In his “Serpent” book FS states: “Russell did healing with magic handkerchiefs.”
No proof is ever offered of this, nor is there any mention anywhere in his writings of his employing such “healing” method. Again it appears that FS is simply made this up and assumed such and presented his assumptions as though they were fact.
Someone else stated that Russell spoke of healing handkerchiefs in the July 1888 Watch Tower. What did Russell actually say there?
Notice also the apostles. They too had the gift of healing as well as privileges of prayer, but they never used these for themselves. In all the records we find no instance of the exercise of the gift of healing on behalf of any of the apostles or any of the church; nor have we any record of prayer for health, or other earthly blessings, being offered by any of them for themselves or each other, except in one case–that of Paul (2 Cor. 12:7-9); and his request was not granted, but he was told that instead he should have a sufficiency of grace to compensate and enable him to bear it patiently. This should strike the attention of all.
Though Paul’s request for himself was refused — God seeing that Paul’s affliction of weak eyes could be made to work out to his glory and Paul’s advantage — yet his gift to heal others was marvelous: “And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul, so that from his body were brought unto the sick, handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them.” (Acts 19:12) Yet, mark the fact that though there is no account of the healing of the sick among the early disciples, it was not because they were not sick, for several instances of sickness are recorded. Paul writes to Timothy, “Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick;” and again he writes to Timothy, who was evidently often troubled with weak digestion or dyspepsia, to use wine as a medicine; saying, “Use no longer water [exclusively], but take a little wine for thy stomach’s sake, and for thine often infirmities.” (1 Tim. 5:23.) In neither of these cases did Paul send handkerchiefs or aprons from his person, nor does he mention either praying for their recovery, or advice to them to so pray. Evidently these cases should teach us that the gifts of healing, and prayer for the recovery of the sick were used, not upon the saints, but rather through them upon others, for the purpose of calling attention to the apostles and their teachings as being approved by God.
Did Russell here speak of himself as using “healing handkerchiefs”? Actually, all Russell did quote the Bible itself at Acts 19:12, which speaks of handkerchiefs in connection with the healing through Paul. If this is what FS refers to, then he is really making this accusation against the apostle Paul, not Charles Taze Russell. Nevertheless, FS must have been aware of this if he knew something of this, and if he did, then he is willfully misrepresenting the facts. This leads us to think that the spirit behind FS statements is the devil and his demons. FS appears to be claiming to be working in harmony with the spirit of light, the spirit of truth, when in actuality his words show that the spirit behind him is a spirit of deception.
True, as we have frequently pointed out, those who live near to the Lord, and who are guided by his counsel respecting moderation in word, in thought, in act, are better prepared than others to withstand disease, or if attacked by disease are better prepared to recover from it, and on the whole we believe that the Lord’s consecrated people enjoy much better health after than before giving themselves fully to the Lord, seeking to live according to his standard. But this, we take it, is generally the result of a better course of living, rather than the interposition of divine providence. Looking back to the days of the Apostles, we find that there is no record that the Lord or the Apostles ever healed the infirmities of the consecrated ones. Our Lord and also the Apostles healed the multitudes, but not the disciples. And the Apostle Paul, who sent handkerchiefs and napkins to the sick, far and near (Acts 19:12), sent no napkin or handkerchief or anointing oil to Timothy when he was sick. On the contrary, he advised the use of wine medicinally, and remarked that Timothy’s ailment was not a trifling nor a temporary one, but rather a chronic disorder–“thine often infirmities.” (1 Tim. 5:23.)
It should be self-evident that Russell was again speaking of the apostle Paul, not of himself, as the one who was using handkerchiefs related to healing. And again, FS would, in effect, be speaking against the apostle Paul, not Russell.
Another place in Russell’s works that we have found a reference to handkerchiefs related to healing is in one of Russell’s Sermons, entitled “An Uninspired Record” (Referring to Mark 16:17,18, which Russell considered to be an interpolation), in which he stated:
The times of Restitution have not yet come, and will not come, as the Apostle points out, until the second advent of our Lord. (Acts 3:19-21) Now we are in the time when work the very reverse of this is in operation-a sacrificing work. All will admit that our Lord did not use His healing powers on His own behalf, but that, on the contrary, He sacrificed, laid down, His life in the service of truth and righteousness; that in three and a half years He so spent His vitality-when “virtue went out of Him and healed them all”-that at the time of His crucifixion He was very weak, as evidenced by the bloody sweat and the fact that He was not able to bear His own cross as did the others in the procession. All will admit that the apostles did not use their powers for their own restoration, nor have we any record of their ever praying for the healing of themselves or for each other to be healed of disease.
Even when Trophimus was sick, nigh unto death, the Apostle makes no intimation of prayer for his healing; and when Timothy had dyspepsia, instead of praying for his restoration of health, or sending him a blest handkerchief or napkin, the Apostle wrote him respecting his diet, “for thy stomach’s sake and thy often infirmities.” (1 Tim. 5:23) All must admit, then, that the healings were done upon those outside the Church, and evidently were for a time only, and would constitute no basis that the Church should expect miraculous intervention on behalf of its members. Quite to the contrary, these were all exhorted to lay down their lives, to seek not to spare them, save them, which implied not praying for their deliverance from those diseases or ailments which came to them as the result of their self-denials, services, self-sacrifices. Rather they were to delight in these, while exercising a reasonable prudence and care, which would make the most of all earthly advantages as a part of the stewardship to be used in the service of the Master.
Again, there is nothing in this record that states any about Russell ever using “healing handkerchiefs.” Russell does mention the apostle Paul, evidently referring again to Biblical record as recorded in Acts 19:12, only in this case Russell makes the point that Paul did not employ any kind of miraculous healing, including using handkerchiefs, with Timothy. It is obvious that again Russell is not referring to himself as using any kind of healing by means of handkerchiefs, but that he was referring to the apostle Paul. Nevertheless, it would appear that FS’ complaint is against the apostle Paul, and not Charles Taze Russell.
When Lazarus fell sick, the sisters sent Him word, “He whom Thou lovest is sick.” They manifested their faith and submission also as to what answer would come –as to whether He would simply send word, or bless a handkerchief, or what not. They felt that He would care for them–being a special friend of the family.
Here Russell was speaking of Jesus, not himself, as blessing a handkerchief. Evidently, Russell was reasoning that if the apostle of Jesus could heal via handkerchiefs, surely the Master could do so, although we do not have any scripture that shows that Jesus actually ever blessed a handkerchief. Nevertheless, Russell was not speaking of himself, but of Jesus, evidently based on what the scripture says about Paul, an apostle of Jesus.
The last reference we have found is to that in the Volume 6 of Studies in the Scriptures, page 663, where we find the following that Russell wrote concerning the apostle Paul:
as the record shows, never once was this healing power used in his own relief, nor in the relief of any of those who are set before us as the saints, the fully consecrated. Nor was this because the saints of that time were free from disease: on the contrary, we know that Timothy had what we would now designate chronic dyspepsia, or indigestion, and Epaphroditus was not hindered from being sick, yea, “nigh unto death,” not because of sin, but, as the Apostle explains, “because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death,” hazarding his life. (Phil. 2:25-30) We know not what special foods or medicines the Lord was pleased to bless in the latter case; but in respect to the former one the Apostle neither prayed nor sent a handkerchief or napkin to cure the ailment, but wrote to Timothy, saying, “Use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake, and thine often infirmities.” (1 Tim. 5:23)
While handkerchief and healing are mentioned in the above quotes, we do not find in any of them any idea that Russell used “healing handkerchiefs,” nor do we find any expression that Russell advised anyone else to use “healing handkerchiefs.”
Below are links to sites that are spread the “healing handkerchiefs” deception concerning Charles Taze Russell, as well as many other falsehoods, distortions of facts, misrepresentations, etc., which of course, we do not agree with. Most of the material presented on the pages linked to below have been exposed either in this site, the ctr.reslight.net site, or the rlctr.blogspot.com site.
WARNING! The material presented on the sites listed below presents many deceptions, lies, distortions, misrepresentations, etc.!