Those of the 144,000 who are still alive on earth. They are also referred to as the remnant. As of 2009 there were about 10,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses who identified themselves as members of this group by partaking of the bread and wine at the annual observance of the Memorial.
Starting in 2012, the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses declare that they alone, and not all of those of the 144,000 who were still on earth comprised the faithful and discreet slave.
Jehovah’s Witnesses tie the faithful and discreet slave from Matthew 24:451 with the 144,000 from Revelation 7:1-8. The interpretation of this is that for Jehovah’s Witnesses, their spiritual food comes from Jehovah through the faithful and discreet slave. They are considered to be God’s channel of communication with mankind.
The faithful and discreet slave doctrine is central to the power structure of the Jehovah’s Witness organization. Matthew 24:46, 47 says, “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.” Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught that means that the faithful and discreet slave were appointed by the Master (Jesus) over them after Jesus returned invisibly in 1914 and found that slave properly feeding the domestics.
Once one of the other sheep accepts the faithful and discreet slave doctrine, they will accept almost any teaching that comes from the faithful and discreet slave, virtually without question. Questioning the teachings of the faithful and discreet slave opens one up to charges of apostasy.
- Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? [↩]