[He] entrusted his belongings to them.
The parable of the talents reveals that the master gave to one slave five talents, to another two, and to still another just one. Although each slave received a different number, the master expected all of them to be diligent in using the talents, that is, in serving to the best of their ability in the ministry. In the first century, starting at Pentecost 33 C.E., Christ’s followers began doing business with the talents. Their diligence in the preaching and disciple-making work is well-documented in the Bible book of Acts. After the death of the apostles, Satan fomented apostasy, which flourished for many centuries. During that time, there were no sustained efforts to fulfill the commission to make genuine disciples of Christ. But that would all change during “the harvest,” that is, the last days.
The article upon which the daily text is based is part of a major revision of the Watchtower’s teaching on the parables of Jesus regarding the faithful and evil slaves, the wise and foolish virgins and the parable of the talents, which was considered in a Watchtower Review article.
For many decades the Watchtower taught that the master came to inspect his slaves in 1918 and that is when the parable of the talents was fulfilled. Supposedly Jesus settled accounts back then and appointed the faithful over all of his belongings. As recently as 2004 the Watchtower published the following explanation in an article entitled The Faithful Slave Passes the Test:
The parable continues: “After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.” In 1914—certainly a long time after 33 C.E.—Christ Jesus began his royal presence. Three and a half years later, in 1918, he came to God’s spiritual temple and fulfilled Peter’s words: “It is the appointed time for the judgment to start with the house of God.” It was time to settle accounts.
What had the slaves, Jesus’ anointed brothers, done with the King’s “talents”? From 33 C.E. onward, including the years leading up to 1914, many had been working hard at Jesus’ “business.” (Matthew 25:16) Even during the first world war, they had shown a strong desire to serve the Master. Now it was fitting to give faithful ones new opportunities to ‘do business.’ The time of the end of this system of things had arrived. The good news had to be preached worldwide. “The harvest of the earth” had to be reaped. The final members of the wheat class had to be located and “a great crowd” of other sheep gathered in.
In 2015, eleven years later, Bethel scrapped 1918 as the time of fulfillment and instead moved everything to the future, which is exactly what was put forward in the first edition of Jehovah Himself Has Become King, published in 2005.
However, although Jehovah’s Witnesses are now to expect a future settling of accounts with the master, the Watchtower inexplicably retains 1914 and 1918 as the coming of Christ and the inspection of the house of God.
Malachi 3:1-3 is a very important prophecy that relates to the coming of Christ. Here is what it says: “‘Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will clear up a way before me. And suddenly the true Lord, whom you are seeking, will come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant will come, in whom you take delight. Look! He will certainly come,’ says Jehovah of armies. ‘But who will endure the day of his coming, and who will be able to stand when he appears? For he will be like the fire of a refiner and like the lye of laundrymen. And he will sit as a refiner and cleanser of silver and will cleanse the sons of Levi; and he will clarify them like gold and like silver, and they will certainly become to Jehovah people presenting a gift offering in righteousness.”’
In their recent publication entitled God’s Kingdom Rules! celebrating a century since 1914, the prophecy of Malachi is attached to 1914. But is it reasonable that the messenger of the covenant has already come and yet has not settled accounts with his slaves? No. It is not reasonable at all. Nor is it scripturally supported. Consider that in the last book of the Hebrew Scriptures it speaks of the coming of the messenger of the covenant, using the word “come” and “coming” four times. In the last book of the Greek Scriptures, the very last chapter, the messenger states: “Look! I am coming quickly, and the reward I give is with me, to repay each one according to his work.”
So, according to Jesus his coming will result in the payment of the promised reward (and alternatively, punishment) to his slaves. But if Christ came in 1914, why is it that the rewarding of the slaves who wisely invested their master’s riches that were entrusted to them has not taken place yet? Worded differently, since according to the Watchtower’s own revised teaching regarding the master’s talents, Jesus did not come with his reward in 1914 or any time since then, why does the Watchtower still teach that Jesus has already come?
Isn’t it obvious that the Watchtower’s attachment to 1914 is irrational? It defies all reason. It is amazing to me that more JW’s cannot see through it. But it really is a testament to how powerful the delusion is. And as Paul said the “deluding influence” is something that God allows for a reason. It is not that Jehovah is the source of the delusion, but his allowance of it means that he will not intervene and overthrow it. No, Jehovah’s Witnesses are destined to remain under the influence of their “prophets” and “visionaries” upon whom Jehovah has poured a deep sleep (Isaiah 29:10) until the coming of Christ.