Chronology and Obedience to the Authority of the Faithful Slave

There have been some adjustments to the specifics of a few doctrines referenced in the following. The basics have not changed, however.

There has been an idea put forward that JWs should be more inclined to show strict obedience to the “steward” based on the increased authority of Jesus since 1914. The “steward” is now explicitly identified with the Governing Body. Previously the teaching was that the Governing Body represented a larger slave class that consisted of all the anointed who have been alive at any time since 33 C.E. Now, the “slave class” is only identified with the Governing Body as it has existed after their “appointment” by Jesus in 1919. (Curiously, this new teaching removes even Charles Taze Russell from ever having held the office of, or been a part of, that “faithful slave” even though this was the belief in 1919 and for several years afterward.)

The point could be made from dozens of Watch Tower quotations, but the following two sources will suffice.


*** w02 10/1 pp. 18-19 Cultivate Obedience as the End Draws Near ***
Blessed for Obeying God’s “Steward”
5 Jehovah has always provided teachers for his people. …
6 In the first century, when the issue of circumcision arose in 49 C.E., the governing body of that early slave class prayerfully considered the matter and came to a Scriptural conclusion. When they announced their decision by letter, the congregations obeyed the direction given and enjoyed God’s rich blessing. (Acts 15:6-15, 22-29; 16:4, 5) Likewise in modern times, the faithful slave through its Governing Body has clarified such important issues as Christian neutrality, the sanctity of blood, and the use of drugs and tobacco. (Isaiah 2:4; Acts 21:25; 2 Corinthians 7:1) Jehovah blessed his people for their obedience to his Word and the faithful slave.
7 By submitting to the slave class, God’s people also show their subjection to the Master, Jesus Christ. Such subjection has taken on additional significance in modern times because of Jesus’ enlarged authority, as foretold in Jacob’s deathbed prophecy.

Shiloh Becomes Earth’s Rightful Ruler

8 Jacob’s prophecy foretold that Shiloh would command “the obedience of the peoples.” Clearly, Christ’s rulership would extend beyond spiritual Israel. What would it embrace? Revelation 11:15 answers: “The kingdom of the world did become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever.” The Bible reveals that Jesus received that authority at the end of the prophetic “seven times”—“the appointed times of the nations”—in 1914. (Daniel 4:16, 17; Luke 21:24) In that year, Christ’s invisible “presence” as Messianic King began, as did his time to “go subduing in the midst of [his] enemies.”—Matthew 24:3; Psalm 110:2.

The following additional points have also been made in the context of direct speculation about the upcoming future attacks which adds to both the imminence and the ominous sense.

*** w13 11/15 Seven Shepherds, Eight Dukes—What They Mean for Us Today ***

(2) When “the Assyrian” attacks, the elders must be absolutely convinced that Jehovah will deliver us. (3) At that time, the life-saving direction that we receive from Jehovah’s organization may not appear practical from a human standpoint. All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not. (4) Now is the time for any who may be putting their trust in secular education, material things, or human institutions to adjust their thinking.

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