Serving with the Servant
“Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.”—Matt. 24:46, 47.
1. Jehovah and Christ Jesus being rulers means what to his people on earth today?
JEHOVAH is the omnipotent Ruler of the universe. At his right hand is the loyal and faithful King, Christ Jesus, who serves for evermore. The kingdom of the appointed ruler will exercise authority over this earth until everything therein praises and magnifies the Creator’s holy name. Into this marvelous service 144,000 have been called to participate, and such called ones will, by making their “calling and election sure”, be the bride of the King, and will be “joint heirs” with him. As Kingdom inheritors they know that by promise they are to share the throne with the glorified Bridegroom. And what is of more immediate concern, that royal Spouse has revealed to them that during this world’s syntéleia and before completing their earthly course the sign of his favor toward them would be marked by his entrusting them with special Kingdom responsibilities. Such Kingdom interests must be guarded, watched and increased amid the turbulence of this world’s closing years. Nor would any human or demon attraction or the confused events occurring in these fateful days succeed in diverting the faithful stewards from their service. These very events now coming to pass supply further evidence of the fulfillment of prophecy pertaining to the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, the nearness of the final end of this evil world, and the requirements now laid upon the true servants of the kingdom of heaven.
2. Who receives the dominion, and what scriptural proof do we have?
2 That kingdom of God, with its appointed Ruler, is of the greatest importance, and centuries have been used in its preparation. The King will rule in righteousness, enforcing God’s law and breaking down every power opposing truth and justice. “Then will come the end—when he surrenders the Kingdom to his God and Father, having overthrown all other rule and all other authority and power. For he must reign until God ‘has put all his enemies under his feet.’” (1 Cor. 15:24-26, Twentieth Century) Christ Jesus receives this kingdom from his Father. No man or earthly powers could possibly give it to him, for it is not theirs. “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.” (Ps. 50:10-12) “I will tell of the decree: Jehovah said unto me, Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” (Ps. 2:7, 8, Am. Stan. Ver.) Satan, the god of this evil world, never had the possession of the earth with its mountains, oceans, lakes, rivers, trees, flowers, animals, birds, fish and other created things. These were not his to give to anyone. Adam did not come into this glorious dominion. The apostle Paul states at Hebrews 2:5-8 that this dominion will be given to Christ Jesus. Paul here was quoting from Psalm 8, which clearly teaches that the Universal Sovereign has put all such created works in the charge of his beloved Son. “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”—Eph. 1:20-23, Am. Stan. Ver.; see also Dan. 7:13, 14, Am. Stan. Ver.; Dan. 2:44; Ps. 89:34-37.
3. With whom does Christ Jesus share his kingdom?
3 Thus the everlasting kingdom belongs to Christ Jesus even as he himself declared: “I appoint unto you a kingdom, even as my Father appointed unto me.” (Luke 22:29, Am. Stan. Ver.) Further, as to his sharing it with his faithful disciples, we read, “As you know how we . . . warned you to walk worthily of that GOD who is inviting you into his own glorious kingdom.”—1 Thess. 2:11, 12, Diaglott; see also Rom. 8:17; Phil. 3:10-14; 2 Tim. 2:12.
4. What were some of the interests he committed to the care of his church?
4 When Jesus Christ was on earth he committed many things to his disciples. There were his Word, the feeding of the sheep, “my peace,” preaching of the Kingdom, the honor of the Father’s name. Later at Pentecost, through the operation of the holy spirit and the ministrations of the apostles, more interests were placed in the church’s care. “Every one of us, however, has been entrusted with some charge, each in accordance with the extent of the gift of the Christ.” (Eph. 4:7, Twentieth Century) Many of these gifts are mentioned in Eph 4 verse 11: “He it is who gave to the church apostles, prophets, missionaries, pastors, and teachers.” All these gifts were for a specified purpose: “For the complete qualification of the saints for the work of service, in order to the building up of the body of the Anointed one.” (Eph 4 Verse 12, Diaglott) The apostles faithfully performed these services, and loyal service has been rendered at the end of the world where we now are. There have been among the millions of professing Christians a few who have fed the flock of God, kept the good and true Word of God before the people, who have strengthened those of the household of the Lord and preached “the kingdom of heaven is at hand”, all to the honor of the heavenly Father’s name. When the Lord Jesus Christ returned in power and glory to establish his Kingdom rule over all the earth, he was to find the faithful servant discharging his responsibilities in a manner pleasing to him. When with his disciples, he gave a parable which is also a prophecy pertaining to this very servant’s work, and showing what would happen. A consideration of this parable and appreciation of its fulfillment now brings joy, comfort and strength to God’s own people.
PARABLE OF “FAITHFUL AND WISE SERVANT”
5. Who appointed the “faithful and wise servant”, and what was it that so pleased the Lord on his return?
5 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath set over his household, to give them their food in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, that he will set him over all that he hath.” (Matt. 24:45-47, Am. Stan. Ver.) It will be observed that the prophecy does not pertain to just any servant, but to one who has been specially chosen, one “whom the master hath appointed over his household” (Roth.); “whom his master put in charge of his household.” (An Amer. Trans.) The chief service mentioned which had to receive attention was ‘to give food in due season’, or “to give the members of it their supplies at the proper time”. (An Amer. Trans.) By this servant’s faithfully, thoughtfully, loyally and prudently carrying out his assigned duties he received the approval of the master. “Happy that servant, whom his master, on coming, shall find thus employed!” (Matt. 24:46, Diaglott) Well pleased is the Lord and so is the servant. Following this commendation of the servant the master rewards him by entrusting much greater responsibilities to his care. “He will set him over all that he hath.” (Mt 24 Verse 47, Am. Stan. Ver.) “He will put him in charge of all his property.” (An Amer. Trans.) “He shall make him ruler over all his goods.”—King James Version.
6. When is this parable due for fulfillment, and what are some of the questions which come to the mind?
6 This parable’s prophetic fulfillment comes to pass at the second presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, at the end of the world. It is now being fulfilled, and therefore can be understood. Who then is the “faithful and wise servant”? Where is the “household”? How and when did the “master” come and approve the “servant”? What is meant by the “goods”, “property,” “possessions”? What is meant by being made “ruler over all his goods”? These questions and many more come to the mind of the reader. It is possible to understand the fulfillment of this parable now, and blessed are your eyes if you see.
7. Which portions of scripture in the parable help us to locate the time of fulfillment?
7 First, let us locate the time of the fulfillment. Mt 24 Verse 46 says ‘when his master returns’, and Mt 24 verse 44 states “the Son of Man is coming at a time when you do not expect him”. (An Amer. Trans.) It will be appreciated that the prophecies recorded in this 24th chapter of Matthew pertain to the end of the world. The Lord uses one of his own titles, “Son of man,” therefore making it obvious that he was referring to himself as the “master” of the household. The time is that of the second appearing of Christ, and in this evil world’s “time of the end”, or syntéleia, when his kingdom is due to commence its rule.
8. Who are the “anointed”? and what is meant by “anointed remnant”?
8 Who is responsible for seeing to it that the household is fed? On another occasion Jesus said to his followers, “‘Do you understand all this?’ They said to him, ‘Yes.’ He said to them, ‘Then remember that every scribe who has become a disciple of the Kingdom of Heaven must be like a householder who can supply from his storeroom new things as well as old.’” (Matt. 13:51, 52, An Amer. Trans.) These therefore are the “kingdom of heaven” class, the prospective members of the “bride of Christ”, those who are “in Christ”, as mentioned in Romans 12:5 (Am. Stan. Ver.): “So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and severally members one of another.” “For all the promises of God have their ‘Yes’ in Him; and therefore through Him also we utter the ‘Amen’ to the glory of God. But He who confirms us as well as you in union with Christ, and has anointed us, is God, and He has also set His seal upon us, and has put His spirit into our hearts as a guarantee.” (2 Cor. 1:20-22, Weymouth) They are of “the anointed”. This company is made up of 144,000 members (Rev. 14:1), whose calling began with the apostles and nears its completion at the second appearing of Jesus Christ. It is now about complete. Indeed only a small remnant of this company, generally known as the “anointed remnant”, is now left on earth. Such a class would be on the earth when the Lord returned, for so he taught.
9. Why is 1918 an important date? Explain the work prior to 1918.
9 The Lord Jesus Christ was enthroned as the new world’s King in 1914, as all the prophecies of old and facts of today testify. Earth’s greatest event then took place, for that is when the Most High God instructed his Son to ‘rule in the midst of his enemies’. (Ps. 110:1, 2) Then it was that action commenced in heaven to bring forward the Kingdom rule, this new power which will rule all nations. (Ps. 2; Rev. 12:5) Before this all-important date, there had been a preparatory work going on for years. The 40-year period of time (from 1878 to 1918) was foretold in Scripture prophecy, and generally has been referred to as the “Elijah” or “John the Baptist” work, and so named because it constitutes a large-scale, modern-day fulfillment of their prophetic works. “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Even as it it written in Isaiah the prophet, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ye ready the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” (Mark 1:1-3, Am. Stan. Ver.; Matt. 3:1-12) “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah come. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers; lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” (Mal. 4:5, 6, Am. Stan. Ver.) “And if ye are willing to receive it, this [John the Baptist] is Elijah, that is to come.” (Matt. 11:14, Am. Stan. Ver.) The way must be ‘prepared’ before the King appears. During the 40 years before 1918, as in the days of John the Baptist, the message delivered was strong, clear, comforting to the poor in spirit, denunciatory of proud doers and testifying to the Christ of God. The anointed people of God for more than 30 years before 1914 were announcing the nearness of the end of the “Gentile times”, and called upon the professed people of God to be ready for Jehovah’s service. Message after message was publicly announced, several millions of textbooks were published, many more millions of tracts were circulated—all to call the people’s attention to the fulfillment of prophecy and the urgency of being awake and watchful. The untiring, unselfish, wholehearted ministry of these faithful Christians was known to the “master” of the household, and he recognized them.
10. When was the Society organized, and what difficulties were experienced shortly after 1916?
10 It was in the year 1884 that these faithful servants organized and established the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, and began conducting through it all their ministrations. When the first president of this Society ended his earthly course in 1916, some who had been associated with the Lord’s anointed rebelled against the servants of God. Their covetous hearts found expression in evilspeaking against God’s loyal children, saying that the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society was no longer being used by the Lord, that they had the light and the servants of God should follow them. Amidst all this contention, evilspeaking, hard sayings, treacherous actions, betrayals and the persecutions and trials of World War I the faithful anointed continued to feed the household with proper spiritual food; and not once did they fail to publish the Watch Tower magazine.
11. What other great event happened in the year 1918, and with what results to the servants of God?
11 The church was certainly being tried, from without and from within. Then in 1918 the Lord Jesus Christ appeared at the temple for judgment. His angels gathered out of his Kingdom class those who were offending and working iniquity. “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and them that do iniquity, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He that hath ears, let him hear.” (Matt. 13:41-43, Am. Stan. Ver.) The great invisible Judge quickly disposed of these wicked ones, and at the same time brought forth his faithful ones. “Then will the righteous shine out like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom.” (Mt 13 Verse 43, Weymouth) By getting the rebels and wicked ones out of the way he could use his own people and let them ‘shine forth, for their light had come’. He approved these loyal servants, for regardless of all the problems, hindrances, trials and persecutions the anointed had gone right on with the work of feeding the sheep—and this always through the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society.
THE “FAITHFUL AND WISE SERVANT”
12. The faithful servant’s being approved resulted in what?
12 The master of the household said, ‘Happy is that servant . . . He shall make him ruler over all his goods.’ This servant’s privileges and responsibilities are now greatly enlarged, for, whereas he had been caring for the household in general, now added duties were laid upon him. He was appointed to have the complete management of all the master’s goods, the administration of all the property, possessions, lands and wealth. What could this now mean? What were the “goods”, “possessions,” “property” entrusted to this “faithful and wise servant”? Surely we immediately think of the greatest and most precious possession of the new world’s King, and that is, the Kingdom. But how could the Kingdom be given into the servant’s custody? Certainly it could not be that part of the Kingdom in heaven itself, for the anointed remnant is yet on earth. We find that this is exactly what it has to do with, the interests of the glorious Kingdom as they pertain now to this earth. That is, those Kingdom interests which are visible. Can it therefore really mean that the returned master who comes as earth’s new ruler has made this “faithful and wise servant” ruler over all the present earthly interests of his kingdom? That is exactly what it states, and certainly no less. ‘He shall make him ruler over all his possessions.’ Not only do we believe this, but give thanks to God and Christ day and night for his loving-kindness to the children of men.
13. (a) How are the “goods” administered, and through which organization? (b) What does this mean?
13 How are these interests cared for and administered? The answer, clearly, is by his anointed remnant through the organization he has so richly and unmistakably blessed during these 66 years, the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. Some readers may question this fact, but you are invited to consider the evidences and see for yourself it is true. Even at this point, can you think of another organization being used by God’s people wholly and solely in the doing of his work? Here is a company of anointed servants of the Lord God who have devoted their all to his holy service, and are now acting in complete faith, honoring his name, preaching the King and the Kingdom, feeding the flock, and using this same organization to accomplish these purposes. It may be comparatively easy to just say, ‘It is not so’; but can you name one other organization on earth today so engaged? You will find it is not possible. However, you will note that these statements are not mere assertions, but are facts and true. The Lord’s “faithful and wise servant” has proof to show that it is “the servant”, and once this has been established then those realizing it are compelled to make decisions as to their service. Can you, will you, continue to engage in services not authorized by or in harmony with the “ruler over all his goods”, or will you learn God’s way? You cannot do both. The “faithful and wise servant” is loyal and true, is blind and deaf to everything and everyone that would seek to cause division or hurt among the household, and this “servant” met with the Master’s favor. Then make your decision.
14. To whom do these interests really belong? Why so?
14 Jesus Christ is the head of this “faithful servant”, and all must recognize it. These most vital Kingdom interests are not just passed over or simply given away to the servant class to do with just as they wish. No, it is not like that at all. The “goods” still belong to Christ Jesus, the “ruler”, and he puts them in the servant’s care, in his custody. They are handed over as a trust. Furthermore, would it not be a strange thing if Christ had more than one “faithful and wise servant”? Suppose he had two, or more, and each contended he had the rulership over the possessions. There would be confusion; and God is not the author of confusion.
15. By what examples and reasons may we be sure there is only one “faithful and wise servant”?
15 There is only one Most High Jehovah, one Lord Jesus Christ, one holy spirit, one anointed company, one company of the Lord’s “other sheep”. There are not two Christs, and neither are there two anointed companies. So today there is only one “faithful and wise servant” class. Consider Jehovah’s past dealings. For example, Noah: He was the one chosen for that preflood work. To Abraham God gave the promise that his seed should possess the land and bless all families of the earth, not to two or three Abrahams. He used one man Moses to deliver, lead and give the law to Israel—not several men. The same can be said for Aaron the high priest, and for Jeremiah and his work. Of course, two can work in unison, like Elijah and Elisha, but certainly not with different commissions and against each other. By example and reason then we are forced to the conclusion that only one “faithful and wise servant” class has been entrusted with these all-important Kingdom possessions.
16. How did some view the “servant” receiving rulership over all the master’s “goods”? And what has happened?
16 Following the assigning of these goods to this “faithful servant” class after 1918, some disputed and said to those officers of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, who were representing the anointed remnant, “You are taking too much on yourselves. Who appointed you to this position?” “Where do you get your authority to assume you can now direct all the Lord’s work on earth?” Or, “We also are God’s people and have some rights, and we believe God still reveals his purposes through individuals irrespective of the servant body.” Such rebellious ones tried to organize all God’s people to act against the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, and hence against the “servant” body. They urged the children of God to separate and find their own paths or at least join them and they would feed and show them truths. And just where are those rebellious ones today? They are not to be found. It is just as though the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, as it did with Korah and the 250 princes of the congregation who joined in his rebellion against Moses, the servant of God. (Num. 16:1-35) Furthermore, at that time to settle the question of the appointment of high priest, Jehovah commanded a rod to be brought before him for each tribe, twelve in all, and he would cause one of the rods to bud, showing his appointment, and so put an end to the murmuring. It was Aaron’s rod that produced blossoms and bore ripe almonds. (Num. 17:1-11) It is the same today. The anointed remnant of Christ’s followers have not taken this responsibility upon themselves. Neither did they choose it. They were faithful to their duties and Christ rewarded them with added privileges and services. Anyone who questions who is the one appointed by the Master should look for the fruits. Whose “rod” has “budded”? Whose authority is bringing forth results? Surely the answer must be obvious; it is none other than this “faithful and wise servant”. Some may not have realized this, but the testimony is there and is sure.
17. Why should we eat only at the Lord’s table?
17 Continually and with promptness is the food from the storehouse supplied to the household. It is good, wholesome and nourishing, and the steady revealment of truths has made the household very happy and contented. It will keep on to the end, for the Great Provider, Jehovah, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Greater-than-Joseph, are the ones supplying the food. It is good to remember there is only one table of the Lord. Ample supply of excellent food is prepared and served there, and, if you know such to be the case, then why go nibbling at the table of those who are opposed to this wise steward of the Master’s provisions? You might get spiritual poison, for their food has not been Theocratically tested. Why be concerned with the meager dishes of those outside of God’s faithful household when there is so much to digest in the Lord’s house? Those who are without are not cooperating with the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society and therefore cannot help you, for they do not have the Lord’s blessing, and you will be dishonoring God the Provider. There are those who try serving up meals for the Lord’s people on their own tables independent of the Lord’s, but it is of no use, for once they have left the Lord’s household and set up housekeeping their food gets stale, and so do they; and, besides, consider the fateful results to those who treat the Lord’s table with contempt. (Mal. 1, 2) The safest way for the members of God’s household is to be content with the food of the Master’s providing and as served out by his “faithful and wise servant”. Masticate the food well, and you will rejoice and be strong.