Who Really is the Faithful and Discreet Slave -Letting the Bible Interpret Itself
Why The Words Are Important and Not Just a Mere Parable:
Matthew 24 and the parallel accounts of Luke and Mark are in response to the question: "Tell us, Whenwill these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?” So everything in Matthew 24 is in answer to this all-important question. This is surely something of importance since Jesus included it in his response and should therefore be taken seriously. Secondly, notice the words 'when will'... and 'what will be...' So Jesus is answering a question that has a future implication. Therefore Matthew 24 is a chapter of prophecy since it concerns future events. Therefore, everything, including the parable, could rightly be said to be a prophecy. So the claim that this is just a mere parable and not a prophecy is false and is clearly at odds with what the Bible tells us.
Who is the Faithful Slave And What Do They Do?:
A parallel account of Matthew 24 is found in Luke 12, specifically starting at Luke 12:42 "And the Lord said: “Who really is the faithful steward, the discreet one, whom his master will appoint over his body of attendants to keep giving them their measure of food supplies at the proper time? So putting the accounts together we can gather the faithful steward = faithful steward, the body of attendants = the domestics, and the food supplies = proper food. What is a steward? It is defined as a house manager of administrator, although he himself is a servant. A good example of this would be Joseph (Genesis 39:1-6), who was a steward of Potiphar's house having much authority, although he himself was a slave/servant. This steward would be giving proper food supplies at the proper time. So who is the faithful steward? To answer this question we need to find out who the 'domestics' or 'body of attendants' are and where the spiritual food is dispensed from.
Who Are The Body of Attendants And Where Does Spiritual Food Come From?
Since a steward is a house manager (as in the case of Joseph), there must be domestics or the body of attendants. Who are these house servants? Notice 1 Timothy 3:15 "but in case I am delayed, that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in God’s household, which is the congregation of [the] living God, a pillar and support of the truth." Ephesians 2:19 reaffirms this when it says: "Certainly, therefore, YOU are no longer strangers and alien residents, but YOU are fellow citizens of the holy ones and are members of the household of God.."
Hebrews 3:6 "but Christ [was faithful] as a Son over the house of that One. We are the house of that One, if we make fast our hold on our freeness of speech and our boasting over the hope firm to the end."
So the domestics were the members of the Christian Congregation. However, such a stewardship of divine truths was also expected of ordinary, regular members of God's household, not just the apostles. 1 Peter 4:10-11 "10 In proportion as each one has received a gift, use it in ministering to one another as fine stewards of God’s undeserved kindness expressed in various ways. 11 If anyone speaks, [let him speak] as it were [the] sacred pronouncements of God." Peter later even references information presented in Paul's letter. So it was the duty of all Christians, whether prophesying, speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, speaking at congregation meetings, or ministering to one another, to provide this vital spiritual food. Even the apostles received spiritual food from one another. 1 Peter 1 tells us that he is talking to the 'chosen ones', the anointed ones, so all anointed ones would have a part in doing this. Even with this being the case, only specific brothers (such as the apostles) gave instruction to the congregations as a whole. This is because even though the entire faithful and discreet slave class, God's anointed ones, provided spiritual food, there were certain individuals put in place to provide spiritual food over the congregations as a whole.
Notice Ephesians 2:20 "20 and YOU have been built up upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, while Christ Jesus himself is the foundation cornerstone.."
1 Corinthians 12:27 "Now YOU are Christ’s body, and members individually. 28 And God has set the respective ones in the congregation, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then powerful works; then gifts of healings; helpful services, abilities to direct, different tongues..."
So now all we need to know: was there a spiritual feeding program in the first century to the congregations by the apostles?
1 Corinthians 3:1,2 "And so, brothers, I was not able to speak to YOU as to spiritual men, but as to fleshly men, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed YOU milk, not something to eat, for YOU were not yet strong enough. In fact, neither are YOU strong enough now.."
Hebrews 5:12 "For, indeed, although YOU ought to be teachers in view of the time, YOU again need someone to teach YOU from the beginning the elementary things of the sacred pronouncements of God; and YOU have become such as need milk, not solid food. 13 For everyone that partakes of milk is unacquainted with the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to mature people, to those who through use have their perceptive powers trained to distinguish both right and wrong."
1 Thessalonians 4:1 "Finally, brothers, we request YOU and exhort YOU by the Lord Jesus, just as YOU received [the instruction] from us on how YOU ought to walk and please God, just as YOU are in fact walking, that YOU would keep on doing it more fully. 2 For YOU know the orders we gave YOU through the Lord Jesus."
Ephesians 3:10 "[This was] to the end that now to the governments and the authorities in the heavenly places there might be made known through the congregation the greatly diversified wisdom of God, 11 according to the eternal purpose that he formed in connection with the Christ, Jesus our Lord.."
2 Corinthians 5:20 "We are therefore ambassadors substituting for Christ, as though God were making entreaty through us. As substitutes for Christ we beg: “Become reconciled to God."
2 Thessalonians 2:15 "So, then, brothers, stand firm and maintain YOUR hold on the traditions that YOU were taught, whether it was through a verbal message or through a letter of ours."
It is obvious beyond any doubt that there was a spiritual feeding program. The exact words of the apostles even indicate they used literal food or 'food supplies' as a metaphor for spiritual instruction.
Who Is The Faithful And Discreet Slave Today?
Many have put out various charts and photos showing what they believe should be required to identify the faithful and discreet slave of today. They use such things as miracles, infallibility, prophecy, and things of a supernatural sort to prove that JW's cannot be the FDS. However, is this really a valid line of reasoning?
2 Thessalonians 2:8, 9 "Then, indeed, the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will do away with by the spirit of his mouth and bring to nothing by the manifestation of his presence. 9 But the lawless one’s presence is according to the operation of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and portents
This echoes Jesus' earlier sentiments at Matthew 7:22,23 "22 Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ 23 And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU! Get away from me, YOU workers of lawlessness.
So clearly miracles and powerful works and infallibility and prophecying would not be the identifying marks of true Christians. How then do we identify the faithful and discreet slave today? John 8:31 "And so Jesus went on to say to the Jews that had believed him: “If YOU remain in my word, YOU are really my disciples," So judge JW's on how closely they follow the Bible. We know the Trinity, hellfire, immortality of the soul, purgatory, worship of Mary, reverence of the cross, clergy/laity distinction/, many national holidays, involvement in politics and war, and other things to all be either unscriptural, purely human tradition, of pagan and thus satanic origin, and things that conflict with God's word. If we acknowledge that all these things are unscriptural (not remaining in Jesus' words), where can the faithful and discreet slave be found if it not Jehovah's Witnesses?