Russell never claimed to be the faithful and discreet slave

"God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached," 1973, p. 345-47
"The Slave who lived to see the sign"

"From this it is clearly seen that the editor and publisher of Zion's Watch Tower disavowed any claim to being individually, in his person, that "faithful and wise servant." He never did claim to be such," ("God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached," 1973, p. 346).

Comment:  This contradicts Watchtower December 1, 1919, p. 357 where the watchtower states Russell did in fact claim to be the Faithful and Discreet slave.  "Thousands of the readers of Pastor Russell's writings believe that he filled the office of 'that faithful and wise servant,' and that his great work was giving to the household of faith meat in due season. His modesty and humility precluded him from openly claiming this title, but he admitted as much in private conversation," (Watchtower, Dec. 1, 1919, p. 357).

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page 345

A "ransom for all" was one of those basic doctrines of the Bible, and a great danger began to loom up that this vital dish on the spiritual table of God-fearing persons would be taken away by the devotees of higher criticism and the evolution theory. At what can now be appreciated as "the proper time" there appeared an uncompromising champion of Christ's "ransom for all." It was in the form of a brand-new magazine for Bible lovers, Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, its first issue being that of July, 1879, with an initial edition of 6,000 copies. Its editor and publisher was a member of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Bible study group, namely, Charles Taze Russell. This studious Christian took note of Jesus' illustration of the "faithful and wise servant" (Matthew 24:45, Authorized Version) and published his understanding of it in the Watchtower issue of November, 1881, page 5. In the fourth- and fifth-last paragraphs of the article "In the Vineyard," he said:

We believe that every member of this body of Christ is engaged in the blessed work, either directly or indirectly, of giving meat in due season to the household of faith. "Who then is that faithful and wise servant whom his Lord hath made ruler over his household," to give them meat in due season? Is it not that "little flock" of consecrated servants who are faithfully carrying out their consecration

page 346

vows-the body of Christ-and is not the whole body individually and collectively, giving the meat in due season to the household of faith-the great company of believers?

Blessed is that servant (the whole body of Christ) whom his Lord when he has come (Gr. elthon) shall find so doing. "Verily, I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods." "He shall inherit all things."

From this it is clearly seen that the editor and publisher of Zion's Watch Tower disavowed any claim to being individually, in his person, that "faithful and wise servant." He never did claim to be such. However, he did continue to edit the Watch Tower magazine down to the day of his death on October 31, 1916. He organized Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society in the year 1881 and got it incorporated under State of Pennsylvania law in December, 1884. He also authored and published the six volumes of Studies in the Scriptures during the years 1886-1904, as well as published many booklets on Bible themes and engineered the world-famous Photo-Drama of Creation, which began to be shown in January of 1914 and was thereafter displayed around the earth. He delivered innumerable public lectures all around the globe. His death occurred during his last public lecture tour across the United States of America. It cannot be successfully disputed that, till his death in 1916, he lovingly served as a part of the "faithful and discreet slave" class in giving to the Master's domestics "their food at the proper time."

Since the "slave" of Jesus' illustration is not just one Christian man but is the anointed congregation of Christ's disciples, the "faithful and discreet slave" class continued to serve on after the death of C. T. Russell. However, the sense of appreciation and indebtedness toward Russell moved many of his associates to view him as the fulfillment of the "faithful

page 347

and discreet slave." This view was prominently featured in the book published in July of 1917 by People's Pulpit Association of Brooklyn, New York. This book was called "The Finished Mystery" and furnished a commentary of the Bible books of Revelation and Ezekiel and The Song of Solomon. On its Publishers page the book was called the "Posthumous Work of Pastor Russell." Such a book and religious attitude tended to establish a religious sect centered around a man. Such a drift toward sectarianism was halted, however, by the publication early in 1927 of the articles "The Son and Servant" and "Servant-Good and Evil," in The Watch Tower under date of February 1 and 15, 1927. These articles showed that the "servant" of Matthew 24:45 was a composite one.-Isaiah 43:10-12.

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CARM ison