Wednesday, November 10
They will become one flock, one shepherd. —John 10:16.
Not all who have the hope of living in heaven are part of “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matt. 24:45-47) Just as in the first century, Jehovah and Jesus today are using a few brothers to feed, or teach, many. Only a few anointed Christians in the first century were used to write the Christian Greek Scriptures. Today, only a few anointed Christians have the responsibility to give God’s people “food at the proper time.” Jehovah has decided to give everlasting life on earth to the vast majority of his people and life in heaven to those few who will rule with Jesus. Jehovah rewards all his servants —the “Jew” as well as the “ten men”— and he requires them to obey the same laws and remain faithful. (Zech. 8:23) All must stay humble. All must serve him together and be united. And all must work to keep the peace in the congregation. As we get closer to the end, let us all keep serving Jehovah and following Christ as “one flock.” w20.01 31 ¶15-16
It is true, not all anointed Christians are expected to provide “food at the proper time” for the so-called domestics. Even so, it is also true that not even the few who claim to be faithful and discreet will be found by the master to have been faithful to their commission.
But the Watchtower certainly has the resources to reach many millions of persons and they are to be commended for providing basic supplies like Bibles and literature to assist ministers in teaching interested persons and making disciples. No company or organization in the world has produced as much literature in as many languages as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.
Paul explained God’s provisions in the first century and it is similar to what the text says, that not all anointed persons are assigned to provide spiritual food. Writing to the Corinthians the apostle said: “Now you are Christ’s body, and each of you individually is a member. And God has assigned the respective ones in the congregation: first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then powerful works; then gifts of healings; helpful services; abilities to direct; different tongues. Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they?” — 1 Corinthians 12:27-29
Obviously, a lot has changed from the original arrangement. There are no longer gifts of healing, or powerful works, or speaking in tongues. Despite the GB implying that they are apostles, the original apostles are still the apostles by virtue of the authority conveyed in their writings—especially Peter, John and Paul.
What about prophets? In his letter to the Ephesians Paul explained that Christ’s congregation was founded upon the apostles and prophets: “You are fellow citizens of the holy ones and are members of the household of God, and you have been built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, while Christ Jesus himself is the foundation cornerstone. In union with him the whole building, being harmoniously joined together, is growing into a holy temple for Jehovah.” — Ephesians 2:19-21
Although Paul was the foremost Christian prophet, the prophets upon which the house of God is being constructed are primarily the Hebrew prophets.
Paul instructed the Corinthians not to speak in tongues in the congregation unless there is an interpreter. Paul said that he preferred that they prophesy an intelligible message in order to build up the hearer. Whatever messages the Christian prophets spoke back then have not been written down and preserved. It was food at the proper time then, not now. (The only exception is Agabus, who foretold a severe famine and Paul being arrested in Jerusalem.)
Again, though, there are no Christian prophets now, not in the sense that unique, divinely inspired messages are conveyed through them. Just as the apostles are still the apostles within Christ’s congregation the Hebrew prophecies are still the word of God. Since God’s word is alive all the things written ages ago are alive too and not dead history. As Paul explained to the Hebrews: “For the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints from the marrow, and is able to discern thoughts and intentions of the heart.” — Hebrews 4:12
Whether in the first century or now, the messaging within the Christian congregation is ultimately controlled by Christ. If there is a slave who has been appointed to provide food at the proper time for it, then the head of the congregation must be involved in determining what that food is and the holy spirit must guide the process. Conversely, if it is not food at the proper time then the slave will not discern it. As Paul pointed out, the congregation is built upon the apostles and prophets. According to the apostle God allows for an operation of Satan to go into effect within the spiritual temple. So, along with the food at the proper time is a lie. A very big lie.
The prophet Isaiah foretold that God would hide some very important information from those who function as the spiritual guides of his people. It matters not how many helpers there are on the Teaching Committee or whatever. If God has hidden the truth they will not be able to uncover it no matter how deeply they study the Scriptures. Did not Jehovah declare: “And the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the understanding of their discreet men will be hidden.” — Isaiah 29:14
Since the Governing Body claims they are the wise and discreet few, God’s word most aptly applies to them. Take the comments from today’s text for example. For decades the Watchtower has applied Zechariah 8:23 to modern times. It is true, the “Jew” represents anointed persons (more correctly sealed ones) and the 10 men symbolize the sheep who do good to Christ’s brothers. However, at the present time, the true sons of God have not been distinguished. Jesus foretold that within his congregation prior to the day of the Lord there are those who say they are apostles but who are lying. They are really Jews who belong to the synagogue of Satan. What if some of the men from the nations take hold of the robe of a Jew from the Devil’s synagogue?
Take the JW Broadcast for November as another example of the blindness of the food providers. The Governing Body teaches that the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled now; that instead of copper God is bringing in gold and instead of iron, silver. This supposedly represents the organizational improvements that have been implemented over recent decades. But if we read the prophecy in context we ought to discern that the rebuild takes place after the destruction, a destruction that God brings upon His own organization. God states at Isaiah 60:10: “For in my indignation I struck you, but in my favor I will have mercy on you.”
There are many reasons God is indignant. And the expression of His indignation is called the great tribulation. First must come the crash of nations and the desolation of the antitypical Jerusalem. Then Christ will build back better and only the divinely approved will be able to enter into the real Kingdom of God. That is the message of the apostles and prophets.