Is the Jehovah's Witnesses Organization the "faithful and discreet slave?"

by Matt Slick

"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 45Who then is a faithful and wise [NWT = discreet] servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing." (Matt. 24:42-46).

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, commonly known as the Jehovah's Witnesses, claims to be the faithful and discreet slave spoken of in Matt. 24:42-46,

  • "Jesus foretold that among his people there would be a "faithful and discreet slave" class who would be providing the spiritual food to God's family of devoted servants on earth, acting as his channel of communication and overseeing the carrying out of the Kingdom interests world-wide (Matt. 24:45-47). These anointed overseers serve as though being guided in their activities by the right hand of Christ," (Watchtower, Jan. 15, 1969, p. 51).
  • All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the "greatly diversified wisdom of God" can become known only through Jehovah's channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave," (Watchtower, Oct. 1, 1994, p. 8).
  • "We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the 'faithful and discreet slave' organization," (Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1981, p. 19).

As "The faithful and discreet slave" it claims that only its organization is capable of rightly understanding God's word: "Only this organization functions for Jehovah's purpose and to his praise. To it alone God's Sacred Word, the Bible, is not a sealed book (Watchtower, July 1, 1973, p. 402).

The Jehovah's Witnesses are certainly zealous for their beliefs, but they are misguided in those beliefs.  The Watchtower Organization, including all the Jehovah's Witnesses, is not the faithful and discreet slave spoken of by Jesus in Matt. 24:42-46.  The faithful and discreet slave is simply all who are true Christians.

A faithful slave of God does not make false prophecies

Dismantling the Watchtower claim that it is the faithful and discreet slave is easy.  All we need to do is look at the track record of the Watchtower as an organization and see if it has been faithful.  Consider the following false prophecies made by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society over the years:

  • 1899 " . . . the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty' (Revelation 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced," (The Time Is at Hand, 1908 edition, p. 101).
  • 1918 "Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection," (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, p. 89.)
  • 1922 "The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures than 1914," (Watchtower, Sept. 1, 1922, p. 262.)
  • 1923 "Our thought is, that 1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures. As to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge," (Watchtower, Apr. 1, 1923,  p. 106).
  • 1931 "There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah's faithful ones on earth concerning the years 1917, 1918, and 1925, which disappointment lasted for a time . . . and they also learned to quit fixing dates," (Vindication, p. 338).
  • 1941 "Receiving the gift, the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy or plaything for idle pleasure, but the Lord's provided instrument for most effective work in the remaining months before Armageddon," (Watchtower, Sept. 15, 1941, p. 288).
  • 1968 "True, there have been those in times past who predicted an 'end to the world,' even announcing a specific date. Yet nothing happened. The 'end' did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing? . . . Missing from such people were God's truths and evidence that he was using and guiding them," (Awake, Oct. 8, 1968).

I agree with the final quote in the Awake magazine.  The previous false prophecies of the Watchtower organization demonstrate that it is lacking God's truths.  If it is, then it is not the faithful and discreet slave.

Charles Taze Russell was called the Faithful and Discreet Slave

Apparently, Charles Taze Russell, the founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses, was called the "faithful and discreet slave."

Thousands of 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, 1916, p. 357).

Which is it?  Is the Watchtower right or wrong about Russell?  Given that it has made many errors in the past in its prophecies which prove it does not speak for God, it seems clear that the Watchtower Organization is clearly not the "faithful and discreet slave" mentioned by Jesus.  A slave of God would not go around changing its doctrines, making false prophecies, or attempting to control the thinking of its people.  The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is not the faithful and discreet slave.



About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.