Settling Accounts with the Slaves of Today
1, 2. (a) The bearing of the divine name added what to the remnant of Christ’s “slaves,” and who was the source of it? (b) How is this joy referred to in the parable of the “talents”?
THE bearing of the divine name from the year 1931 onward added a new joy to the remnant yet on earth of the “slaves” of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their joy came from the same Source as that from which their Lord and Owner had obtained his joy, namely, from Jehovah God. The Lord Jesus Christ referred to this joy of his when he was settling accounts with his slaves in fulfillment of the parable of the “talents.” We note this in Matthew 25:20-23, where we read:
2 “So the one that had received five talents came forward and brought five additional talents, saying, ‘Master, you committed five talents to me; see, I gained five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things. I will appoint you over many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Next the one that had received the two talents came forward and said, ‘Master, you committed to me two talents; see, I gained two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things. I will appoint you over many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’”
3, 4. (a) Do the three “slaves” picture individuals, or what? (b) How does the settling of accounts with what is pictured by the “slaves,” in the fulfillment of the parable, argue for the proper meaning of parousia?”
3 This settling of accounts with the slaves certainly required time and attention. So it would picture a period of presence or parousia on the part of the heavenly Master, Jesus Christ, in the fulfillment of the parable in its final features. (Matthew 24:3) Never let us forget that the three slaves in the parable stood for classes and that these classes are made up of individuals. It takes more time and attention to deal with a class or group than with a single individual. In the case of a class or group, each member thereof must be dealt with. In Romans 14:9, 10 the apostle Paul wrote:
4 “For to this end Christ died and came to life again, that he might be Lord over both the dead and the living. . . . For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.”
5. (a) For whom does Jesus Christ judge when judging the living and the dead? (b) Those of the classes pictured by the “slaves” who died before Christ’s parousia had to do what with regard to their reward?
5 In the fulfillment of the parable of the “talents,” the Lord Jesus Christ judges for Jehovah God. Not all his “slaves” to whom “talents” were committed are found alive in the flesh here on earth in this twentieth century. For instance, those of the first century during the days of the twelve apostles, down to John the receiver of the Revelation, died long ago, falling asleep in death and awaiting the parousia of their heavenly Lord and Owner, when they would receive the reward from him as the righteous Judge. As the apostle Paul, shortly before his martyrdom, wrote to Timothy his missionary companion: “I have fought the fine fight, I have run the course to the finish, I have observed the faith. From this time on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me as a reward in that day, yet not only to me, but also to all those who have loved his manifestation.” (2 Timothy 4:7, 8) Yes, indeed, the apostle Paul looked forward to “that day,” the day of the Lord’s parousia, for a resurrection from the dead and the receiving of the prize of immortal heavenly life. All dying before his parousia had to wait.
6. When are those “slaves” sleeping in death resurrected, and over whom do these take precedence as to resurrection?
6 During his invisible parousia in spirit, all those faithful “slaves” who were sleeping in death were awakened at the time for the beginning of the judgment, to heavenly life in the spirit realm. Thus the rewarding of the living “slaves” did not take precedence over the rewarding of the sleeping faithful “slaves.” This is not our imagination; for the apostle Paul writes to the Christian congregation in Thessalonica and says: “If our faith is that Jesus died and rose again, so, too, those who have fallen asleep [in death] through Jesus God will bring with him. For this is what we tell you by Jehovah’s word, that we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord shall in no way precede those who have fallen asleep [in death]; because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first. Afterward we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we shall always be with the Lord.”—1 Thessalonians 4:14-17.
7. What kind of resurrection is it that the sleepers get?
7 This means that during the Lord’s parousia there occurs, at the time for the judgment to begin, an invisible resurrection of the sleeping faithful “slaves” to heavenly life in the spirit. This is, of course, not visible to the surviving “slaves” yet on earth with their fleshly eyes, just as it is also invisible to worldly people who are not “slaves” of the invisibly present Lord Jesus.
8, 9. (a) What does the evidence show as to whether the meeting of the “slaves” with the Lord in the air means a catching up of physical bodies into the atmosphere? (b) What, as pointed out in 1 Corinthians 15:50-54, has a bearing on this matter?
8 The meeting by the resurrected “slaves” with the “Lord in the air” is also invisible to all fleshly eyes on the earth, so that humans on earth do not know that it is going on except by faith in God’s Word and the indications of the times. Those “slaves” who were sleeping in death were all resurrected together at the same time to “meet the Lord in the air.” However, those “slaves” on earth who survived until the time for the judgment or settling of accounts to begin were not caught up literally in their visible physical bodies into earth’s atmosphere to meet a visible Lord in the air, for modern history does not record any such happening. Members of this surviving group of “slaves” died off from time to time during the now more than fifty years that have elapsed, but, according to Bible promise, they had an instantaneous resurrection to life in the spirit in the invisible heavens. Since the parousia of the Lord had already begun, they did not need to sleep in death in waiting for his arrival. What Paul said applied to them:
9 “Flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s kingdom, neither does corruption inherit incorruption. Look! I tell you a sacred secret: We shall not all fall asleep [in death], but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, during the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised up incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this which is corruptible must put on incorruption, and this which is mortal must put on immortality. But when [this which is corruptible puts on incorruption and] this which is mortal puts on immortality, then the saying will take place that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up forever.’”—1 Corinthians 15:50-54; Isaiah 25:8.
10. In what way are those “slaves” referred to in Revelation 14:13 “happy”?
10 To those anointed slaves who survived on earth until and into the parousia or presence of the Lord and who died thereafter in faithful union with the Lord, the promise of Revelation 14:13 applies: “Happy are the dead who die in union with the Lord from this time onward. Yes, says the spirit, let them rest from their labors, for the things they did go right with them.” They are “happy” because at their death in the flesh they experience that instantaneous change from corruption to incorruption, from mortality to immortality, from human to spirit, so that, without any sleep in death, they cease from their earthly labors and enter right into heavenly work with their Lord with whom they are joint heirs.
11. Who was this R. J. Martin who was taken as an example of the foregoing?
11 Take, for instance, the case of Robert J. Martin. He was one of those eight consecrated Christian men, including the Society’s president J. F. Rutherford, who suffered about nine months of unjust imprisonment in the federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, from July 5, 1918, to March 25, 1919. When this “slave” was set free on bail in Brooklyn, New York, on Wednesday, March 26, 1919, he had practically nothing as far as “talents” from his heavenly Lord was concerned. World War I with its persecution of the Lord’s “slaves” was now in the past for more than four months, and R. J. Martin had to begin practically anew. He was still in faithful union with the Lord Jesus, and he was glad to accept “talents” with which to ‘do business’ for his heavenly Lord, in order to enlarge the field that would prove fruitful in producing disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the year following his release from imprisonment he was made the factory manager of the printing plant newly established in Brooklyn for the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. On November 1, 1926, he was made one of the directors of this Society, which post he held to his earthly end.
12. When did Martin die, and what comment did The Watch Tower make thereon?
12 So the years passed, with R. J. Martin faithfully doing business in increasing the “talents” committed to him in the field of disciple-making. He died at his post on September 23, 1932, at the age of fifty-four years. (Born March 30, 1878) His death “in union with the Lord” was announced in the issue of October 1, 1932, of The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence, page 304, which said, in part:
It was just past midnight, or the beginning of the morning of September 23, 1932, that Robert J. Martin, a soldier in the organization of Jehovah, folded his earthly tent and peacefully went away. This good and faithful witness has finished his course on earth. There is every reason to believe that he immediately passed into the kingdom and is now for ever with the Lord in the capital organization of Jehovah.
. . . The hope of the faithful comrades of Brother Martin is that they too may see the Lord in all his glory and beauty and participate ever thereafter in carrying out Jehovah’s purposes. The devotion of Brother Martin to Jehovah’s cause is an inspiration to those of the remnant to continue to press the battle to the gate. . . .
13. When did Martin’s fellow prisoner, Rutherford, die, and what did his death mark historically?
13 His fellow prisoner, J. F. Rutherford, finished his earthly course at the age of seventy-two years, while still president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, on Thursday, January 8, 1942. Under the heading “A Faithful Witness,” his death was announced on page 45 of the issue of February 1, 1942, of The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom. The history of more than thirty years since then shows that his death marked the end of an epoch in the modern activities of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses.
14. (a) What is there Scriptural reason to believe regarding such two “slaves” as to their reward for doing business with Christ’s “talents”? (b) Have the “slaves” still remaining alive on earth entered into any “joy,” and what about the matter of rulership?
14 Certainly the career of Christian “slaves,” such as the two aforementioned, indicates that they “did business” with the Lord’s “talents” committed to them and thereby increased the earthly field of operation for the producing of more disciples of Christ. There is Scriptural reason to believe that, when appearing before the judgment seat of their Lord Jesus Christ, they heard his words of commendation: “Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things. I will appoint you over many things. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21, 23) But now, many years later, there is still a small remnant of those loyal Christian “slaves” on earth who are lovingly seeking to increase the “talents” of their heavenly Master. They expect, in due time, to finish their earthly career and appear before the heavenly judgment seat of Jesus Christ and happily hear those same words of commendation. But even now on earth, to the extent that they are increasing the “talents” of their heavenly Owner, they have already entered into a goodly measure of the joy of their Master. They have not, however, entered into any rulership but merely look forward to sharing in his millennial reign in heaven.
THE “WICKED AND SLUGGISH SLAVE”
15, 16. (a) How did the slave with the one talent fail to use his “ability,” with what consequences? (b) What excuse did he give for handing back only what he had received?
15 We are now interested to learn what happens to the slave in Jesus’ parable who received but one talent and concerning whom it was said: “But the one that received just one went off, and dug in the ground and hid the silver money of his master.” (Matthew 25:15, 18) Not exerting himself and not showing courage to ‘do business’ as the slave with the five talents and the slave with the two talents did, this third slave could not expect to increase the silver talent of his master. He had the proportionate “ability” to handle that one silver talent and make increase with it, but he failed to show his ability. At the coming and during the presence or parousia of his master he would have no increase to show when accounts were settled. So what excuse would he have for presenting no increase to his master? In the parable, Jesus tells us:
16 “Finally the one that had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be an exacting man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you did not winnow. So I grew afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’”—Matthew 25:24, 25.
17. (a) Did this slave approve of his master’s being like the landowning farmer that he described? (b) Why did the slave think his master had no right to complain at getting no increase?
17 This slave knew that increase was expected of him. But he lacked the courage to take the risk by ‘doing business’ with his master’s silver talent. He did not have the love for his master so as to act, in spite of his fears, and take the risk and make the efforts to expand the “belongings” of his master. He likened his master to a farming landowner, who not only got crops from his own land but also harvested products from the land that he did not own and did not cultivate and gathered grain that he had not winnowed clean of its chaff. The slave did not approve of his master’s making increase in that way. At least he charged his master with making increase in such a way. So, consistent with his professed belief and attitude, he handed back just the one silver talent that his master had entrusted to him. So, as he thought, since his master had suffered no loss, why should he complain? He was receiving back what was his very own. The slave did not appreciate that money is for circulation and is for use in a profit-making way.
18. According to what line of reasoning did the master answer the slave, and so why did he call the slave what he did call him?
18 The slave’s master answered him according to his own argument, for we read: “In reply his master said to him, ‘Wicked and sluggish slave, you knew, did you, that I reaped where I did not sow and gathered where I did not winnow? Well, then, you ought to have deposited my silver monies with the bankers, and on my arrival [literally, and having come] I would be receiving what is mine with interest.’”—Matthew 25:26, 27.
19. Why did the slave deserve to be called “wicked,” and how could he have taken the “easy way” to meet his master’s requirements?
19 This unprofitable slave was “wicked,” in that his failure to bring increase to his master was deliberate, willful. He was not interested in the increase of his master’s belongings. Not that he did not know that his master required increase. He did know this, and he could have taken the easy way and deposited the silver talent in his care with the bankers, that these might make investments therewith and make gain and therefore pay due interest on the money deposited with them. In this way, the slave’s master on his coming back would have received not only the silver talent but also the interest that was paid on the deposit of the money with the bankers. Not only did he not imitate the slave with the five talents and the slave with the two talents, but he did not cooperate with them. Although he returned the original silver talent that was committed to him, he caused really a loss to his master. His purposely causing his master such a loss made him “wicked.”
20. In what way was this slave “sluggish,” this resulting how to him?
20 The unprofitable slave was also “sluggish.” He was lazy, unwilling to ‘do business’ with alertness, in the way that the fellow slaves did. He had the ability to work gainfully, otherwise his master would not have entrusted him with, at the least, a talent. His being given one talent made him the least responsible of all three slaves, but this least amount of money was not more than “his own ability” could care for. Yet, instead of directing his ability in profitable channels, he dug in the ground and hid his master’s talent and rendered it unproductive. He was so sluggish that even his sizing up his master as an “exacting man” did not drive him to get to work with the precious talent during the long time that his master would be gone. The slave had plenty of opportune time. His failing to bring increase resulted disastrously for him.
21. What is the counterpart of the slave in the modern-day climax of the parable’s fulfillment?
21 This “wicked and sluggish slave” has a modern counterpart in the fulfillment of the parable at its climax in our day. As in the case of the two fellow slaves, the unproductive slave also stands for a class or group of Christian slaves who are actually in the service or who are committed to the service of the heavenly Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. This unprofitable class put in appearance after the settling of accounts began in that first postwar year of 1919 C.E.
22. Who else claimed to be in the service of the heavenly Master, but how did they neglect his “belongings” after World War I ended?
22 Of course, the sectarian church members of Christendom professed to be in the service of the heavenly Lord Jesus Christ. Well, then, did they go cultivating the field that lay wide open before them at the close of World War I on November 11, 1918, and go producing disciples for the reigning King Jesus Christ, now in his parousia? No; they took a compromising course with the politicians and militarists of this world. They neglected the Kingdom “belongings” of the King whose princely rule is to increase without end. They turned their interest and attention to the proposed League of Nations, which the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America called “the political expression of the Kingdom of God on earth.” (Isaiah 9:6, 7) They tried to increase the number of supporters and worshipers of that man-made international organization for world peace and security. At present the religious sects and denominations of Christendom are advocating the successor organization, the United Nations.
23. Their not cultivating the world field for the benefit of God’s Messianic kingdom has had what result?
23 In the settling of accounts during this time of examination by the returned Lord Jesus Christ, those professed “slaves” in Christendom can present to him no increase in his belongings. They have not cultivated the world field for the benefit of God’s Messianic kingdom, for they have turned their backs upon it and have left the people in ignorance of Jehovah’s established Messianic kingdom.
24. How do those described in paragraph three of the “New Name” resolution fit the picture of the “sluggish slave”?
24 However, even among those in contact with the faithful “slaves” of the returned, reigning King Jesus Christ there has appeared a class of anointed Christians who fit the picture of the “wicked and sluggish slave.” Evidently this class is referred to in the third paragraph of the Resolution entitled “A New Name,” that was adopted Sunday afternoon, July 26, 1931, at the international convention held in Columbus, Ohio, under the auspices of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. This paragraph we now quote:
WHEREAS shortly following the death of Charles T. Russell a division arose between those associated with him in such work, resulting in a number of such withdrawing from the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and who have since refused to cooperate with said Society and its work and who decline to concur in the truth as published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in The Watch Tower and the other recent publications of the said above-named corporations, and have opposed and do now oppose the work of said Society in declaring the present message of God’s kingdom and the day of the vengeance of our God against all parts of Satan’s organization; and said opposing ones have formed themselves into divers and numerous companies and have taken and now bear such names as, to wit, “Bible Students,” “Associated Bible Students,” “Russellites teaching the truth as expounded by Pastor Russell,” “Stand-Fasters,” and like names, all of which tends to cause confusion and misunderstanding . . .”
25. Consequently, the above-mentioned ones have not shared in what experiences and accomplishments of those bearing the “new name”?
25 Factually, those uncooperative and even opposing ones mentioned above did not embrace that “new name,” Jehovah’s witnesses, and become known as the Christian witnesses of Jehovah. They have shared neither in the terrible sufferings that the bearers of the “new name” have experienced since then nor in the work of announcing Jehovah’s established kingdom in the hands of his Messiah in all parts of the earth. For these reasons they have not shared in the marvelous expanding of the field for the cultivating and producing of disciples of Christ, to include at present 208 lands and islands or island groups, and requiring the publication of the Kingdom message in more than 160 languages. Despite vicious persecution in various lands, this cultivating of the field (which is the world of mankind) for the bringing forth of additional disciples of Christ moves forward to its culmination! It is presently being carried on under the supervision of the ninety-five branch organizations of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.
26. What evidence is there that the remnant of anointed “slaves” have had Heaven’s blessing in using the Master’s “talents” by cultivating the world field?
26 Evidently, then, this increasing of the Messianic King’s “belongings,” his “talents,” has the approval and blessing of the Most High God Jehovah and his Son Jesus Christ. The anointed “slaves” engaged in the use of the King’s “talents” are finding it a joyful responsibility, and they are striving to qualify as a “good and faithful slave” from the standpoint of their heavenly Master. They do not care to have any of the “wicked and sluggish slave” class associated with them. Rather, they try to help all those who meet the Scriptural qualifications to associate with them, to become productive ministers of the Word of God. In evidence of the divine blessing upon their loving endeavors, during this past service year of 1972 there were 163,123 taught ones who were baptized in water as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. During the past five service years, 1968-1972, there were more than half a million, actually 680,871, who were thus baptized in lands all around the globe. So the remnant of anointed “slaves” who increase the Lord’s “belongings” do not believe that he is improperly reaping where he himself, when personally on earth, had not sown.
THE UNUSED “ONE TALENT” TAKEN AWAY
27. What decision did the master make regarding the unprofitable slave?
27 In the parable, how does the master decide regarding the slave who failed to present to him what belonged to this master along “with interest”? “Therefore,” says the indignant master concerning the “wicked and sluggish slave” who proved unprofitable, “take away the talent from him and give it to him that has the ten talents. For to everyone that has, more will be given and he will have abundance; but as for him that does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. And throw the good-for-nothing slave out into the darkness outside. There is where [his] weeping and the gnashing of [his] teeth will be.”—Matthew 25:28-30.
28. What considerations granted to the profitable slaves were denied to this slave, and what did his being cast into the darkness outside mean for him?
28 This slave is not invited to enter into the joy of his master. He is not appointed to be ruler over many things because of having been found faithful over a few things. He is not called a “good and faithful slave,” but is spoken of as “the good-for-nothing slave.” He is not retained as a slave in the service and household of the master, but is thrown out of the house “into the darkness outside.” Evidently the returned master settled accounts with his slaves in the nighttime, and thus there would be “darkness outside” into which the slave could be thrown. In place of finding the joy of his master out there, he would weep and gnash his teeth because of the conditions into which he had been cast.
29. Why does this set forth a solemn lesson for the at-present faithful anointed “slaves” in the darkening world situation?
29 This sets forth a solemn lesson for the remnant of the anointed “slaves” today. They must continue to work for the increase of the “belongings” of their heavenly Master. Otherwise, that set of values with which they have been entrusted by their Master will be taken away from them. Then, too, they will be thrown into the “darkness outside,” to join the “wicked and sluggish slave” class there. Ever since the close of the Gentile Times in the year 1914 it has been a nighttime for the world of mankind outside the lighted house of the heavenly Master Jesus Christ, even Christendom being shrouded in such nighttime darkness. But that darkness will blacken intensely when the time arrives according to God’s schedule for the “great tribulation” to break suddenly upon this generation of mankind. (Matthew 24:21, 22; Luke 21:34-36) Into that death-dealing darkness the “wicked and sluggish slave” class will be thrown, there to weep and gnash their teeth with religious hypocrites until they perish.
30. How is the “one talent” taken away from the “sluggish slave” class, and to whom is it given, and why?
30 In this time of the Master’s parousia, when he is settling accounts with his “slaves,” whether with those who die individually or with the respective slave classes yet on earth, one thing is already apparent. The “wicked and sluggish slave” class are not doing business with their “one talent” and bringing him interest on his “monies.” Accordingly, he is already taking that “one talent” away from this unfaithful class that survives as a class till now. He is not letting them have any assignment from him in the way of territory that is to be cultivated and made productive of additional disciples of Christ. They are no longer treated as His slaves; he does not recognize and accept their religious activities. He does not let them share the gladdening light of his household. Their “one talent” is taken away from them, and their assigned field of potential disciple-making is given to the “good and faithful slave” class that has increased or is increasing the King’s “belongings” to “ten talents,” exercising the greatest ability in the field of disciple-making.—Matthew 28:19, 20; Psalm 2:8.
31. (a) What rule of procedure on the Master’s part is thus exemplified? (b) The “sluggish slave” class did not have what extra, besides “ability,” and so what was done to him?
31 Thus there is being exemplified today the divine principle or rule of procedure that “to everyone that has, more will be given and he will have abundance; but as for him that does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” (Matthew 25:29) In the parable the “wicked and sluggish slave” had the “one talent,” but he did not have what should be stirred up and manifested by the possession of this “one talent.” That something extra should be loyal zeal for his master, an appreciation of the trust that had been committed to him, a belief in the deservedness of his master to have an increase to the “one talent” that had working power, gainful power. His failure to present an increase when accounts were settled eloquently testified, in addition to his own excuse, that he did not have that something extra on his own part. Therefore, the “one talent” was taken away from him as a “good-for-nothing slave.” He had disappointed his master’s confidence in him. He was dismissed from his master’s service and cut off from his house.
32. What is the something extra that the “sluggish slave” class do not have since 1919, and so what is taken away from them?
32 The same principle is applied to the modern-day “wicked and sluggish slave” class. To those of this class there was committed that which corresponds to the “one talent.” This came from their heavenly Master, especially from the first postwar year of 1919. But they had to have something on their own part, which would complement or be a fitting companion of that “one talent.” This complementary thing that their possession of the “one talent” should have roused in them was zeal and devotion toward Jehovah’s Messianic kingdom, a belief in the worthiness of their heavenly Master to receive an increase in the disciple-producing field, a courageous and loving motive to have as large a share as possible in the proclamation of God’s established Messianic kingdom and in the making of disciples of people of all the nations, not merely the Jewish nation to whom Jesus Christ on earth confined his public and private ministry. Because they do not have that which they themselves should apply toward using the Master’s “one talent,” this “talent” is taken away from them, as present-day facts indicate.
33. (a) So, at whose expense do those of the “good and faithful slave” class receive an “abundance”? (b) What joy do they experience, and what rulership do they await?
33 On the other hand, the “good and faithful slave” classes do have that which should complement their being entrusted with the “talents” of their celestial Master. True to the parabolic picture, more is being given to them, at the expense of the “wicked and sluggish slave” class, and opportunities and privileges are added to them as being responsible, reliable, profitable “slaves.” In consequence of this, they have indeed an “abundance” in the increased field of disciple-making. As they make the heart of their Master glad, their own joy overflows and they have a foretaste of the joy that their Master feels in his now established kingdom. This joy strengthens them to press on in the service to him down to the end of their earthly career. And when this occurs, they expect to enter by resurrection from the dead into the fullness of his joy and to be made ruler over many things in his millennial kingdom. They will then fully know the happiness of those “slaves” who have part in the “first resurrection.”—Revelation 20:6.
34. Observable fulfillment of these climactic parts of Jesus’ parable proves that what is in progress, and why?
34 In the afore-related way the climactic part of the parable of the “talents” has been going on since the year 1919 C.E. This has been observable by people and nations all around the inhabited earth. Especially are the “good and faithful slave” class aware of it. It all goes to prove that the parousia or invisible presence of the King Jesus Christ has been in progress since the Gentile Times ended in 1914. It is therefore a part of the grand “sign” of Christ’s “presence” and of the “conclusion of the system of things,” this parable of the “talents” being a part of his detailed prophecy concerning that “sign.”—Matthew 24:3.
35. Why do we desire to continue further the consideration of Christ’s prophecy, and in order to prove what fact?
35 Yet there is more to the “sign” of Christ’s invisible presence in spirit than the parables of the “ten virgins” and of the “talents” that we have already considered. A further parable constitutes an important part of his prophecy on the “sign,” and the fulfillment of it in our startling time adds to the proof that the presence, the parousia, of the Lord Jesus Christ is in progress to yet wonderful things. Shall we consider further our Lord’s great prophecy?
[Picture on page 245]
R. J. Martin
[Picture on page 246]
J. F. Rutherford