Faithful Slave Appointment: What are the assumptions of Watchtower Matthew 24:45-47 Eschatology?

by Vanderhoven7 39 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Konagirl


    Hold on, I think you don't understand that I never said people will burn in torment forever. I don’t believe in eternal torment, in a literal “hellfire”.

    Hades, Sheol, the abyss, the pit,all have the same meaning. None are the “lake of fire”, which I already explained is not a physical burning forever. Hades is darkness, devoid of the light and life of Christ. Jonah 2:2 We can be in Hades, the abyss, the pit, even when physically alive, “not perceiving” or understand truth. Eph 2:1,2,12

    If people were to eternally burn in Hades, then why do the scriptures say Hades will be emptied, and thrown into the “lake of fire?” Rev 20:13-14 As I said, torment that results from God’s judgment happens within the heart. And from there, the wicked will perish. 2 Pet 2:12

  • Vanderhoven7

    Hi Konagirl,

    I did not say that Hades hell was eternal. It is Gehenna aka the lake of fire which is eternal. I realize Hades is considered all about temporary torture until the final judgment where the torment will never end.

    Now, since you don't believe in torment after death, why do you think Jesus copied the Pharisees story about torment in the afterlife to illustrate some truth about judgment?

    And what was that truth he was illustrating?

  • Konagirl

    Hi Vanderhoven

    Your message is a little confusing for me. If the ungodly perish, vanish, as scriptures say, then there is no eternal torment that a person is aware of, after judgment in the lake of fire - judgment, the words, lies that they lived by, but also the words of God condemnation coming against them. That, is their suffering and torment.

    Their torment ascends like smoke. What happens after something is burned up? The smoke is a memory of what the wicked did and the judgment that came upon them. It is the legacy that they leave behind. I watched this literally happen where I live. When the forests around us burned in a raging fire, the smoke persisted long after the trees were nothing but ash. “Fire” symbolizes words that which come from one’s mouth – either God’s word of truth (Jer 23:29; Rev 11:1-5) or that of Satan’s words of lies. (Rev 13:11,13; 12:3; Rev 13:15,4) Both, are words of condemnation. There is no literal fire that people will be subjected to when thrown into the lake of fire. Is that what you are meaning? I didn’t think so by your previous comments, but maybe I misunderstood. God was against the sacrificing of children in a literal fire. If that never came to His mind, why would He condone the eternal physical burning of the wicked? (Jer 19:5)

    Psalm 37:20 – “But the wicked will perish: Though the LORD’s enemies are like the flowers of the field, they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.” There is not an “afterlife” of torment for the wicked to be eternally cognizant of. Isa 41:11

    Hell, is Gehenna, not Hades or Sheol or the abyss, or even Tartarus. (James 3:6) The rich man, whether he was alive or dead, was already in Hades. When on earth, he was already “dead” spiritually, because he rejected Jesus Christ. (John 6:63; Eph 2:1; Rom 6:13) The Pharisees were well aware of Sheol, Hades and what it meant. It is spiritual captivity to darkness and separation from God. This is Satan’s realm of darkness. (Rev 9:11; Prov 15:11; Job 26:6) Without the light of Christ, we remain in a spiritual “Hades” while we are in the flesh.

    Where did Jesus go when he died, and who did he talk to? 1 Pet 3:18-19; 2 Pet 2:4

    It’s not a literal place, it is a spiritual state of “not perceiving”. In the case of the rich man in Hades, his hardened heart refused to perceive, to accept within him why Jesus came, and the light of life he offered to those who turned to him. (Isa 14:14-15) And the chasm between darkness and light is great. There is no crossing over to the light unless one seeks to find it, and the heart is determined to serve God with all their heart, soul and mind. (2 Sam 22:6-20) In the case of the rich man, that was not his intention, even though he faced God's judgment in the lake of fire.

  • Beth Sarim
    Beth Sarim

    The "Faithful and Discreet Slave" is a nothing more thana hijacking of the Mathew 24:45-47 eschatology.

  • Vanderhoven7


    The Pharisees controlled the common people by their hellfire after death why would Jesus create a parable using their teacing about Abraham's Bosom and hellfire doctrine? Wouldn't that just affirm the Pharisee's beliefs about what happens in the afterlife?

    Secondly, how do you think the Pharisees justified not lifting a finger to help the poor?

  • Konagirl

    Hi Vanderhoven7,

    Luke 16:23 - “And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”

    Hades is not “hellfire” – Gehenna.

    It means the opposite of seeing, of perceiving. adh hadE G86 n_ Dat Sg m UN-PERCEIVED unseen

    I don’t know why some translations say “hell” for this verse. Even the NKJV contradicts itself using hell. In James 3:6, it adds a footnote saying “hell” refers to Gehenna.

    “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by [e]hell.” James 3:6 Gr. Gehenna

    To tell you the truth, I don’t know what type of hellfire doctrine the Pharisees taught, or if they were all consistent in teaching it. Their valley of Gehenna, as we know, was the early location of child sacrifice, which leaders, kings of Israel participated in. Jesus was not using their supposed doctrine of hellfire, but speaking of Sheol/Hades, the pit which they knew all about from the scriptures. It has many descriptions, including this one:

    They have provoked my jealousy
    with what is not a god;
    they have enraged me with their worthless idols.
    So I will provoke their jealousy
    with what is not a people;
    I will enrage them with a foolish nation.
    For fire has been kindled because of my anger
    and burns to the depths of Sheol;
    it devours the land and its produce,
    and scorches the foundations of the mountains.

    How can a literal hellfire devour mountains and land?

    Pay attention, heavens, and I will speak;
    listen, earth, to the words from my mouth. Deut 32:21-22,1

    God's word is a "consuming fire". Jer 23:29

    Jer 5:4 - Therefore, this is what the Lord God of Armies says: Because you have spoken this word, I am going to make my words become fire in your mouth. These people are the wood, and the fire will consume them.

    You said - Secondly, how do you think the Pharisees justified not lifting a finger to help the poor?

    How does any wicked leader justify not lifting a finger to help the poor? Isn’t an age-old repeat, and we see it in the Watchtower?... who say, ‘Keep away; don’t come near me, for I am too sacred for you!’ Such people are smoke in my nostrils, a fire that keeps burning all day. Isa 65:5

    Psalm 93 NIV - How long, Lord, will the wicked,
    how long will the wicked be jubilant?

    They pour out arrogant words;
    all the evildoers are full of boasting.
    5 They crush your people, Lord;
    they oppress your inheritance.
    6 They slay the widow and the foreigner;
    they murder the fatherless.
    7 They say, “The Lord does not see;
    the God of Jacob takes no notice.”

    This, is how they justify their actions.

    The wicked band together against the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death. (21)

    NLT verse 23 - God will turn the sins of evil people back on them. He will destroy them for their sins. The LORD our God will destroy them.

  • Journeyman

    To get back on track to the original question, the thing that always made me suspicious of the GB interpretation of Matthew 24:45-47 is that they have always stated that Jesus' warning of an "evil slave" in the rest of the chapter was not literal - that he was not saying that there was a risk the "slave" could turn bad.

    That appears to completely contradict the pattern set by all the other parables and illustrations Jesus gave. Wheat and weeds, sheep and goats, broad road and narrow road, wise virgins and foolish virgins, house built on rock vs house build on sand, etc - every one of those was a warning of the potential or danger of choosing to be on the wrong "side" by making bad or foolish choices. Yet mysteriously, the one parable that did not contain that message is the one about the faithful slave? How convenient.

    Oh no, they say - the "slave" has proved itself faithful and so could never turn evil!

    Then what was the whole point of the illustration in the first place? Jesus was clearly warning the "slave" (whether we identify the slave as an individual or a group - and that's another question) that he/they could go either way: do as the master wanted and be faithful, or become lazy and arrogant and "beat their fellow slaves", for which they will be later judged as "evil" when the master returns. There is no lesson or warning and the whole thing becomes pointless if there was never any risk or chance that the "slave" could become corrupted or turn evil.

    Instead, the clear warning is that anyone wishing to identify themselves as that slave MUST be doing what the master wants in serving the "household", or risk being judged "evil" on His return. But no, that's too stark a message for the GB to tolerate and it would hold them too accountable for their liking, so they choose to claim the master has already come, observed them and declared them faithful - with no real scriptural proof, and in a way that is very dangerous to presume. By disregarding Jesus' warning and claiming he has already returned and declared them righteous, they in fact make themselves even more likely to be identified as the "evil slave", because it makes them too self-confident and presumptuous of their own position. and adamant that the Master will bless them when He returns "in Kingdom power"!

    It also interestingly parallels Matthew 22:11. where a wedding guest presumes he's entitled to be at the feast, but is thrown out by the King at the last minute when He arrives and finds the guest not properly 'dressed'. There is a presumption among JWs, from the top downwards, that all GB members (and anyone else declared 'anointed') are definitely heaven-bound and certain to become part of the Bride of Christ, even though that privilege is not for men to claim, but only God. (That also links to my view of the GB interpretation of the 144,000 too, which is being discussed on this thread).

  • dropoffyourkeylee

    When I was growing up there was indeed an evil slave, defined by the WT as the Bible Students who left in the Rutherford years. These were the bad guys of the time period, ‘60’s in the US. Particularly in Chicago area, where some of the Bible Student leaders lived.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Yes, I was one of those Bible Students in the 60s; attended a number of conventions, even spoke at Grove City as a teenager; new some of the Chicago brethren including Charles Loukey. The Bible Students are still around having dropped 1914 and pushing a more Christ-centered agenda; still associated with one congregation in Lombard Ill.

    Learn more at:

  • Vanderhoven7

    Watchtower religion is based on eisegesis rather than exegesis.

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