understanding of Biblical chronology was not published until 1943, which means this was the understanding of Rutherford as well.[3]

For some 30 years the Bible students believed that Russell was the faithful and discreet slave.[4]  Until February of 1927 Rutherford said that to deny that Russell was Jesus’ faithful and discreet slave was a repudiation of the Lord.[5] 

For seven years Rutherford had said that millions then living would never die, that Jesus thousand year reign would begin in 1925 and that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would be resurrected. How could Jesus approve of and accept the “Millions Now Living Will Never Die” campaign of Rutherford?[6] 

In the book “Jehovah’s Witnesses Proclaimer’s of God’s Kingdom” the words “Look Out for 1914!” appears in a small gray box. The box goes on to relate an article that appeared in the magazine section of the August 30, 1914 issue of “The World: a leading New York City newspaper that says this was “the cry of the hundreds of travelling evangelists, who, representing this strange creed, have gone up and down the country enunciating the doctrine that “the Kingdom of God is at hand.” All of this was believed to be an extraordinary prophecy that was fulfilled when World War I broke out. What was the “extraordinary prophecy?[7] 

The Watchtower August 15, 1989 has a partial photocopy of the article showing the headline. “The End of All Kingdoms in 1914” That was the extraordinary prophecy!

Obviously, when the war ended in 1918 it had to be admitted that not all kingdoms had ended. Jehovah’s Witnesses today believe and teach that Christ’s invisible presence began in 1914. Very few realize that for nearly fifty years the Watch Tower Society announced and heralded, in their role as prophet, that such invisible presence began in 1874. As late as 1929, fifteen years after 1914, they were still teaching this. It was still believed that the great tribulation began in 1914, and it wasn’t until 1969 that it was changed to the current view that the great tribulation is yet to come.[8]

With this history, can we confidently say that Jesus chose the Watchtower organization out of all the people on earth at the time to be his sole channel of communication based on the quality of spiritual food that was then offered?

This leads us to ask: What can be said about the present quality of the food provided? What evidence is there that the Watchtower Society is guided by holy spirit? This will be considered in Part 7.

[1] See Proclaimers book pages 198- 201

[2] See Proclaimers book pages 46,47

[3] See Proclaimers book page 133 footnote

[4] See The Finished Mystery publishers preface pgs. 3,5; Proclaimers book pages 142,143 (Note that Russell did claim to be God’s mouthpiece.)

[5] See May 1, 1922 Watchtower, page 132

[6] See Proclaimers book page 425,632

[7] See Proclaimers book page 60. Compare Awake October 8, 1973 pg. 17 and The Watchtower August 15, 1989 pg.13

[8] See The Watchtower January 15, 1970 pg. 51 pars. 9-13