Who is the “Faithful and Discreet Slave”?

A Mini-Survey

Time for some fun and a little friendly debate…

We want your opinion on this confusing subject:

Just who exactly is the “faithful and discreet slave” described in Matthew 24:45-47 that reads: “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. Truly I say to you, He will appoint him over all his belongings.”

So tell us what you think or how you understand this Watchtower teaching. Let do it in two steps:

  1. Simply answer the poll below that is based on common descriptions of the FDS as taught by the Watchtower Society and as understood (or misunderstood) by most Jehovah’s Witnesses. Let us know what you think.
  2. After you take the poll, feel free to share your opinion and/or comments in the discussion section below.

[poll id=”2″]

42 thoughts on “Who is the “Faithful and Discreet Slave”?

  • October 19, 2011 at 10:58 am

    I took the leap and started this mini-survey. Now it’s your turn. Pick an answer and then share your own thoughts right here. Let’s get this ball a’rollin’!

  • October 20, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Originally, it was taught that Charles Taze Russell was the “Faithful and Discreet Slave” (FDS) but later that was changed to the “composite body” of all “anointed” on earth at any given time. (Never mind that both can’t be true …). Nevertheless, it is in reality just a JW myth and the real power lies in the hands a few men in the leadership positions which today is probably synonymous with the Governing Body and their legal advisors. It doesn’t seem like Jesus has much to do with it and it is absolutely certain that 99.9% those professing to be “anointed” today are completely uninvolved in any way, shape or form in providing the parabolic spiritual “food” with which they are allegedly charged with dispensing.

  • October 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    After 85 votes on this survey, so far not one person has selected “C. T. Russell.” That’s strange after reading this quote directly from the Watchtower:

    “Thousands of the readers of Pastor Russell’s writings believe that he filled the office of ‘that faithful and wise servant,’ and that his great work was giving to the household of faith meat in due season. His modesty and humility precluded him from openly claiming this title, but he admitted as much in private conversation.” – Watchtower 12/1/1916, page 357

    Eleven years later in 1927, J. F. Rutherford, president of the Watchtower Society, explained that the “Slave” was not an individual, but a group of people made up of Jesus and the 144,000. It was only then that C. T. Russell was knocked off of his lofty position as the “Faithful Slave.”

  • October 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I don’t think it’s at all strange that no one picked CT Russell since the doctrine was changed in 1927. How many ex- and active JWs do you suppose were around BEFORE 1927? Even still, they would hold to the later teaching?

    • October 21, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      Actually, Daniel, I was trying to point out the irony of the lack of votes for Charles Taze Russell, first president and founder of the Watch Tower Society and the magazine. I’m sure that a majority of modern JWs have no idea that for nearly 50 years of early Watchtower history Russell was considered to be both “Laodicean Messenger” and the “Faithful and Discreet Slave.”

  • October 21, 2011 at 11:52 am

    “The Watchtower Society’s official view of ‘the
    faithful and discreet slave’ was presented by legal
    counsel for the Watchtower Society on October
    11, 2011, during a criminal court hearing in
    Victoria, Australia’s Latrobe Valley Magistrates’
    Court, where Rachel van Witsen from the
    Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia’s
    in-house law firm Vincent Toole Solicitors stated
    on behalf of the Watchtower Society that: ‘The
    faithful and discreet slave is not a legal entity.’
    The solicitor then presented arguments that the
    “faithful and discreet slave” should be viewed as a
    ‘theological arrangement’ and that it does not
    exist as a ‘person,’ as an ‘unincorporated body,’ or
    as a ‘body’ of Christians.”

  • October 25, 2011 at 10:43 am

    The following webpage is the internet’s BEST resource for information about Charles Taze Russell, the WatchTower Society, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. This webpage contains the internet’s BEST History Summary of the WatchTower Society and JWs, PLUS the internet’s FIRST and ONLY “FINANCIAL BIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL”. Both histories contain new info not found elsewhere on the internet:


  • November 5, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    I voted for the 144,000 although I not really sure. I don’t be Jesus has come invisible (parasia) and selected his F&DS.

  • December 31, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Pleese forgive my keeybord is screwed-up;I spell however it’ll work et the time;n some keys don’t work -It does limit my posts,which some know is good thing….I do run on et times.2 Cor.12;7

  • December 31, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    My posts aren’t sticking. This is a test.

  • December 31, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    I picked the last option because of it’s first half, “I don’t know.” However the last half, “I don’t care,” does not apply to me. Perhaps there could be one more choice that says “I don’t know, but would like to.”

    As to the Society’s definition that the FDS is the ‘remnant of the 144.000 left on earth at any given time’ as a class, I have long felt this makes no sense. The FDS is shown in the scripture to be feeding the domestics. The domestics are viewed by the Watchtower as being the individual members of the 144,000 left on earth, aka the FDS. In effect the FDS and the domestics are the same thing. It is sometimes explained by JWs that the FDS is like the forest, but the domestics are like the individual trees.

    The FDS then is actually feeding itself. When compared to a teaching that the Watchtower vigorously rejects, the Trinity, there seems to be a double standard at work on the part of the Watchtower. John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

    JWs will very quickly explain that if the Word was with God, the Word can’t be God. The language clearly shows two different individuals. By the same logic, if the FDS is feeding the domestics, how can they be the same group of people? The language clearly shows two different entities.

    To me, this is a glaring example of a double standard in Watchtower logic.

  • January 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I said the Governing Body although I know it’s offcially the whole living anointed members/memorial partakers. BUT, seeing as the vast majority of these are never consulted and themselve can be easily disfellowshipped for disagreeing, I think the FDS are the GB AND their unanointed body of writers and researchers and translators. I don’t know. But it sure can’t be the anointed as a whole.

  • August 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Really, there are just too many parables that Jesus tells, too many brief references, and to take the very brief scripture about a faithful and discreet slave and turn that into a whole teaching really seems unfounded. I think they over step their responsibility there.

  • September 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    One parable has been used to justify the fact that a group of eight imperfect men excercise mind control over seven million followers….they make us keep
    parroting their words that the faithful slave are all the annointed ones…yet we know the reality is that the faithful slave is the Governing Body and a few company men at the headquarters…the Governing Body clearly said that they have no interest ,don’t need to know the rest of the annointed…who not only part of the slave class but also their ‘brothers’ ,

  • October 14, 2012 at 2:51 am

    It’s all just confusing. I feel like all they do is explain and explain until they’re blue in the face and because you’re still confused and want them to stop talking you just accept it.

  • October 20, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    It is not confusing at all if you do your personal research on the Watchtower Society and the Scriptures.
    After more than 30 years in this cult i just don’t attend any meetings anymore as it is all about mind control and subliminal pictures in every Watchtower and Awake!
    Well i suggest you look under MK ultra mind control to find out more!
    If you ask me about the faithful and discreet slave, the Governing Body made themselves now to God’s over the whole organization!
    There heresy will come back to them.

  • October 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Not real sure about this one…I sort of feel it could mean anyone who takes any spiritual lead with people. But then in my opinion, it’s their encouragement and guidance that are important…not pushing beliefs – lock stock and barrel on to others. I can remember reading Ezekiel 34 a lot when I was working hard on ‘getting out.’ It talks about shepherds not feeding their sheep. Letting them feed on that which they had trodden down and had fouled under their feet. Made me think about how they treated me when I was having mental and emotional problems. No one cared within many congregations that I eventually ended up going too. Some were better than others. A couple were really terrible. But in Ezekiel I relate to how God himself ‘gathered’ me out of the JW’s…along with a close friend. What a story I could tell about how we managed to come out together. I was a single mother so I was under more direct control of the elders. They were not good shepherds to me. I took verse 11 to heart, “For thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I myself, even I , will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.” I like verse 12 too…talks about being “scattered in the cloudy and dark day.” Definitely describes how it feels to be in deep depression. Not trying to interpret the scriptures for others…its just that this chapter really ‘spoke to me’ when I was coming out. It helped so, so much. I read this chapter almost every day for a while. It just seemed to apply to my situation. But to me the FDS can be anyone who takes a spiritual lead. That can be priests, ministers, even online spiritual leaders. I think the folks behind this website are doing a fantastic job. I believe our Creator is smiling down here on you guys and others who are helping exJWs. – providing a great place for many people to come together to share and to heal their spirituality.

  • December 19, 2012 at 9:18 am

    The faithful and Discreet Slave is anyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and who is eagerly following His commandments….Like the scripture says “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” We must always be ready waiting for Him….doing His work….being examples…reading His Word…praying and fasting….always praising Him….

  • December 28, 2012 at 9:29 am

    I’d have picked “I don’t know and I do care”.

  • December 28, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I guess we may all be faithful slaves but what food are we feeding to whom? I’ve never been sure…

  • December 29, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Did it ever occur to anyone that “Who REALLY…is the Faithful and Discrete Slave? Might well be the Scant few and rare Elders and Overseers who remain faithful to Jehovah and his commands instead of “Unity” to Criminals and Cowards both in the Congregation and in New York? And that the “Appointment over his belongings” will take place shortly but not in this System? Isn’t that a supreme test of loalty? The Bible over the Commands of Men?

  • January 10, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I didn’t become a JW because I cared about these “special dates. I always thought; “How could anyone know ‘the day or the hour’?” I’m so ready to let go of dates. didn’t JC tell us to live with Jah’s day in mind, but to still also eat, drink, marry, live life etc? JW’s taught me to read my bible, I think there is something special about that book. It still helps me to figure things out. I’d love it if we all got back to that simple idea.

  • January 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    All I know is that the identity of the FDS will be known after the great tribulation.

  • March 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    I chose all faithful chritians from all religions,even though I do not attend or believe in mainstream christian religions entirely. I am not sure really ,It could be a parable?? but did not want to be lumped with “do not care”. I would say anyone faithful who is spreading the word, helping others learn and giving them needed friendship and councel when needed . Anyone who slaves for the Father and Son can be considered a FDS it seems, but I can not really say for sure. It seems the GB has used it for a power grab for a long time now . . . little by little the grip gets tighter and more imposing, hence the words that follow about slave being evil ext . . .

  • March 14, 2013 at 6:29 am

    If ANYONE was the F$DS, it would be Jesus Apostles. But when they died out, it was gone and the ‘Evil’ slave took over

  • April 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Well, its official – the FDS are now the eight members of the Govening Body in NY. I left the JWs 20 years ago but have held dear the principals instilled in me. It is very sad that I am now seeing something I valued become closer to a cult that I ever believed it could. Self appointed Pope’s won’t cut if you read your bible.

  • July 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    I know for a fact I have slipped in a few doctrines without the so called governing body aware .And these have been taken on by them as food at the proper time ,1 that comes to mind regarding sister,s wearing head dress when signing I have also designed magazine covers as well and these have been accepted as food at the proper time I did this as a test and my expectations were not disappointed.This is how I know for a fact that the whole thing is a lot of lies either that or I must be the faithful slave.I don’t agree with empowering these people by acknowledging myself to be an apostate because I disagree with them ,that would be letting them win a mind game which we all know they love to play,overall I consider these people to be the most misinformed and destructive people ever to walk the face of earth.

  • August 21, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Who knows? It is interesting that Jesus is asking a question. Who is the slave? Seems to me it’s one of his parables.

  • September 21, 2013 at 7:46 am

    That is one of the most intriguing and jaw-dropping paragraphs I have read!
    Thank you so much for sharing those comments…

  • September 21, 2013 at 7:48 am

    I was, of course, referring to anointedEliakim’s comments…

  • October 28, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I don’t think anyone knows the answer to this question. The JW’s only ever quote this one scripture in solitary verse not in context so how the hell are we to know what the writer of this scripture meant? I think the Watchtower only chose what scriptures they would support their twisted beliefs, not reading what the Bible actually meant to say. I personally do not try to disprove or figure out the JW belief system because it is a waste of valuable time. All I know, need to know is that their cult is a bunch of crap. A foundation of crap!

  • December 25, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    LOL. I got it wrong… I never understood this ‘story’. It was always ridiculous to me. Just like one of Aesop’s fables. My parents never understood it either and now it has changed!…Absolute lunacy..:0. Good Luck with that one Governing Body!!

  • December 28, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Charles Taze Russell, himself, never claimed to be the “faithful and wise servant”. However, he did allow that view to flourish.

    Russell did not believe in any human “central authority” such as Rutherford claimed after Russell died. Just before his death, he published in The Watch Tower, August 15, 1916, page 248:

    “Let it be borne in mind that the Society exercises no authority, makes no criticism, but merely gives advice; and that in the interest of the Lord’s Cause and the Lord’s people.”

    This all changed after Rutherford became president of the WTS; he immediately introduced new “by-laws” that effectually destroyed the WTS as Russell had meant for it to be, and replaced it with a new WTS that Rutherford could slowly use to create a religious organization with a centralized human authority.

  • March 1, 2014 at 2:58 am

    Many seem to forget that Jesus says, “But if ever that evil slave should say in his heart, ‘My master is delaying,’ and should start to beat his fellow slaves and should eat and drink with the confirmed drunkards, the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect and in an hour that he does not know, and will punish him with the greatest severity and will assign him his part with the hypocrites.

    There is where they weeping and the gnashing of teeth will be.” (Matt 24:48-51; Luke 12:30)

  • March 1, 2014 at 3:04 am

    The Bible counsels, “Make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) Fine food is the true Christian’s staple. By making sure of what is fine, he or she can survive spiritually. At times, this may require an honest appraisal of the food to determine if there is any value in its eating.

    The apostle John writes, “Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

    Are the GB the false prophets under the control of Satan?
    I believe that anyone reading the Bible would not as they do, unless they are otherwise instructed!

  • March 27, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    I would say in my understanding at present that the understanding of the organization on the matter of the faithful and discreet slave is not perfectly clear.they have changed theirunderstanding of this text three different times which in itself shows that they themselves dont have a clear understanding. Also to call yourself by such a highly esteemed title shows in some ways an absence of humility. Its the difference between taking something as yours and having that title bestowed on you by Christ when he arrives. Romans 12:16 “Do not become discreet in your own eyes”. I would venture to say that there is an evil slave and faithful slave coexisting in the same house up until the arrival of Christ. The evil slave has consistently beat his fellow slaves and the defenseless sheep out of the house. If this is spiritual israel the prophecies of spiritual Israel must apply. The worthless shepherds of the house of Israel. (Ezekiel 34) Im sorry you ceders and all of you brothers and sisters have had to experience this.

  • March 27, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Also just a second thought. The reality of the matter is your going ahead of Christ if these men calls themselves the faithful and discreet slave and if jehovahs witnesses are led into calling them that and singing songs over them without anyonetrying to supress that idolatrous reverence then they to are going ahead of Christ. Its very serious to jehovah to give undue reverence or idolatrous loyalty to anything other than him. It’s the first commandment. You shall have no other gods before my face. The title of the faithful and discreet slave has become synonymous with Jehovah himself.. When the end comes the elders and the governing body believe me, are in for the surprise of a lifetime.

  • April 16, 2014 at 8:26 am

    They are the ones that come out of the Great Tribulation.

    They are known as the great crowd also, why do I say this?
    Because only the Chosen ones receive salvation =
    ( forgiveness of sins) symbolic white robe.

    The time of the Great Tribulation and its duration is known only to them.
    Christ comes during this time and ministers to them making them aware,(times & seasons) and gets them to prepare for the start of Jehovah’s day beginning.

    They will be the F/Slave appointed to feed the other sheep that pass their test of not worshipping the wild beast.

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