Is it true what they say?
The claim is made that Russell “introduced occultism into his religion by teaching that the pyramids in Egypt are divine omens.” This falsehood has even been placed in a book, entitled, Spiritual Rape Exposing the Hidden. (page 14)
The statement and often its context have been quoted over and over across many forums on the web, and although many have pointed out the falsity of the statements, the site owners continue to display such statements of deception, thus promoting such false claims. However, we find that almost every sentence misrepresents the facts, putting the matter politely.
The statement quoted above contains at least two errors, and appears on several sites:
(1) Russell did not introduce “occultism” into his religion, not unless you mean that he adopted the religion of the Bible, which the Bible itself states remains a secret to the world. This would reflect a usage of the word occult as simply meaning secret, not related to heathen occultism.
(2) Russell did not teach that “the pyramids in Egypt are divine omens.”
Russell’s study of the Great Pyramid (not “pyramids” — plural) in Egypt had nothing to do with demonic /heathen occultism, nor with pagan heathen worship. The word “occultism” is defined as “a belief in supernatural powers and the possibility of bringing them under human control.” The implication of the the word in most Christian circles is that demonic spirits are used, a form of witchcraft (crafty wisdom). Russell never believed in, nor taught such an idea. Indeed, he was very active in warning against forms of witchcraft, occultism, spiritism (talking with the dead), etc.
Russell never spoke of any pyramid in Egypt as being a “divine omen.”
It is claimed that Russell taught that “they [the pyramids of Egypt]” contained prophetic secrets known only to him.” Again, the false idea of “pyramids” — plural — is presented. Russell was interested in only one pyramid, not pyramids.
I have not been able to find where he ever made such a claim that the Great Pyramid contained prophetic secrets known only to him. Of course, in what he had found in his studies that added to, or was different from, what others had written before him, he could have claimed that what he had written did have information not found in the studies of authors before him. He never claimed sole proprietorship on the study of the Great Pyramid, however, as can be seen by his announcements and recommendations of the Edgars’ studies on the Great Pyramid (which did not fully agree with his own conclusions as presented in the Studies in the Scriptures).
The phrase is used that Russell was “convinced of their [the pyramids of Egypt] mystic power.” First, Russell was not convinced of any mystic power of any pyramid in Egypt, and certainly not “pyramids” [plural]. He never wrote of any “mystic power” associated with the Great Pyramid, or any other pyramid. This is totally a false and misleading statement, designed to malign and misrepresent what Russell actually did teach.
It is additionally claimed that one of Russell’s “strangest” revelations from pyramids [plural] was concerning the year 1914. It is further claimed that the year 1914 was “based on his measurements of the interior passageways of the pyramids [plural].” The author persists in in several false statement here. First, the years 1914 was not “based” on the interior passageways of the pyramids [plural], nor even on the passageways of the Great Pyramid [singular]. N. H. Barbour arrived at the date based on several prophetic statements of the Bible, not from the measurements of the Great Pyramid, although some measurements of the Great Pyramid were found to corroborate the date..
It is further claimed that Russell had said that 1914 would be the end of the world. Russell never made such a statement. Search as one may, he never spoke of the “end of the world” as coming in 1914. Early in the year 1914, due to some making such a claim for him, he presented an article in “Bible Student Monthly”:
Note that Russell plainly states that he was not expecting the “end of the world” in 1914. The main things that he was expecting were the end of the Gentiles Times and the beginning of the time of trouble.
One could claim some of Russell’s statements before 1904 to mean that he was expecting the end of the world in 1914, although even before 1904 Russell was not expecting what many thought of as the “end of the world” in 1914, nor did he view anything he said as meaning that the world was to end in 1914. Nevertheless, before 1904, Russell was expecting that 1914 would bring the end of the time of trouble; in 1904, however, he reversed that, so he came to understand that the end of the Gentile Times would see, not the end of the time of trouble, but rather the beginning of the time of trouble.
Then we are presented with another false claim that “when his 1914 date for the end of the world failed, he tried to cover his tracks.” Of course, since Russell was not expecting the end of the world to come in 1914, he had nothing to cover up regarding such.
As an alleged proof that Russell tried to cover up his tracks, the author of the page presents excerpts from two different editions of Thy Kingdom Come, one from 1897 and another 1916, along with either deliberate or ignorant misrepresentation of the facts. The end result is a deception, regardless of whether deliberate or not. The presentation of the two editions in the manner presented is with evident design to make it appear that since the end of the world did not come in 1914, that Russell, upon having realized this error, in the year 1916, he changed the measurement of the floor of the descending passageway. The fact is that Russell had made this change long before 1914, and this change was noted in the The Watch Tower of September 15, 1909. Thus, this change does NOT at all represent any cover-up concerning 1874 or 1914. Russell still kept both dates, and continued to believe until the day he died that Jesus had returned invisibly in 1874 and the Gentile Times did indeed end in 1914. And thus a deception is actually being presented, since this change in the book, Thy Kingdom Come, was made, not in 1916, as one is led to believe by the statement given, but as early as the 1905 edition of Thy Kingdom Come, nine years before, not after 1914.
Then we are given a reference to the “Chart of the Ages” which is alleged to “promote his strange mix of of biblical theology and occultic pyramidology.” The “Chart of the Ages”, however, of itself, has nothing at all to do with “pyramidology”, or the “Great Pyramid”. Like many similar charts, it does utltlize pyramids to not the progression of God’s purposes as given in the Bible. The chart was Russell’s method of giving a eye’s view of the divine plan as presented in the scriptures as he understood it.
This is also followed with that statement that this is Russell’s occult chart that is still being used by Jehovah’s Witnesses today. Two more deceptions are being spread upon the public. The chart has nothing whatsoever to do with spiritualistic occultism, nor do the Jehovah’s Witnesses still use this chart today, as the JWs reject Russell’s teachings on the Divine Plan of the Ages.
More on this can be found at:
Originally published April 2008, updated and republished April 2014.
Blizard’s site makes the following assertion:
Russell recommended his followers read the book, Angels and Women.He personally supervised its editing and said it was beneficial because it throws light on certain Biblical subjects.
What are the facts?
In 1878, a book by the name “Seola,” written by Mrs. J. G. Smith, was published. It was evidently written as a fiction novel, but some state that Smith claimed to have written it in under the influence of the spirit world. In view of what is reported to be in the book, this is very probable, since it is reported that Mrs. Smith would probably not have had the knowledge presented in the book except by such an influence. Thus, it is claimed that Mrs. Smith wrote the book through what is often called “automatic writing,” which is a form of spiritism in which a spirit actually does the writing through a human being.
In 1924, another book was published by the A.B. ABAC Company, of New York, entitled “Angels and Women,” which is based on the earlier book by J. G. Smith. As far as I have been able to determine, contrary to what is being stated on several sites, this book was never published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, nor by the International Bible Students Association.
This later book was not exactly the same as the book “Seola,” but the book “Angels and Women” is an edited version of the earlier book. I am still not sure who edited this later book, but there is a reference to a “Bible Student” who was “a personal friend of Pastor Russell.” This comes from a review of the book as presented in The Golden Age magazine (this magazine was not printed in Russell’s day), thus the “Bible Student” was probably actually a follower of Rutherford and Rutherford’s new teachings and organization. Of course, Rutherford himself had been a personal friend of Russell’s before Russell died, but we know that after Russell died, Rutherford rejected and often misrepresented what Russell taught. One author, Ken Raines, claims that a JW told him that the revisor was “Ed Brenisen,” who was indeed a follower of Rutherford, and what became “Jehovah’s Witnesses” leadership. (See Reference 1 below.)
The “Angels and Women” book has been reproduced on the Rutherford Rainbow CD-ROM. This CD-ROM may be obtained from Amazon by clicking on the locales below:
A new version of the 1924 editon has been released by Jim M. Rizoli (not associated with the JWs or the Bible Students).
This book may be obtained from Amazon by CLICKING HERE:
(referenced for research purposes, not recommendation of content.)
There is nothing in any of the writings of Russell that speaks of a book called “Angels and Women.” Indeed, this book did not exist in the days of Russell. There is no evidence at all that Russell personally supervised its editing. However, it is possible that Russell did come across a copy of the book “Seola,” written by Mrs. J. G. Smith, as a novel, and it is also possible that he might have suggested that some of his co-workers might read the book to see what, if anything, it might have to do with the dawning of the millennium. Russell several times in his writings showed how the demons will present truths in order to get people to accept a greater lie and he sometimes quoted material written by others to show this, and he could have had such an interest in this book similarly. This does not mean that he was “recommending” the book for general approval, since he often sought to get the opinion and suggestions from others concerning if and how such items might be utilized in the pages of the Watch Tower. Evidently, Russell decided against any use of the book, since the book is never mentioned anywhere in any of Russell’s writings. However, the only book that he could possibly have recommended to his associates would have been the earlier book, “Seola,” since the later revision did not exist in his time. Surely, however, if he had done so, there would be some record of such a recommendation in his writings, but there is no such recommendation. I could find no mention of either book in the Bible Students DVD Library. As a whole, I would say that Bible Students have nothing to do with either the “Seola” book or the “Angels and Women” book.
The Golden Age, in 1924, claims that Russell personally supervised the editing of the later edition, and wished that it be published at an opportune time. I personally do not put much faith in what was being said by the leadership of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in 1924, since there were many statements being made after Russell died that have been proven untrue.
References (I do not necessarily agree with all the conclusions and/or statements made by these authors):
1. “Angels and Women,” Ken Raines
2. “The Golden Age‘s Review and Endorsement of Angels and Women,” Ken Raines
3. “Angels and Women” threads on the “Present Truth” forum:
4. “Anne Eliza Smith”, article in Wikipedia:
An article on the “Pastor Brian Chilton” website has been brought to our attention because of a quote presented from Jonalyn Grace Fincher, cited as from:
“Defending Femininity: Why Jesus is Good News for Women.” In Apologetics for a New Generation: A Biblically and Culturally Relevant Approach to Talking about God. Edited by Sean McDowell. Eugene: Harvest House, 2009
Before presenting the quote, we are presented with the statement that Charles Taze Russell was the founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Anyone truly familiar with Russell’s works would know that Russell was not the founder of any religion, and that he preached against Christians’ usage of an organization like that of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Jehovah’s Witnesses organization came into existence after Russell died; its real founder was Joseph Rutherford.
Getting back to the quote from Fincher, this quote reads:
Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916) married Maria Frances Ackley with an agreement that their union was a marriage of celibacy for the sake of partnering in their ministry…In their divorce proceedings, Maria testified to witnessing a sexual relationship between her husband and their foster child, Rose Ball, a teenager at the time who worked as Russell’s correspondence secretary” (Fincher 2009, 224).
No charge of incest, child molestation or any other sexual immorality, was ever brought into any court against Brother Russell. Russell’s wife did make a lot of insinuations, and hearsay statements supposedly said to Mrs. Russell implying that he had been inappropriately intimate with a foster-daughter that Mr. Russell and his wife were caring for, but in none of the statements was there any actual charge presented of adultery, child molestation or incest. One newspaper in particular, however, The Daily Brooklyn Eagle, was extremely clever in distorting fact after fact in its hatred toward Russell.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
Any Hebrew or Greek words in this post have been transliterated into English forms.
I am not with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, nor do I support any such sectarian authoritarianism. I am a Bible Student, as was Charles Taze Russell. This post is in response to a post in Paradox Parables entitled: “A Response to Christadelphians Defense of Charles Taze Russell.”
The claim is made that the Watch Tower Society is “still controlled and maintained by the JWs that is Russel’s organization.” This is misleading since the Watch Tower as it was in the days of Russell actually no longer exists, nor did Russell have any authoritarian and sectarian religious “organization” such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Was Russell the Founder of JW Organization?
Charles Taze Russell was the main founder of the original Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, but that original legal entity was virtually destroyed within a few months after Russell died. Rutherford, through deceit, had a new by-laws passed, and through legal trickery gained control of the legal entity, and used the legal entity to create a new organization, which he later named “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. Charles Taze Russell did not create such an organization; indeed, Russell was a non-sectarian who preached against the idea that any such “outward organization” was the true church.
Russell further preached against the kind of “Armageddon” message that the JWs preach. He never preached that millions of unbelievers would be eternally destroyed in Armageddon; Russell believed that Armageddon was to chastise the peoples of the nations, not eternally destroy them.
By 1928, the majority of the Bible Students had rejected Rutherford’s new organization and refused to accept that organization; in effect, they were never members of such an organization as Rutherford created. It is because the Bible Students as a whole, represented by the majority, had rejected his new organization, that Rutherford named his new organization “Jehovah’s Witnesses”.
Charles Taze Russell was not a member either of the Freemasons’ organization.
Russell many times stated he was not a prophet, but, as a Bible student, was only a student of Bible prophecy. He never claimed to have any revelations from angels, etc. The tens of thousands of pages that have been produced from Russell’s works overwhelmingly testify that Russell was not at all in league with the Freemasons, or that he was promoting a “cult”, using “brainwashing”, etc.
It is stated that “Isaiah 9:6 calls Yeshua “Elohim,… and Father.” In Isaiah 9:6, one does not find the form ELOHIM, but one finds the form EL. I believe, however, that the name describes the God and Father of Jesus; it is not meant to describe the son given by Yahweh. — Isaiah 9:7.
- Isaiah 9:6 – Father of Eternity
- Isaiah 9:6 – Not a Series of Names
- Isaiah 9:6 – The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father
- Isaiah 9:6 – The Singular Name of the Son Given
Regarding John 1:1
- John 1:1 – James White Regarding “Was”
- John 1:1 – In the Beginning
- John 1:1 – The Logos of God (WP Link)
- John 1:1 – What Beginning? (WP Link)
- John 1:1 and Trinitarian Assumptions (RLink)
- John 1:1-3 – The Logos was Theos
Regarding John 20:28
Regarding Hebrew 1
- Hebrews 1: What Does Hebrews 1 Say About “God”?
- Hebrews 1:1-3 – The Unipersonal God Spoke Through His Son
- Hebrews 1:10-12- Does Yahweh Speak to Yahweh?
- Hebrews 1:6 – link to brief comment
- Hebrews 1:8 – Why is Jesus called “Elohim” and “Theos”? Psalm 45:6,7
Regarding God’s Holy Spirit:
Jesus, who was sent by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and who spoke in the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is most definitely not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not send the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to sacrifice the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Regarding the Death and Resurrection of Jesus
- 1 Peter 3:18 – Jesus Died a Human Being – Raised a Spirit Being
- 1 Peter 3:18, Romans 8:8,9 and Jesus’ Sacrifice for Sin
- With What Kind of Body Will We Be Raised?
- The Manner of the Resurrection
- Jesus’ Appearances in the Locked Room
Regarding the Biblical usage of the term, angel of Yahweh, see:
It is the God of Jesus who is the Alpha and Omega in Revelation; Jesus is not presented as the Alpha and Omega.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
This is in repsonse to a post on “ReligionFacts” alleged to be “Just the facts on religion”, and another post on The Extinguisher site.
I am not with the JWs, nor do I defend such an organization. While the authors are targeting Jehovah’s Witnesses, neither distinguish what Russell taught from what the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach.
The false “fact” is claimed made that Charles Taze Russell was the founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1879.
(1) Charles Taze Russell was not the founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Russell did not believe in, and he preached against, the kind of authoritarian organization such Rutherford created after Russell died. Russell did begin printing his magazine, “Zion’s Watch Tower”, later “The Watch Tower”, in 1879. He was not the founder, however, of any religion.
Russell Was Not the Founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses
The false “fact” is presented that Russell believed that Christ was to return in 1914.
(2) Russell did not believe that Christ was to return in 1914; in 1876, Russell concluded that Christ had returned in 1874, and Russell died in 1916 still holding to the belief that Christ had returned in 1874. From 1904 onward, Russell was expecting the time of trouble to begin in 1914; he died in 1916 still holding to the belief that the time of trouble had begun in 1914. Russell was never expecting the JW kind of Armageddon in 1914, as he believed that Armageddon is a period of time in which the people of the nations are chastised, not eternally destroyed as Rutherford taught.
(3) Russell’s effort was to harmonize the entire Bible, without adding the traditions of men.
(4) Russell did believe that “hellfire” is a mistranslation of Gehenna. Russell did, however, believe in the Biblical hell: sheol, hades.
Russell archive on hell
(5) Russell never taught anyone to reject blood transfusions.
See my study:
Blood Transfusions and the Bible
(6) Russell never rejected the symbol of the cross, the celebration of birthdays, holidays, etc.
(7) The Bible itself condemns fornication, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality and incest.
(9) The Bible itself fortells the coming “theocratic” govenment.
See my website on Charles Taze Russell
Many are making all kinds of unsubstantiated claims about Charles Taze Russell. One of the claims that I keep seeing in forums, blogs and websites, is that Russell predicted the end of the world in 1874. One claims that “Watchtower society false prophets declared the end of world in 1874, 1878, 1881, 1910, 1914,”, which, of course, leaves the false impression that Russell predicted the end of the world was to come in 1874. In reality, he never predicted the end of the world for 1874, 1878, 1881, nor 1910. One could read into Russell’s earlier statements that he was expecting the end of the world for 1914, but from 1904 onward, Russell was definitely NOT expecting the end of the world for 1914.
Another states that Russell had a falling out with Barbour “over (what else?) dates for the end of the world! (1844 and 1874“, which is totally false.
Russell never “predicted” anything at all concerning 1874. Why do we say this? Because until 1876 he did not believe anything at all concerning the year 1874. in 1876, two years after 1874, Russell did come across N. H. Barbour’s presentation that Jesus had already returned invisibly in 1874. Having already concluded that Jesus would not return in a physical body, Russell was interested in what this said. As a result of studying with N. H. Barbour, Russell became convinced that Jesus had already returned in 1874. However, before 1876 he was held no interest in 1874, and certainly never predicted the end of the world in 1874 sometime before he ever accepted 1874 (in 1876, two years after 1874) as being the year of Christ’s return. In other words, how could he “predict” something to happen after it was supposedly to have been predicted to happen?
In reality, Russell did not even believe in the “end of the world”, as that term was usually used to mean the “end of human history,” or the end of the planet earth. He denied that there would ever be an end to “human history,” or to the planet earth.
He believed that the expression “end of the world” as it appears in the King James Version should have been rendered “end of the age”. He believed that the end of the age referred to a period of time, not to a single event. He viewed the “end of the age” as a transitional period of time “between the ages”. He believed that the “end of the age” had begun in 1874. Earlier in his ministry he did believe that the transition would be over in 1914, but in 1904 — ten years 1914 — he had come to see that the scriptures do not say exactly when the transition was to end.
Related:Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 10 so far )
A few days ago, I responded to some false statements concerning Brother Russell being given at e-prophetic.com; the name of the article is “Strain on 1914” by R. Jerome Harris. CLICK HERE to see the article, my replies, and the author’s replies. The author does not actually address what I posted, but rather repeated presents strawman arguments which he can conveniently knock over. Since I do not wish to flood the comments section of that article with a lot of links, I have decided to respond to the author’s statments here. Evidently, the author is not a believer in the ransom for all as did Brother Russell, and as those associated with the Bible Students believe. Indeed, Harris’ statements indicate that he has a wrong view of what Russell believed and taught. If he wishes to retain those wrong views and not really investigate the facts, that is up to him; my responses are for those who wish to know the truth, and I allow the others to go on their way.
In my first response, I tried to be as brief and to the point as possible, and without getting personal; knowing that most blog owners do not like response with URLs, I did not post any links to any of my sites, except that which was allowed in the form itself. I present my first response below:
Charles Taze Russell was indeed the founder of the original Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society; however, he was not the founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization. Russell did not believe in any such authoritarian organization; additionally he preached against the kind of “Armageddon” message that the JWs proclaim.
Russell disclaimed being a prophet, and never gave any prophecies; however, he died in 1916 rejoicing in seeing his expectation that the time of trouble did begin in 1914 as he had expected (which had been his main expectation regarding 1914 since 1904).
Russell did indeed believe that he was a mouthpiece for God; additionally, he said that all Christians are mouthpieces for God.
Yes, Rutherford wanted to use the Bible prophecies to bolster his “Jehovah’s Witnesses” dogma, so he rejected the overwhelming testimony that had been presented by Russell and others so as to make the prophecies appear to apply to his alleged “Jehovah’s visible organization”. However, by 1928, the vast majority of the Bible Students had rejected Rutherford’s alleged “Jehovah’s visible organization”; they did not become members of Rutherford’s organization, nor did they take the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses”.
Russell, on the other hand, did not speak for any such authoritarian organization, and he did not seek to beat his fellow-servants to make them agree with him. In other words, he allowed his fellow-servants to disagree with him, and even at times presented other views that he himself did not endorse.
See my site for more…
Rather than actually addressing anything that I stated, Brother Harris responded by saying that this is not correct, and then presented what is, in effect, a strawman argument regarding the legal entity The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, etc. He seems to confuse the legal entity, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, as it existed in the days of Russell, with the “religious organization” of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is a common misconception, since this is basically what most of the Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves do.
Nevertheless, in his response, Brother Harris began to give false judgmental conclusions about me that I felt I had to respond to. It was he, not I, who brought it this to a personal level.
My second response was:
What I presented is correct; nothing you gave shows otherwise. The legal entities that Russell formed were not meant to be a “religous organization” such as Rutherford created after Russell died. In the days of Russell, those who made up the association of Bible Students were not necessarily legal members of either the legal entity known as the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, nor of the legal entity known as International Bible Students Association. They were definitely not considered to be members of a religious organization of either of those legal entities. Many of them had voting shares in the legal entities, but, from Russell’s standpoint, Russell did not deem them to be members of any outward religious organization because of their having such voting shares.
In 1915, Russell published in Bible Students Monthly, Volume 7, Number 9 (1915), Under the title, “The Catholic Church — St. Peter’s Kingdom Keys, statements to the effect that no such “outward organization” is the true church. Russell did not recognize, and he actively preached against, the kind of “religious organization” that Rutherford created after Russell died. The Bible Students in general did not become members of the Rutherford’s new organization. The works that were presented by various authors amongst the Bible Students of that time show this. Morton Edgar, for instance, around 1928, stated:
The word “organisation” does not occur in the Bible, and its use is apt to mislead. The Scriptural word is “kingdom”; and our Lord distinctly said that “the kingdom of God cometh not with observation”—with outward show—Luke 17:20. Therefore there is no “visible organisation of God on earth,” as is claimed by some to their undoing.
How often Brother Russell warned us against this very thing, and how foolish we shall be if we do not heed his warning. We shall indeed be foolish if we claim that “only through our system or organisation will the heavenly Father accept praise and service”; for this would make it appear necessary for every spirit-begotten child of God to “bow the knee” to the few who have constituted themselves heads of the organisation. The apostle shows that it is only the carnal, fleshly mind that is deceived by such unscriptural claims—1 Cor. 3:1-6, 18-23….
I for one entirely repudiate this talk of “God’s visible organization on earth” during this Gospel Age. It is dangerous talk, and gives rise to all kinds of persecutions and ungodly claims, as anyone who has consecrated reasoning powers can see…. If there was one thing that our dear Brother Russell warned us against, more strongly than any other, it was this very thing. Brother Russell never made any such claim for the “Society” when he was here in the flesh and amongst us, for he knew better. But Judge Rutherford, apparently, does not know enough to keep himself clear of it. In the very first chapter of the first volume of “Studies,” Brother Russell speaks of this “false idea that the nominal church, in its present condition, is the sole agency” for the recovery of the world from sin. — Published in “Gleanings From Glasgow”
No, I have known and talked to many Bible Students who lived through that time. They held no concept of leaving a religious organization such as the “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. They never were members of such an organization to be begin with.
In Russell’s day, the term International Bible Students Association was used in two different ways: (1) it was used of the Bible Students movement in general and was not a legal entity; (2) then, in 1913, Russell and his associates created the legal entity in London by the name of “International Bible Students Association”. This did not mean that the International Bible Students all of a sudden became members of the legal entity. Later, before he died, Russell evidently realized that this could cause some legal issues, and thus, he suggested that local ecclesias not use the term “International Bible Students” as the name of their local congregations, but rather to use “Associated Bible Students”.
After Russell died, Rutherford, by means of deceit and legal trickery, was able to take control over the two legal entities, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and the International Bible Students Association. Within a few weeks, the word “organization” began to often appear in the pages of the Watch Tower, but this was done in such a way that most Bible Students were not aware of the implications until the mid 1920s, when Rutherford began to demand the independent congregations of Bible Students had to submit to him, in accordance with his new “Jehovah’s visible organization” dogma. The vast majority of the Bible Students did not submit themselves to Rutherford, and thus, DID NOT BECOME members of Rutherford’s new organization. They did not leave an organization which they never recognized, nor believed in.
See my site for more details and documentation:
I will say that any Bible Student who is worshiping Charles Taze Russell would be in a condition of self-contradiction, since Russell preached against such. Any Bible Student who gives more weight to words of Russell than the Word of God is in self-conflict, since Russell preached against that also.
Those who know me and my writings know that your judgment of me is not true. I do believe that God used Russell to bring forth many truths out of the storehouse, the Bible. I believe, as he did, that every true Christian should be a mouthpiece for God, in telling others about Jesus and his God, and what they have done for mankind.
The closest to becoming “personal” here is the phrases “nothing you presented” and “your judgment of me”. Otherwise, I did give the facts, which Brother Harris, in his response, again ignored.
Brother Harris stated that Brother Jesus’ words carry far more water than “Brother Russell”. The implication of this statement is that I believe that Russell’s words ‘carry more water’ than the words of Jesus. Actually, I agree with the statement that Jesus’ words carry far more water than Brother Russell. The statement represents precisely what I believe; it is also precisely what Brother Russell believed and what he taught others to believe.
In reading [The Studies in the Scriptures] the first time, and perhaps the second time, and before we would accept anything as being our own personal faith and conviction, we should say, “I will not take it because these studies say so; I wish to see what the Bible says.” And so we would study the Scriptures in the light of these SCRIPTURE STUDIES; we would prove every point, or disprove it, as the case might be. We would be satisfied with nothing less than a thorough investigation of the Bible from this standpoint.
“SCRIPTURE STUDIES” NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE BIBLE
One should refresh his memory, and, in fact, should see that his every thought is in harmony with the Bible – not merely in accord with the SCRIPTURE STUDIES, but in accord with the Bible. — Is the Reading of “Scripture Studies” Bible Study?
See also what I posted on the Focus on Charles Taze Russell site:
Did Russell Claim His Writings to be Superior to the Bible?
I was asked as to what is it with this “Russell says”, stuff? Whatever the intent of this question, how can one show or explain what Russell did say without showing and or explaining what he did say?
The claim is made that the Most High God did not send a “Brother Russell,” he sent His Son. Again, whatever the intent of this statment is, it would imply that I place Brother Russell on the same par with Jesus, which I do not. I believe, as Jesus taught, that every child of God is sent by God through Jesus. (John 17:18) I also believe that God sent his Son to be our Lord and Savior, and to save the whole world (John 3:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:9,10); I do not believe that God sent Brother Russell to be our Lord and Savior. I believe that through Jesus, God sent the apostles as special mouthpieces to the church. I believe as did Russell, that the only authority in the church is Jesus and the apostles, whose words we find recorded in the Bible. Russell did not believe that anyone, not even himself, had been appointed to have the authority over the church.
It is claimed that I am defending “Brother Russell” a man, and the statement is made by Brother Harris that he defends and champions what Christ taught. This, again, would leave the implication that I place Russell above Jesus, and I do not defend and/or champion what Christ taught. I do indeed defend Brother Russell, a fellow-servant in the Master’s household, because, in his time, Brother Russell himself was one of the foremost defenders of what Christ taught and was one of foremost champions for Christ. At the same time, Brother Russell never claimed to be perfect; he never claimed that everything he stated was without error. Is there any author of his day or our day that can legitimately claim that there is absolutely no error in every word that they speak or write?
I believe that the Bible is correct, I do not claim to know the truth about every detail presented in the Bible. I do believe that God has allowed me to understand that Jesus has died for both all us, for Adam, and for the whole world dying in Adam, and that he is now selecting the seed of Abraham that is to bless Adam and all who are now dying Adam — after Satan is abyssed, and that all this results to the glory of God.
See what I have written:
The Faith Once Delivered
Understanding Kingdom Mysteries
Jesus Saves the Whole World Condemned in Adam
I certainly do not look to Russell for salvation, nor do I look to any organization such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses for salvation. Nor do I know of any of the Bible Students who would believe that Russell is their salvation, or any human organization is their salvation. Indeed, it seems to me that most of the Bible Students appear to shy away from “organization”.
See my site: Focus on the Atonement
I agree that it is God who makes seeds of truth grow; if one is not yet ready to understand any truth, then that one will be enlightened in the age to come, when the whole world will be made to see that truth.
The Restoration of All Things
Mankind’s Coming Day of Judgment
The Ransom For All
Mankind’s Course to the Day of Judgment
I agree with Brother Harris that religious organizations creates hardened hearts. Thus, like Brother Russell, the only “organization” I recognize is that of Jesus as being the head of the church, through the apostles, and that each local congregation should take care of its own affairs without being under subjection to any council, governing body, or any earthly central authority, except Jesus and the apostles through the Bible. No one else has been given the authority take over that headship, not Brother Russell, not myself, not the Watch Tower Society, not the Dawn Bible Students Association, not the Pastoral Bible Institute, nor anyone or any human institution or organization, nor any council, synod, conference, governing body, etc.
I am not sure what is meant with the statement that my history is “one of violence and imposition”. It is evidently meant to be directed to the history of the Bible Students.
There has been a lot of conflict, even as there was in the first century, as the spirit of “sectarianism” often develops. Even Jesus was betrayed.
Nevetheless, without any reference as to exactly what is meant by the statement, I am not sure how to respond. I, however, do not wish, as do the JWs, to preach any organization, other than the organization of Jesus as the head of the church.
CLICK HERE for my own views on Sectarianism.
Bother Harris appears to somewhat saturated with the JW/Rutherford concept of “oranization”, and thus seems to not really understand who the Bible Students are and what they believe. From his statement, he certainly appears to be not understand what I believe. He seems to think that I have been trying to force him to join some sectarian “organization” that I do not even believe in. When I responded with my initial comments, I only wished, in love, to correct some errors in Brother Harris’ perceptions of Brother Russell. If my humble submission of the facts is being misinterpreted as being arrogant, so be it. I leave it in the hands of God.
Neverhtless, if one has been justified in Christ, then I have no need to tell that person to repent so as to be justified, irrespective of what denominational ties he may have or not have, or whether he agrees with me on all matters or not. Additionally, if a person belongs to Christ, and that one is committing a sin for which he or she can be forgiven, I pray for the repentance of any under such circumstances; if one is a new creature that is committing the sin that leads to death, however, then there nothing I can do to lead that one to repent, for there is no more sacrifice for sin for such. — Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26-29; 1 John 5:16,17.
1 John 4:1 – Beloved, don’t believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
The only way to test the teaching of any is by the word of God, which is what I do.
I do not belong to any religious “organization” called International Bible Student Association, nor Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. I do not view the Bible Students movement as a “religious organization” as that term is usually used. Russell never once spoke of the association of Bible Students themselves as being a “religious organization”. He did say:
Beware of “organization.” It is wholly unnecessary. The Bible rules will be the only rules you will need. Do not seek to bind others’ consciences, and do not permit others to bind yours. Believe and obey so far as you can understand God’s Word to-day, and so continue growing in grace and knowledge and love day by day. — Concerning Profitable Meetngs
As I stated before, the phrase “International Bible Students Association” was used in two different ways: (1) in reference to the asssociation of Bible Students worldwide, and (2) as the legal entity that was formed in England. Brother Russell did not consider the former to be an “organization”, but the latter, being legal entity, he did, on a few occasions, refer to as an “organization” in the sense of similar to a corporation. However, in the latter sense, the International Bible Students were not members of the legal organization that exists in England. In the latter sense, in 1915, Russell stated concerning the Bible Students Association: “There would be nothing to come out of, as an organization, if one is an International Bible Student. You cannot get out of anything that you have not gone into.”(1) By this statement, we know that Brother Russell, as late as 1915, did not believe that the International Bible Students as a movement was an “organization”.
I accept as scriptural truth what I have proven to myself from the Bible. I accept what Brother Russell says, or what Morton Edgar says, or what Martin Luther says, or what Matthew Henry says, or what John Gill says, or what Adam Clarke says, or what Albert Barnes says, or what John Calvin says, or what Matthew Easton says, or what Charles Spurgeon says, or what William Smith says, or what Robert Young says, or what James Strong says, or what Brooke Westcott says, or what Fenton Hort says, or any other Christian might say, only in that any of them may lead me to a clearer understanding of the Bible and greater appreciation of Jesus and his God. I would not accept, anything that I have proven to not harmonize with the Bible, and that includes anything presented by Brother Russell. Nor do I accept what any man may say that I know to be historically incorrect, misleading, and/or misrepresentative of any of these men, including misrepresentations of Charles Taze Russell.
In the present age the truth is still trampled upon and often so distorted that what is false may appear to be truth, and what is truth may appear to be false. Satan and his ministers are still masquerading as messengers of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14,15) The world is still under the blinding influence of Satan. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9) It is not yet time for the world to be englightened with the truth, and it will not be as long as Satan is blinding the minds of people. (Revelation 20:1-3) Even many who belong to Christ spend all their lives as babes, and thus remain blinded to the a full understanding of Biblical truth; these also will need further englighenment after they are raised in the last day. (1 Corinthians 3:1) The world is still blindly waiting for that day when the sons of God will be revealed, and the bondage or corruption will be lifted. — Romans 8:19-22.
Whatever Brother Harris’ judgment of my confidence in the truth might be is irrelevant, for truth is truth regardless; Satan has his agents who are very clever in distorting the truth, and making what is false appear to be truth. Having studied many works of Bible Students for more than 50 years, including those of Russell, I know what I know, and by what I know I do confidently respond based on what I know concerning whatever anyone might say about Brother Russell, or the Bible Students, etc.
Brother Harris claims that I am agitated. It is Brother Harris’ agitation over my factual responses that I am concerned with, in which he has not actually addressed most of the facts I presented, but rather, he keeps setting up strawman arguments, which he then proceeds to knock down, and/or he continues to distort and misrepresent that facts.
My resonses to his alleged facts:
FACT: The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, as originally founded by Charles Taze Russell and his associates, and as he intended for it to be after his death, no longer exists; it was virtually destroyed within a few months after Russell died. Of the original Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society, Russell stated that “is not a religious but a business association.(1)” In 1915, Russell stated:
The Society is a business organization for religious work in the service of the Lord, by printing books, pamphlets, charts, etc., and by sending out its representatives to preach–by word of mouth and by printed page. This is its only business. It is acting in the same way as did the Church at Antioch, who especially chose Paul and Barnabas to do a missionary work, and who voted these to be representatives of that Church.–Acts 13:2,3.
When Paul and Barnabas went forth, they did not say, “We preach in our name.” They would have had a right to go in the name of the Lord and preach; but, in addition, they had the financial backing, we understand, of the Antioch congregation, just as today our representatives have the backing of the Society. When they go to a place, they can say, “Here is a letter which shows that we are acting for the Society.” So they do not go simply in the name of Christ, but they go as representatives of this Society, which is known to be doing an evangelizing work.(2)
“The Society”, during the days of Russell did not send out pilgrims for the purpose of bringing the congregations under any central authority as is done by today’s WTS; indeed, pilgrims were not sent to any congregation that did not request such services.
FACT: Yes, Charles Taze Russell did indeed start the Watch Tower magazine as his own magazine, and, as had been agreed upon with the Board of Directors, Russell had full control of the magazine until his death; thus, Russell many times referred to the Watch Tower as his magazine. Upon his death, controllership was to go to the Board of Directors, but this was deceitfully thwarted by Rutherford, who deceived the shareholders into thinking that the Society would cease to exist if they did approve his new by-laws, for which they voted without having ever read, simply trusting that Rutherford was doing the right thing. Thus, within a few weeks after Russell had died, the original Watch Tower Society as it was supposed to have been after Russell’s death no longer existed. When the majority of the Board of Directors began to realize what had happened, and were seeking to rectify the matter, Rutherford used a legal trick to dismiss the majority of the Board, and began a smear campaign against any who wished the original charter to be enforced. Initially, most of the Bible Students did not have the full facts, and thus were somewhat dismayed at what was taking place. As I stated, however, by 1928, the vast majority of the Bible Students had rejected Rutherford’s “organization” dogma — they never considered themselves members of such an “organization”, and they never took the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses”.
See the following (I do not necessarily agree with all that is presented):
Rutherford’s Harvest Siftings
Harvest Siftings Reviewed — by P.S.L. Johnson
Rutherford’s Harvest Siftings 2
Another Harvest Siftings Reviewed — — by P.S.L. Johnson
An Open Letter to the People of the Lord in All the World Evidently sometime in 1917.
Light After Darkness — We I was first given a copy of this document back in the 1960s, the brother who gave it to me stated that the author over-exalted Brother Russell; thus, there is much in the document that I disgree with, but the basic history of the time is there.
Facts can be easily distorted and misrepresented; indeed falsehoods that contain a distortion of fact may be made to appear even more believable in the presentation of the “fact”, thus while presenting the “fact”, the fact is presented in such a way as to lead one to a false conclusion. The special issue of the Watch Tower magazine of April 25, 1894 shows that Russell, by agreement with Board of Directors, did indeed have full charge of the WTB&TS, but that this was to exist only until his death, when the provisions of the charter were to be carried out, and the Board of Directors were then take charge of the legal entity. Russell’s having control of the legal entity, however, should not be interpreted in light of what the WTB&TS is today; it did not mean that Russell was in control of a religious organization, or that Russell had full control over the Bible Students, or that Russell was had control over local congregation of the Bible Students. He consistently refused to take such authority, even until his death; and by his will, he had hoped to keep the WTB&TS free from taking such authority.
The reference to the Watch Tower of March 1, 1923 does not mean that Russell actually viewed himself as the Faithful and Wise Servant. Russell did allow others to hold that view; he himself gave several differing views at different times, but in none of them did he state that he personally was the faithful and wise servant. Rutherford was one of the foremost who heralded Russell not only as the faithful and wise servant, but also as a prophet, which Russell himself outright denied being. The fact that Rutherford claimed Russell to be prophet shows that he was, in fact, misrepresenting Brother Russell, since Brother Russell had flatly denied being a prophet several times. Thus, what Rutherford and his collegues claimed after Russell died is not actual proof. Rutherford evidently believed that his proclamation of Russell as the faithful and wise servant would help him gain control of the Bible Students through his “Jehovah’s organization” dogma by which he was slowly seeking to usurp more and more control over the Bible Students.
FACT: Russell did indeed believe himself to be a mouthpiece for God; the rest of the FACT is that he also believed that every true Christian should be a mouthpiece for God and Christ.
FACT: Russell’s Last Will and Testament shows that Russell did indeed have full control of the legal organization [not a religious organization such as the Jehovah’s Witnesse], and that after his death, what appeared in the magazine was to be approved by a committee; Rutherford disregarded that will and claimed authority that Brother Russell had sought to keep anyone from claiming in connection with the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.
FACT: The election for Rutherford was all prearranged by Rutherford and his supporters; Rutherford took over all the legal entities, including the IBS in England. Thus both legal entities ended up as tools for Rutherford’s “Jehovah’s visible organization”, in direct contradiction to what Russell taught and “wished.” Since both legal entities, the WTB&TS and the IBS came under the usurpation of Rutherford, they did not split. I do not know of anyone who says that Russell was not the founder of the WTB&TS. I assume that by IBS, you would mean one of the Bible Students, rather than the legal entity in England. If any Bible Student says such, he is in error. I have never made such a statement; Russell, however, was not the founder of the Jehovah’s Wintesses.
FACT: Both of the legal organizations, the WTB&TS of Pennsylvania, and the IBS of England, became tools of Rutherford, and part of the relgious organization that Rutherford created. Thus, being under control of Rutherford, they both came under the “central authority” dogma of Rutherford. The majority of the Bible Students (not the IBS legal “organization”), however, did not accept Rutherford’s new central authority dogma, and thus they never became part of the religious organization that Rutherford later named “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. The local church “organization” that Russell presented is almost the very opposite of the central authority “organization” that Rutherford created. Not only that, the Armageddon message that Rutherford created is almost the very oppositie of the good news of great joy that will be for all the people that Russell preached. No, it would be entirely misleading to claim that Russell was not the founder of that which he spent almost his entire life preaching against.
FACT: While many have misrpresented Russell as being a white supremacist, Russell was actually way before his time in presenting the scriptural facts regarding the races. Nevertheless, there are those who have taken certain comments out of context to make it appear that Brother Russell was a racist. In some cases, quotes are given out of context to make it appear that he was saying the very opposite of what he did say. See:
FACT: Since the Bible Students Movement is not an organization, it does not have a human “leadership” in the sense that an “oganization” may have; it has no central authority as does the JW organization. Amongst the Bible Students, I know several black authors who are regular contributors to the various magazines and periodicals published by the Bible Students.
FACT: Brother Russell, in following Jesus’ statement through the apostle to remain free of the world, did as the apostles did; he did not get involved in the politics of the world. If he had, he would to that extent have become part of the affairs of Satan, who is the god of this age, and would have been detracted from preaching the Kingdom. — 2 Corrinthians 4:4.
Did Russell speak up against racism? Yes, he did. His article on “The Negro Question“, actually takes a stand against the prevelant ideas in many of the Protestant churches of his day that the Negro was a beast, without a soul, etc. Indeed, I grew up in the South, and this idea was still strong in many of the churches at that time. Nevertheless, Russell dealt with the matter from a scriptural standpont, not by being a politcal activist.
The only organization, however, that Russell spoke for was the business legal entity, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (and its subsidiaries); he did not speak as a “central authority” of any religious organization, as does the “governing body” of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The quote from “The Color Line Found Necessary” of The Watch Tower of April 1, 1914 is given, and sinister motives are applied to the statements given, whereas in reality, there is nothing at all wrong about what is stated. Russell did what was necessary in that instance to preserve the peace that was evidently being threatened mostly by those of the various “white” denominational churches; the only other alternative would have been to cancel the showing of the Photo-Drama, and thus no one would have benefited. So evidently, what many think Russell should have done was to give being a follower of Jesus so as to correct the wrongs of Satan’s world and to make Satan’s world a better place to live in, thereby doing what Jesus refused to, that is, to bow down to Satan.
In reality, to try to have forced intergration in the days of Russell would probably have resulted in such violence from the worldly-minded churchgoers in the various denominational churches that it would have subverted the efforts to obey Jesus’ command to preach the good news of great joy that will be for all the people to a cause of trying to rectify Satan’s world before he is abyssed. Neither Jesus nor the apostles tried to rectify the social ills of their day; nor did Russell.
FACT: Many states in Russell’s day had laws against blacks and whites meeting together, even in church services. This was true in the state I grew up in back in the 1950s. Thus, most church groups were forced into segregation. I find no evidence, however, that there was a general practice of such segregation in Bible Students congregations located in areas where such would be generally accepted by the public at large. I know that today, I find no segregation at all in the Bible Students congregations.
FACT: It is a fact of that time that most of the black people were not able to read and write. It was also true of many whites, but more so regarding blacks. Indeed, even in 1950s, it was rare to find a older black adult who could read in the area in which I lived. Thus, Russell’s statement of the fact is not a statement of racial prejudice, but simply a statement of way things were. It would have been a total waste of time, money, and resoures to distribute thousands of pieces of free literature to people who could not read what was being given to them, and this is what Russell was pointing out. Russell was not saying that one should not give an oral witness to those who cannot read, but that to try to witness to them in the Volunteer work (simply passing out free literature) would be useless, and waste of funds and time.
Not being with the JWs or any other such religious organizaition, and not seeing in the actual facts that which Brother Harris would wish me to see, I certainly have no reason to imagine that what Russell said was the result of the light being “dim” back then.
I am grateful that Christ is my Lord, and I listen to him as God commands; I do not want to be revered and worshiped nor do I seek a following behind a man. I do not preach Brother Russell, except as that Brother Russell preached Christ.
Neither the legal entities, the WTB&TS and IBS, were, in Russell’s day, a religious organization; nor do I view the Bible Students today as a religious organizaiton. Thus, the statements regarding such, at least with regard to my beliefs, is meaningless. Many times, however, I have been criticized as following one others percieve as being a dead man, that is, the Lord jesus Christ, and or the apostles, and/or Moses, or Isaiah, etc. Of course, Moses and Isaiah are indeed dead, they have not yet been raised; Jesus however is not dead, but the truth that he gave is recorded for us in the Bible.
If by the statement “Russell is not God’s mouthpiece” is meant to say that Russell is not such exclusively, with this I agree, and, I am sure Russell himself would have agreed.
I will end this with a quote (1915) from Russell:
JESUS THE ONLY WAY OF SALVATION, NOW OR EVER
The whole world is still out of relationship with God. They lie in the Evil One. (1 John 5:19, Rev. Ver.) God is not giving them an opportunity now. He is giving the opportunity only to those who have come in the appointed way, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Others are aliens, strangers and foreigners, “without God and having no hope in the world.”
Do we see the difference? Without knowledge we could not come. In the future the whole world will be enlightened. Knowledge is to be given them. It will be true then as now that no man can come unto the Father, except by the Son; that without faith no man can be received by the Father; that all must receive the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in Him. “There is no other name given under Heaven or amongst men” whereby any can be saved. But all will have their eyes and ears opened in due time regarding that Name, so that all may be saved, if they will. (Isa. 35:5) Thank God for this!
What has stopped the ears now? What has blinded the eyes? What has hindered men from knowing of God and His salvation? The Apostle Paul says, “The god of this world.” This god is Satan. Jesus tells us that Satan is “the Prince of this world.” How does he blind men’s minds? By misrepresenting God’s glorious character, putting darkness instead of light, error instead of Truth. Through misleading and deceiving, this great Prince of Darkness has sought to keep the people away from God. Why has he done this? The Apostle says, “Lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the Image of God, should shine unto them.” When the light of God’s goodness shines into a heart, it begins to scatter the darkness. If Satan can keep out the light of God’s goodness he will keep us away from God. But if this light gets into the heart, it will draw us nearer to God every day and hour.
POOR OF THIS WORLD CHIEFLY CALLED
It is a matter of great importance to have the eyes of our understanding opened, “that we may be able to comprehend with all saints,” as the Apostle says. The word “comprehend” means, to fully take in, to encompass. We cannot fully encompass. We cannot fully encompass God; He is too great. What can we comprehend, then, with all saints? On this subject of the goodness and love of God the saints are to have comprehension; other people will not get much on this subject. Are the saints brighter than other people? The Bible says they are not. “Not many mighty, not many wise, not many noble, not many rich, not many learned,” but chiefly “the poor of this world, rich in faith.” These are the ones who are to have the comprehension, which comes only to those who possess God’s Holy Spirit, received through His begetting. It is this that influences our minds. [HGL678] We have the same brains that we had before; but when the Holy Spirit begins to set things in order in our minds, when it gives new principles to work on, it enables us to produce better thought from these brains than would have been possible before. Thus our minds become more and more sound, just as under the hand of a master musician even a defective musical instrument might be made to yield something acceptable, which an inferior player could not produce.
The Apostle tells us that God has chosen the mean things of this world. It is a pretty hard expression to human pride, but it helps to keep us humble. This is what we need. The heady and high minded are not so susceptible to the influence of the Truth as are the humble class. It is to the humble ones that the Lord’s Word appeals; and they are simple enough to take it. The wise of the world say, “God did not mean that; He must have meant something else in harmony with my wishes and desires.”
The simple-minded take God’s Word as it is, and consequently receive increasing light. “God is light; and in Him is no darkness at all.” The Bible reflects His light. In proportion as we get this light from the Bible we can understand God’s love and Plan. — CLICK HERE to see the rest
In all things, may God be blessed!
[Charles Taze Russell: His Life and Times]
[url=http://items.rlbible.com/?p=1028]The Divine Plan of the Ages – An Illustrated Edition[/url]
While I am not with the JWs, the following is the response I gave concerning statements made about Charles Taze Russell.
I am including more links here than in my response on that blog:
The Jehovah’s Witnesses and its present “Jehovah’s visible organization” and “Armageddon” dogma was actually started by Joseph Rutherford. Charles Taze Russell did not believe in such an organization, nor did he believe in the Armageddon message that is preached by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Russell believed that Armageddon was to abe a period of time in which the people of the nations would be chastised in preparation for their coming blessing; he did not believe that Armageddon was to bring eternal destruction upon them.
Russell was the main founder of the legal entity, The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, but that entity in his day served more as a facilitator. Russell refused to allow it to dictate to the congregations, even to those congregations that had elected him as their Pastor. Russell did not attempt establish any new religion, believing that the true religion was Christianity as it had been established by Jesus and the apostles.
In 1915, he published (in the Bible Students Monthly) his sermon on St. Peter’s Keys in which denounced sectarianism, and the idea that any “outward organization” is the true church, claiming that the true church consisted of saints, irrespective of denomational barriers. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, of which Russell was the main founder, was virtually destroyed after Russell died and replaced with a “new organization”, thereby laying the foundation for Rutherford to create his “Jehovah’s visible organization” dogma. By 1928, the vast majority of the Bible Students movement had rejected Rutherford’s “Jehovah’s visible organization” dogma.
Getting back to Russell’s earlier years, after having a short period of doubts about the Bible, around 1870 Russell came into contact with some of the Second Adventists, his faith in the Bible, and Biblical Christianity, was restored. He did not, however, at that time, accept any of the “date setting” that many of the Second Adventists were advocating, and he rejected their teaching of the end of the world. Sometime before 1874, Russell came to the conclusion, however, that since Jesus sacrificed his flesh for our sins, that Jesus would not return in the flesh, but in the spirit.
Around 1876, Russell was attracted to the studies of Nelson Barbour when he found that Barbour had reached a similar conclusion. Thus, in 1876, Russell accepted Barbour’s conclusion that Christ had returned in 1874. Since Russell did not accept any date for Christ’s return until 1876 (about two years after 1874), Russell did not have anything to say before 1874 about Christ’s returning in 1874. As far as Russell is concerned, there was no “that did not happen”, nor did Russell ever predict that Christ was to return on any other dates. Russell died in 1916, still holding to the belief that Christ had returned in 1874. Many Bible Students, myself included, also believe that Christ did return in 1874.
Russell taught that no one should be his followers, but that saints should be followers of Christ.
As to whether there was any considerable number of his associates who lost respect for Russell at the close of his life, this appears to be pure conjecture. Indeed, at the close of his life, reports of attendance at the meetings showed large increases, not a decrease.
Russell lost two cases which have been given a lot of notorious publicity, not pertaining to slander, but which Russell filed for libel. Due to the distortion of facts as presented by J. J. Ross and The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and the wide-spread distribution of those distortions, most of the public know very little about the actual facts.
I could not find any record, however, of any considerable number of the Bible Students having lost respect for Russell over those court losses. I could find where some withdrew association from Russell over many other matters, such as teaching on the new covenant, universalism, etc.
Nevertheless, as I stated, the vast majority of the Bible Students rejected Rutherford’s “Jehovah’s visible organization” dogma, and the Bible Students movement continues to exist today. They did not become “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and do not teach the dogma of join us or be eternally destroyed in Armageddon that Rutherford taught.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
A blogger has presented a post entitled “Jehovah’s Witnesses”, under the category “Charles Taze Russell”. Much of the post has to do with Charles Taze Russell, however, and no distinction is being made between the Russell’s conclusions and the dogmatism of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ leadership. Much of what is being stated is in error, or is misleading, so we have decided to address most of what has been posted. No doubt, the poster does believe that what he/she has posted to be without error, and probably received much of the information from unreliable sources.
The “Church” of The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society
The claim is that the Jehovah’s Witnesses church was known soley as the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society until 1931. Actually, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in the days of Charles Taze Russell was not “a church”.
Russell’s view of the church was that members of the true church could be found amongst all denominations. Russell was a non-sectarian who did not believe the true church to be any such legal entity, not even the WTS. Those associated with Russell, however, generally called themselves “Bible Students”, not the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. After Russell died, Rutherford, by means of deceit and legal trickery, gained control of the legal entity and used it to begin creating a religious organization, which organization he dubbed “Jehovah’s organization.” By 1928, the Bible Students in general, represented by the vast majority, had rejected Rutherford’s “Jehovah’s organization” dogma.
See also the links provided at:
Focus on Charles Taze Russell – Church Organization
It is being alleged the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society began in 1876; this date is incorrect, since the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society did not actually begin until 1881, and then, not as the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, but as “Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society”; it was renamed in 1896 as “The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society)
It is claimed that Russell had some “unorthodox ideas” about the Bible. This is true, if by “orthodox” one simply accounts man’s self-proclaimed “orthodoxy” to be “orthodox”. I is claimed that Russell “read things into” the Bible which are not typically read into the Bible. Actually, Russell, by showing what the Bible says and what it does not say as related to much of man’s self-proclaimed orthodoxy, did indeed come to the conclusion that many of the doctrines of men were in conflict with the Bible. Russell demosntrated from the Bible itself how many of doctrines have to be added to, and read into, the Bible, and, if they were true, would actually negate the basis of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus as revealed in the Bible.
Did Russell Write the New World Translation?
It is being claimed that although Russell was “very amateur in Greek and Hebrew”, that he wrote the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. Actually, Russell did NOT write the JWs’ New World Translation of the Bible, nor any other translation of the Bible. Russell was never a member of the JW organization, and he was not alive when the JWs produced that translation. Russell generally used various translations already available.
It is further claimed that Russell claimed to have written by New World Translation through inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This is evidently confusing the claims of Joesph Smith (of the Mormons) with Russell. Russell, of course, never wrote the New World Translation at all, and he never claimed to have written anything as being “inspired” by the Holy Spirit.
Russell disclaimed that his writings were inspired, or that his conclusions were infallible. Russell never taught anyone to NOT question his conclusions. Indeed, not all the Bible Students associated with Russell agreed with all of his conclusions, and this is still true to this day. Indeed, despite the claims of some, I have not met one Bible Student who agrees 100% with all that Russell presented.
Additionally, although Russell himself was never trained in Hebrew or Greek, Russell was assisted by Paul S. L. Johnson, who had been thoroughly trained in both Biblical languages.
Did Russell Claim That His Writings Were “Inspired” by the Holy Spirit?
It is claimed that New World Translation is not the only “inspired” writings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses; it is stated: “In 1879, the first of these was ‘The Watchtower: Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom’. This is incorrect on two counts. The magazine that Russell created in 1879 was entitled “Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence”, not “The Watchtower: Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom”. Russell disclaimed that his writings were “inspiried”. Russell stated:
“Neither must you lean upon the DAWN and the TOWER as infallible teachers. If it was proper for the early Christians to prove what they received from the apostles, who were and who claimed to be inspired, how much more important it is that you fully satisfy yourself that these teachings keep closely within their outline instructions and those of our Lord; — since their author claims no inspiration.” (Watch Tower, June, 1893)
Russell and Armageddon
One should first note that Russell did not believe in the Armageddon that is taught by the JWs. Indeed, he preached against such an Armageddon. His view of Armageddon was that it was to be a period of time in which the peoples of the nations are chastised (not eternally destroyed, as the JWs preach) in preparation for their being blessed by Jesus. Thus, in his expectations, from 1904 to 1908, that the time of trouble was to begin in 1914, Russell was not expecting the all of a sudden Satan’s kingdom would be destroyed and that all unbelievers would be eternally destroyed. He was expecting that the time of trouble would begin and that it would end some time after 1914. History shows that the world did indeed come into a time of trouble in 1914, and that we have been that time of trouble ever since.
Russell and “Jehovah”
It is claimed that the JWs teach that if you do not call God “Jehovah” that you are not actually praying to God, but are committing idolatry.
Jehovah is One Person
The statement is made that the JWs believe that Jehovah is One Person, and the JWs believe that Jesus is Michael. Russell would agree that Jehovah is one person, since that is what we find in the Bible. Jesus revealed that his God and Father is “the only true God.” (John 17:1,3) Russell found and demonstrated that from beginning to end in the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is always presented as being one person or individual, and never as being more than one person or individual. It is only by calling upon the spirit of human imagination so as to formulate a lot of assumptions beyond what is actually written, and then reading those assumptions into the scriptures, that one can “see” trinity in any scripture presented.
It is claimed that the JWs teach that although Jesus suffered for sins, good works are also necessary to merit salvation. Russell taught that salvation from sin and death in Adam is only through the atonement, the ransom sacrifice of Jesus. Russell did not teach any one will be saved in any other way. Nevertheless, forms of the terms “save” and “salvation” in the Bible are not always referring to being saved from sin and death in Adam.
God’s Holy Spirit
Brother Russell did not believe in a “literal hell” of literal fire and literal brimstone, if that is what is meant by “literal hell”. One could say, however, that Brother Russell did believe in the “literal hell” as described in Ecclesiastes 9:10. Russell, however, realized the differences between hades – sheol, Gehenna, and tartaroo. We have expounded more on this on our site: Life Now and Hereafter
The statement is made concerning the Jehovah’s Witnesses that they believe that the blood of no one else should enter your body. While this is a belief of the JWs, this belief did nor originate from Charles Taze Russell. See our study, “Blood Transfustions and the Bible“, where we have presented Russell’s views and our views regarding eating blood and blood transfusions.
Birthdays and Holidays
It is stated that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays and holidays. Brother Russell never assumed any authority to tell anyone whether they should or should not celebrate birthdays and holidays. Our thoughts on holidays and idolatry may be at present found on Focus on Idolatry Subdomain. However, God willing, that domain is soon to be dismantled and all posts will be transferred to the Christian Living Subdomain.
Brother Russell never presented the thought that any sign of patriotism itself was to be considered idolatry, although we are sure that he would have agreed that patriotism can become idolatry if taken to extremes.
From the standpoint of Brother Russell, since he never gave any prophecies, he never had any failed prophecies. Russell presented his conclusions and expectations as related to many Bible prophecies, but he disclaimed that his conclusions and expectations should be considered as “prophecies”.
End of the World in 1914
It was stated that the Jehovah’s Witnesses had predicted the end of the world for 1914. Since there was no Jehovah’s Witnesses organization before 1914, that organization could not have predicted anything. Were the Bible Students expecting the end of the world for 1914? Russell himself directly stated that he was not expecting the end of the world for 1914. From 1914 forward, Russell had been expecting that the time of trouble — not the end of the world — was begin in 1914. Russell, however, did not state his expectations as though he were the “authority” for an organization, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization.
End of the Word in 1916
In saying that the Jehovah’s Witnesses claimed that the end of the world was to come in 1916, since there was actually no Jehovah’s Witnesses organization before 1916, the thought is indirectly implied that Russell was expecting the end of the world in 1916. In looking through Russell’s writings and the writings of other Bible Students before 1916, we have not found where either Russell or anyone else was expecting anything at all for 1916.
End of the World in 1918
Again, by stating the Jehovah’s Witnesses were expecting the end of the world in 1918, the thought is implied that Russell claimed that the end of the world was to come in 1918. Actually, although Brother Russell once suggested that the end of harvest could end in 1918, we have not found any place where he ever said that he was expecting “the end of the world” in 1918. Some may surmise such a thought from the book, The Finished Mystery, but that book was not written by Brother Russell.
End of the World in 1920
It was stated that the Jehovah’s Witnesses had predicted the end of the world for 1920. Between 1916, when Russell died, and 1920, Rutherford had already begun to create his “organization”, although it had no yet taken the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. As best as we are able to determine, the date 1920 was first introduced in 1905, when Brother Russell presented some parallels of Brother E. G. Lee, which indicated that the time of trouble was to last from 1914 to 1920, and also the parallels of John Edgar, which indicated that time of trouble would last from 1914 to 1915. Russell, however, had stated that time prophecies only bring us to the year 1914, and he did have any indication from any time prophecies as to how long he time of trouble was to last beyond 1914. One could surmise that Brother Lee’s parallels would mean that Satan’s kingdom would be fully gone in 1920, although such was never stated; Russell himself, however, maintained that “following that trouble would come the reign of righteousness, blessings, increase of knowledge, God’s favor among men, and the living nations would all be more or less brought to a knowledge of the Lord. How long that would require I do not know.” (1911, What Pastor Russell Said, Q589:3.
End of the World in 1925
1925 is another date that some Bible Students, long before 1914 had presented with various expectations. Although Rutherord, after Russell died, made much ado about 1925, Russell, before he died, had stated that he held no expectations at all concerning that date.
Russell held no expectations for 1941, 1975, 1984, 1994, nor for the year 2000.
The author then begins to present a lot of standard assumptions that he has evidently borrowed from others that have to be added to scriptures presented in an effort to defend the trinity and other doctrines. We will simply, for the most part, offer links to where we have discussed these assumptions elsewhere:
The Holy Name = commonly given in English as: Yahweh, Jehovah, Ehyeh
ELOHIM does not mean three parts all of whom are equal to the whole, as claimed for the trinity dogma. If ELOHIM means more than one person in one God, and one also believes that Jesus is called ELOHIM in Psalm 45:6, then, to be consistent, one would have to believe that Jesus is more than one person. Genesis 1:2, however, by using the phrase “spirit of God [ELOHIM]”, demonstrates conclusively that ELOHIM does not mean three persons.
The “worse punishment” of Hebrews 10:29 is that of being without any further redemption (Hebrews 10:26) for those who have been sanctified in the blood of Jesus, and then who willfully trample upon Jesus. This punishment is worse than that of the punishment of those of Old Testament times (Hebrews 10:28) because the curse (condemnation) under the Law is coverd by the blood of Jesus. — Galatians 3:13.
Jesus gave the parody of the Rich Man and Lazarus in connection with the thought that the Law and the Prophets were until John the Baptist. — Luke 16:16.
The presentation of Jesus’ humanity to his God was not completed until after his ascension. (Hebrews 8:4,5; 9:14,24-28) If Jesus is still a human being, then either Jesus did not complete his sacrificial offering for sin (Ephesians 5:2), or else he took back that offering for sin; either way, we would be left without a redeemer. — Luke 22:19; John 6:51; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 11:24; 15:21,22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; Hebrews 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18.
Regarding the other various points raised, see the respective subdomains and pages linked to at:
This is a response to many statements being made concerning Charles Taze Russell on the Freeminds.org site, under the title: “Rubenstein, Disney, Russell and Rutherford: LEGACY EXAMINED”, by Terry Walstrom. We do not attack Mister Walstrom personally; we believe, however, that he is in error on many things reported in the article. We are only replying to the statements concerning Russell. Much of the language of the article seems to be designed to charge the emotions of the reader to accept what is being said to be fact, so that the reader will not think to read what Russell actually did teach and believe.
Russell is described as a “rank amateur” in comparison with whoever is not named as being “intellectually honest professionals”. Anyone who is genuinely familiar with Russell’s works, however, would state otherwise.
The Faithful and Wise Servant
It is claimed that Russell “accepted without protest that he was viewed by his followers as the very fulfillment of Matthew 24:45, the ‘faithful and wise servant’ appointed over the household of true believers at the end of the age.” This is partially true, as Russell allowed all to draw their own conclusions. He presented his view that the “faithful and wise servant” was the all who were associated with the Watch Tower and its work, but he also presented the view of those who applied it to himself personally. He admitted that he sought to avoid discussion of the matter; we believe if he had taken the time to examine the scriptures without the influence of others, he would have been able to see that Jesus was simply using the servants to illustrate various individuals amongst his followers, his servants. However, for several years before his death, he was suffering from multiple illnesses, and with much else with which he had to attend to, the matter of the “faithful and wise servant” probably was considered a matter of little interest to him at that time. Russell did, however, did, in 1910, make a statement against seeing Brother Russell in the Bible.
See our studies:
Ruler of All the Lord’s Goods
It is claimed that Russell’s own Watch Tower describes Russell as the “Ruler of all the Lord’s goods.” An electronic search of the Bible Students Library DVD reveals that Russell never used this expression at all. We do find such a claim being made for Russell in Rutherford’s Watch Tower in 1923. Russell’s Watch Tower, of course, ceased to exist when Russell died.
Russell Lost His Faith Altogether?
It is claimed that by age 16, “Russell lost his faith altogether.” No, it would not be correct to say that Russell “lost his faith altogether.” Russell did question what he had learned from the self-appointed “orthodoxy” of his time. Russell was right in questioning his faith in the teachings of man, especially those teachings that would depict the Creator as a fiendish demon as in such doctrines as the supposed indescribable eternal sufferings of billions of men, women, children, infants, etc., who died without believing in Jesus.
Of course, as he pointed out, he thought that these teachings were actually a part of the Bible, and thus, believing this, his faith concerning the Bible also came into doubt. Once he learned that the Bible did not teach such blasphemous doctrines such as the eternal indescribable suffering of most of mankind, as well as the trinitarian dogma, and that it did teach that Christ died for all, he was right in taking up the Biblical stand for the truth concerning these matters.
Russell Questioned His Faith
Life Now and Hereafter
Jesus and His God
Russell Heard a Lecture About the End Times?
It is being claimed that Russell heard a lecture about the End Times and the Second Coming of Jesus “to punish the non-believers and the reward the faithful.” This is a reference to Russell’s hearing a lecture by Jonas Wendell in 1870. The implication appears to be that Russell accepted Wendell’s teaching regarding the unbelievers being destroyed at Christ’s return, and as a result, “his keen self-interest was kindled.” The way this is presented is highly misleading, to say the least. Russell never stated what Wendell spoke on that night; we do not know if Wendell spoke on ‘time of the end’, Christ’s Return and/or something else. If Wendell had spoken about “Christ’s return to punish non-believers, it would seem that this message would have not have given Russell any reason to turn again to the Bible, not unless Russell became interested in order to rebuke Wendell’s error. Russell rejected Wendell’s view concerning the return of Christ, and Wendell’s view that Christ’s return would destroy all unbelievers, and that only a faithful few would be left. Indeed, as he stated later, “I have been a Bible student since I first had my attention called to the second coming of our Lord, by Jonas Wendel, a Second Advent Preacher, about 1869, who was then preaching the burning of the world as being due in 1873. But though he first awakened my interest on the subject, I was not a convert, either to the time he suggested nor to the events he predicted.” Indeed, all through the rest of his life until he died, Russell preached against the kind of “events” that Wendell preached were to happen at Christ’s return. Russell stated:
We reasoned that, if Christ’s coming were to end probation, and bring irrevocable ruin upon ninety-nine in a hundred of mankind; then it could scarcely be considered desirable, neither could we pray with proper spirit, “Come, Lord Jesus, Come quickly!” We had rather request–much as we should “love his appearing”–that he remain away and our sufferings and trials continue so that “if by any means we might save some.” Not only so, but great masses of scripture referring to the Millennial glory and teaching that “All nations which thou hast made shall come and worship before thee,” &c., &c., would be left unfulfilled if at His coming there should be a wreck of matter and a crush of world.
Supplement to the First Issue of the Watch Tower
No, Russell did not believe in Wendell’s teaching that Christ’s return was to eternally destroy all unbelievers. Thus, the statement that Russell’s “keen self-interest was kindled” leads one to false conclusions.
Did Russell By-Pass the Legitimate Foundation of the Christian Religion?
It is being claimed that since Russell did not apply for a diligent study of theology at Harvard or Yale, etc., that Russell by-passed the legitimate foundation of the Christian religion in order to study with Adventists. Actually, Russell by-passed all of man’s theology to study the true foundation of the Christian religion, that is, that which is revealed in the Bible itself. And what do we read therein? “No man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11) The Bible is not what is “marginal belief“; the true “maginal beliefs” are those beliefs that have to imagined, assumed, added to, and read into the Bible, such as the dogma of inherent human immortality of the soul, eternal conscious suffering, trinity, etc. Russell recognized at an early age that man’s theology was no longer Christ-centered, but rather was centered on man’s own philosophies, doctrines and practices, held to by tradition.
Russell Quotes Concerning the Bible
The Lord gave us many helps in the study of His word, among whom stood prominently, our dearly beloved and aged brother, George Storrs, who, both by word and pen, gave us much assistance; but we ever sought not to be followers of men, however good or wise, but “Followers of God, as dear children.” Thus growing in grace and knowledge for seven years, the year 1876 found us.
Supplement to the First Issue of the Watch Tower
If one reads what Russell stated, one should note that up until 1876, Russell was not interested in the “dates” of any of the Adventists. For seven years he had studied the Bible itself without any such interest; it was in these seven years that Russell had come to a basic understanding of the basis of Christ’s ransom sacrifice, that Christ was not to return in the flesh, and of the blessings of all the families of earth after Christ’s return. It was not until around 1876 (about two years after 1874), that Russell adopted Barbour’s views concerning any of the dates. At that time, he came to accept that Christ had already returned in 1874. Russell never claimed that the chronology and conclusions regarding time prophecy that he presented was infallible; indeed, he stated just the opposite. Nevertheless, if the dates are correct, and we believe they are, then they are not “wrong dates”. It is stated that “Adventist amateurs” had set and abandoned “wrong dates” again and again. Nothing is given to verify this statement, so we have nothing for which to respond. We can only ask, who are these “Adventists”, and what dates, specifically, are being referred to?
We should note, however, that the Adventist movement started within the denominational churches. What is often called the Millerite movement was actually within the protestant churches, especially within the Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist and Campbellite churches. The movement was not separate from the denominational, trinitarian, protestant churches, as many often try to depict, but was within those churches. Thus, it would seem that many of those whom Mr. Walstrom evidently thinks to be “genuine intellectually honest professionals” of these churches were involved in the Millerite movement. Mr. Walstrom, however, states, evidently using irony: “How wrong the legitimate established church was in refusing to listen to their theories!!” He does not explain what he believes “the legitimate established church” to be, so we cannot draw any definite conclusions from this statement. From his later statement, we assume that he believes what he calls “protestantism” to be “the legitimate established church”. At any rate, if he believes that the Baptist churches, the Presbyterian churches, etc., are part of the “legitimate established church”, then he is in error in saying that they refused to listen to “their theories”, since Miller’s teachings spread within many of the “Protestant” churches of his day, in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.
What did Russell believe to be the true church? Many Jehovah’s Witnesses might fully surprised to find out. Click here to find out what Russell actually believed to be the true church.
Was Russell as Second Adventist?
Every true Christian should believe in the “second advent” of Christ. In this sense, Russell was certainly a believer that Christ was to return and bless all the families of the earth. Did Russell consider himself to be of the “Second Adventist” movment? No, he never accepted, nor believed in, the teachings usually associated with the Second Adventists, especially their view that the Second Advent was to end probation — that is, that the Second Advent would mean the eternal destruction of all the unbelievers.
The article states things out of historical context to reach wrong conclusions. It is stated that Russell “abandoned an established church for a freewheeling one to then become a non-believer who was now a Second Advent enthusiast.” Russell did indeed become a “second advent” enthusiast because he learned what the scriptures actually state about Christ’s return, that the return of Christ was bring in the “times of restitution”, the blessing of all the families of the earth. The way the statement is presented, however, makes it appear that Russell was now preaching the message that those usually called “Second Adventists” preached, whereas, the reality is that Russell was preaching a message that was almost the opposite of what was generally preached by the “Second Adventists”. Indeed, the seven years of Russell’s study before 1876 is totally ignored.
It is claimed that Russell cobbled together any and every crackpot idea that appealed to him, etc. It is apparent that Mr. Walstrom is not very familiar with what Russell actually did teach, and thus, as far as this goes, we believe Mr. Walstrom is drawing upon his own imagination as to what he “thinks” Russell taught. It is claimed that Russell created a publishing corporation because he wanted to create fame as a world renowned pastor and teacher. Again, this ignores a lot of historical facts. If Barbour had not began to teach erroneous doctrines and refused to allow Russell’s articles to be printed, Russell may not have ever started the Watch Tower magazine. Russell started the Watch Tower, however, to counter the prevalent teachings amongst the Adventists, that is, that Christ’s return was end probation for millions of the unsaved. Again, if one is truly familiar with Russell’s writings, one would know that that Mr. Walstrom is in error in the motives that he gives to Russell.
See Russell’s works online at:
Most Holy Faith
Mr. Walstom claims that Russell had no ministerial training; this is not true, for as we have seen, by 1876, he already had seven years of training. Of course, Mr. Walstrom is not speaking of Biblical ministerial training, but extra-Biblical training by men in man’s traditions.
Ross’ Alleged Facts About Russell
Again, Mr. Walstrom ignores all the studying that Russell had done, and falsely leaves the impression of Russell as though he had no learning of the Bible, of the original languages of the Bible, or church history. The claim is made that rather than study such matters, Russell “was TEACHING as though he KNEW already what others had to labor intensively to discover!!” No mention is made of the intense training and study that Russell had as a lad, nor of his later training that he had in the “seven years” we mentioned earlier. Russell did not reach his conclusions without a long period of intensive labor to discover what the Bible actually states. Russell is derided because he chose not to be trained in the schools that indoctrinate with the false doctrines of men.
It is claimed that Russell believed that he was being used by God as above all others. Russell did indeed believe that God had used him in a special way; he was nor arrogant, however, in this, although some, by quoting him out of context, have made him appear to have been arrogant. Nor did Russell claim that Christians had to believe him or else they were not Christian.
Did Russell Give Out That He Himself Was Some Great One?
When Russell wrote his will, he endeavored to keep the Watch Tower Society from becoming what it did become. Rutherford ignored Russell’s will, created new by-laws and proceeded to create an organization which Russell preached against, and then Rutherford introduced an Armageddon doctrine similar to that of the Adventists, which doctrine Russell also preached against.
It is made to appear that Russell had predicted Christ’s return several times (although this is not directly stated), and that after several “wrong date predictions”, Russell came up with the “invisible Jesus” idea. Actually, Russell had already come to realize that Jesus was to return as a spirit being before he had any interest at all in time prophecies. It was not until 1876, two years after 1874, that Russell accepted that Christ had already returned in 1874. He held to that belief until he died in 1916. He did not, therefore, present any “wrong date predictions” at all about Christ was to return. He was not, as many have falsely stated, expecting Christ to return in 1878, 1881, 1914, 1915, etc. It is true that some of what he was expecting for these dates did not happen, but this does not mean that the dates are wrong. Russell, however, was never a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, and did not offer his expectations as being an “authority” in such an organization; he freely admitted that he could be wrong in his expectations.
JW Claims and Russell’s Expectations Regarding 1914
CTR’s Expectations Concerning 1914
While Russell probably would never claim to have been the founder of the Bible Students movement, he certainly was very influential in the founding of the many locals schools of Bible classes throughout many countries. It is not unfamiliar to Bible Students to refer to their local churches as “classes”, thus upon meeting a Bible Student, one may ask, “What class are you associated with?”
The statement is made that Russell did not believe that there was any afterward, and that he, along with Rutherford, believed “only the certainty of Armageddon obliteration!” And it is stated concerning both Russell and Rutherford, “Those who read their writings lived a life of constant fear of destruction, shunning, condemnation and toil because no assurance of salvation…” This would seem to retrospectively attribute Rutherford’s dogma concerning Armageddon to Russell, which, in reality, Russell taught almost the opposite of what Rutherford taught regarding Armageddon.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
This is in response to a post that is addressed to Jehovah’s Witnesses, but which is mostly an attack on Charles Taze Russell (who was never associated with the JWs) and his belief that the Great Pyramid is God’s Stone Witness in Egypt.
The attack begins by asking what one would expect if one should pick a book with a pyramid on the cover — should it be expected to contain Christian or pagan contents? We are next asked if we were trying to corroborate the date of Armageddon by means of measurements of a pyramid, if the reader should think it is a Christian thing to do of which God approves, or that it would be a pagan thing to do?
Of course, what one “thinks” is not important; if the Great Pryamid in Egypt is God’s Stone Witness, it does not matter what anyone “thinks” otherwise. It will not change the truth, whether the Great Pyramid is, or is not, God’s Stone Witness.
It is suggested that the Great Pyramid is “Satan’s Bible”, which would mean that by some means Satan had knowledge of the Bible itself before the Bible was written, and that he then had a pyramid designed to allegedly distort the Bible in order to mislead people. Indeed, Rutherford, in his statement of 1928, unwittingly attributed such knowledge to Satan by his claim that “Satan рυt hіѕ knowledge іn dead stone, whісh mау bе called Satans’ Bible, аnd nοt God’s stone witness.” Rutherford, in effect, chose to ignore all the overwhelming evidence that the Great Pyramid is God’s Stone Witness in Egypt, but rather that Satan designed that pyramid to seemingly corroborate the Bible and Jesus sacrifice in time long before Jesus came, and long before the Bible had been written, in order to in some unexplained way to deceive people. Rutherford probably had other motives for doing this, that is, he wanted to use the time prophecies of the Bible to give support to his new “organization” dogma, and he knew he could not do this as long as he continued to hold that the Great Pyramid is God’s Stone Witness.
The presentation on the blog is somewhat deceptive in that it makes it appear that the book, The Divine Plan of the Ages, and the book, The Divine Plan of the Ages As Shown in the Great Pyramid“or one and the same book. They are not the same, although the latter contains the former. Rivoire, in 1903, and Bachetti, in 1905, were both talking about the book, The Divine Plan of the Ages, not the book, The Divine Plan of the Ages As Shown in the Great Pyramid. It is the latter that presents the Great Pyramid as a corroboration of the divine plan, and of redemption through Jesus. The book, The Divine Plan of the Ages, does not present that corroboration, but it does present how Jesus died for our sins.
Nevertheless, The Watchtower of April 15, 2002, seems be deceptive in that it would appear to approve of the message of salvation that is presented in the book, The Divine Plan of the Ages. Actually, however, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have rejected that message of salvation and replaced it with a message that, in effect, ends up being bad tidings of great woe of eternal destruction for most of the people of the earth who reject the JW organization. In other words, they preach almost the opposite of the message of salvation that is presented in the book The Divine Plan of the Ages.
Russell’s main message is not about a pyramid, but about the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. That is what the book, The Divine Plan of the Ages, is about. The Great Pyramid of Egypt corroborates that atoning sacrifice of Jesus, but nothing was said of this in the first book.
Also, the title of the page is “Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pyramids – Christian or Pagan?”, is in itself deceptive, because it uses the plural “pyramids”, and not the Great Pyramid, which is one singular pyramid. By saying “pyramids”, instead of the Great Pyramid, it would imply something other than what Russell actually believed and taught.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Was the Jehovah’s Witnesses doctrine “founded by Charles Taze Russell”?
Absolutely not! The doctrine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is mostly based on the teaching of Joseph Rutherford, not Charles Taze Russell. There are some things that Russell and JWs have in common, such as the rejection of the non-Biblical inherent immortal soul and trinitarian dogma of men, but outside of this, the JW doctrine is almost the opposite of what Russell taught and believed.
Are the “Studies in the Scriptures” the “the basis of the Jehovah Witness theology”?
Since the Jehovah’s Witnesses reject most of what is in the Studies in the Scriptures, it is certainly not true that the basis of the JW theology is from those studies. JW theology rejects the very central doctrine related to atonement that is presented in the Studies, that is the “ransom for all,” and have replaced that doctrine with one that basically says, “join us, or else be eternally destroyed.” The latter was never taught by Russell, but the former — the ransom for all — was the central basis of Russell’s ministry.
See our own studies on the atonement at:http://atonement.reslight.net
More to follow, God willing…Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
I had posted a comment on paradosparables regarding some inaccurate statements being made concerning Charles Taze Russell; it appears that my comments are not being allowed, so I am resposting the comments here, with some edits. https://paradoxparables.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/confronting-the-inaccuracies-of-a-false-critique-of-my-post-falling-tulip-petals/
The Assertion is made that Russell “was having bible studies with the leader of the 7th Day Adventist movement”.
Charles Taze Russell started the Watch Tower to defend the atoning sacrifice of Jesus for all, as opposed to the teachings of some of the Second Adventists who were, in effect, denying the necessity of that sacrifice, as well as the “end of the world” doctrines presented by many of the Second Adventists. Russell was never “having Bible studies with the leader of the 7th Day Adventist movement.” Russell did study under some of the authors who had been associated with the “Second Adventist” movement. It is possible that the author of the blog is confusing the “Second Adventists” with the “Seventh-Day Adventists.” The “Second Adventists” had no “the leader”. Supplement of the First Issue of the Watch Tower
The assertion is made that “That is where they got all their failed end time date prophecies based upon a false view and interpretation of the Mayan calendar.”
I know of no association of the Bible study of time prophecies that Russell adopted that had anything to with any kind of interpretation of “the Mayan calendar.” A search of Russell’s and Barbour’s works on the Bible Students Library DVD show no reference whatever of the “Mayan calendar”. William Miller based his expectations on study of the Bible, not the Mayan calendar. However, study of Biblical prophecy and making conclusions concerning that study is not the same as making prophecies. See: Charles Taze Russell – Prophet?
Russell is presented as “the founder of the Jehovah’s Witness”.
Charles Taze Russell, however, never founded any sectarian or authoritarian organization such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. He was a non-sectarian who actively preached against such sectarianism and authoritarianism. Furthermore, he actively preached against the kind of alleged “Good News” that is preached by that organization. He certainly was not the founder of that which he preached against. The Jehovah’s Witnesses organization was created by Joseph Rutherford after Russell had died. Charles Taze Russell: Founder of the JWs?
CLICK HERE to see what Russell thought about Calvinism.
CLICK HERE to see what Russell thought about Arminianism.
Addendum in Reply to Comments Received:
It is being claimed the same Watch Tower Society of which Russell was the main founder is the same Watchtower Society that Jehovah’s Witnesses use today. Actually, the Watch Tower Society as Russell had left it was virtually destroyed within a few weeks after Russell died. Rutherford introduced and by means of deceit and trickery, had new by-laws passed which, in effect, destroyed the intended structure of the original Watch Tower Society.
Whoever of the Russell family may have been members of the Freemasons does not mean that Russell must have also been a Freemason. We have no reason at all to think that when Russell stated, “I have never been a Mason,” that he was lying. We have tens of thousands of pages produced from Russell’s works that overwhelmingly testify that he was not in league with the Freemasons.
In referring to the Mason “brethren”, it should be obvious that Russell was not saying that they were brothers in Christ, but he was using the term as they refer to each other as “brethren”. In saying “our Masonic brethren”, while Russell, being imperfect, may not have chosen the best way to express it, Russell was not saying that he was acknowledging them as “brethren” in Christ, but in a sense that are our neighbors who consider themselves to be “Masonic brethren”.
It is being claimed that Russell’s gravestone is a pyramid. This claim is false, but it would not make much difference to us if his gravestone were in the shape of the Great Pyramid. It is the intent of this claim that is of more concern, as it would imply that there something sinister and evil about the Biblical study of the Great Pyramid as God’s Stone Witness. While we do not agree with all of the Edgars’ conclusions, we believe they do present overwhelming evidence that the Great Pyramid is indeed God’s Witness in Egypt.
It is hinted that Russell would deny being a Mason because of Masonic secrecy. Is this logical? Would a man spend most of his money, time and energy sabotaging what is he supposed to be supporting by sabotaging what is is secretly supporting? This logic would work only those who have not actually studied Russell’s writings to know what he taught, and why he taught what he taught.
It is claimed that Russell used the measurements of the Great Pyramid to date “the end times”. This is deceptive, since Barbour and Russell based their study on the Bible, not the Great Pyramid. The Great Pyramid does support the time prophecies of the Bible, but the measurements of the Great Pyramid only corroborate the Bible; those measurements are not the basis of the dates. It had been presented by several before Russell, based on Biblical time prophecy, that “end times” (The Bible does not say “end times”, it does refer to “the time of the end”) had begun 1798. Russell placed it six months later, in 1799.
It is being hinted that the start of World War was a collaborative effort, evidently between Barbour, or Russell, and the Freemasons. There is no evidence that Barbour, back in 1875, had collaborated with the Freemasons in order to have World War I begin in 1914, or that Russell himself ever collaborated with the Masons to have such a war started. Russell was expecting, from 1904 onward, that the time of trouble was to begin in 1914. He was expecting the end of the world in 1914, and he stated so. He died in 1916 believing that the time of trouble did begin in 1914. I believe that the time of trouble did begin in 1914, and that we are still in that time of trouble.
It is hinted that Russell was expecting “the end of days” in 1914. Russell was expecting the end of the days of the Gentile Times in 1914, and the ending of the Gentiles would bring the foretold “time of trouble”; nevertheless, Russell never used the expression “end of days”. Russell was certainly NOT expecting the end of this world, or the JW kind of Armageddon, in 1914. Russell preached against the kind of Armageddon that Rutherford later taught. A quote is given concerning an expectation (not a prophecy) that Russell had stated in 1889 that the battle of the great day of God Almighty would be over in 1914. Russell rejected that view in1904, ten years before 1914 came.
It is stated that one cannot force God’s hand. I am sure that Russell would have agreed with that statement. Russell admitted the possibility that he might be in error regarding chronology and/or his expectations related to time prophecy; he never claimed his studies on these to be infallible, nor even necessary doctrine.
Did William Miller Get His Chronology and Dates From the Mayan Calendar? and Did Russell Claim Infallibilty? Russell, although he had some association with some of the Second Adventists, which neither he nor any of the Bible Students have ever tried to hide, never had any association with the 7th Day Adventists. The genuine history of the relationship regarding these various groups and organizations, however, has never been denied by Bible Students. Russell never believed in a sectarian religious organization such as the 7th Day Adventists, and certainly not the claims of its leaders to have received “visions” from God. We believe as did Russell, that Christ did indeed return in 1874. Although we believe this to be true, we do not try hinder the service of other Christians who may not be able to see this matter; indeed, we, as did Russell, do not even claim that our belief concerning this to be infallible. And, if in the coming age when all matters will be set straight, we are proven to be wrong, a true Christian should be humble enough to admit that what he was mistaken concerning the matter, and accept whatever discipline may be needed at that time. The reverse is also true; if it is shown in the next age that what we believe is true, those Christians who have rejected this should be humble enough to submit to truth and any necessary discipline. I believe all of us will surprised in some way at errors we have believed. See our study: Parable of the Four Servants — Luke 12:42-48 It is claimed by paraDOXparABLEs: “The fact is I do know what I am speaking about and its based in fact.” We believe that he may be convinced that he knows what he is talking about, but we also believe that we do know what we are talking about, as, for instance, we KNOW Russell’s gravestone is not in the shape of pyramid. Here is a picture of Russell’s gravestone:
Russell’s GravestoneAs one can see, that gravestone is not in the shape of pyramid. There is no way to escape that a statement that Russell’s gravestone is a pyramid is not “based in fact”, except that one totally distort the “fact” to make it appear that Rutherford’s pyramid monument is Russell’s gravestone. And then the “fact” that Russell believed that the Great Pyramid is God’s Stone Witness in Egypt has to be distorted by means of human imagination so as to make it appear that Russell’s belief regarding this was because he was in support of the goals of the Freemasons, which it would have to imagined and assumed that he supported the goals of the Freemasons by spending his wealth, most of his time and energy to sabotage in tens of thousands of pages of material what he is being imagined to have been supporting by such a sabotage. For more information on Charles Taze Russell, see:
Regarding Russell’s gravestone:
Yes, Russell never lost all faith in the Bible because of the Calvinistic views, but not just because of that, because of the Arminian view also. Both views called for an eternity of unimaginable concious suffering for those considered to be lost according to those views. Russell, once having learned of the ransom for all, rejected both the Arminian views as well as Calvinism, although he did show how the scriptures present both election as well as free will.
Here are some of his sermons or studies pertaining to this (although we are in generally agreement, we do not necessarily agree with all the details of his statements).
The scriptures say nothing about man’s soul being inherently immortal, nor of a triune God. Both doctrines would end up nullified the purpose of Christ’s death. There is no reason for a truth seeker to add those doctrines to scripture.
See our sites:
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The above question is asked on Answerdigger.com, and several comments are made, and an answer given as the “best answer.” The answer chosen as the best answer, however, is far from correct, and contains many inaccurate statements. Since we have found no way to respond to this on the Answerdigger.com site, we decided to respond here.
The claim is that the Jehovah’s witnesses movement was started by Charles Taze Russell. This is false, since Russell did not believe in such a sectarian organization, nor in its authoritarian hierarchy. The true founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ organization was Joseph Rutherford. I have discussed this several times before:
The claim is made that “Charles Taze Russell used the Bible and formulated ideas and had like minded people to follow along.” Russell did indeed use the Bible, and Russell came to certain conclusions from his study of the Bible; Russell, however, unlike the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ leadership, never insisted that all consecrated Christians had to accept his conclusions.
It is claimed that 1914 was a “big drawcard” for Russell. While some may have been attracted because of the Biblical time prophecies that Russell presented, I believe that most Bible Students, like myself, were attracted to what Russell presented from the Bible regarding the “ransom for all” as shown in the book, The Divine Plan of the Ages. Russell himself considered the understanding of the atoning sacrifice to be more important than understanding of time prophecies. The Jehovah’s Witnesses no longer preach this central doctrine, but have replaced it with an alleged “Good News” that would deny any benefit from the ransom for all for billions of people, including their children.
It is claimed that Russell “divined” 1914 from the Great Pyramid. The use of the word “divined” implies a form of demonic spiritistic divination. This, of course, is totally false.
The date, 1914 was known by N. H. Barbour before Russell accepted this. Barbour, however, did not “divine” the date 1914 from the Great Pyramid; the works we have of Barbour today are limited, but it does appear that he obtained the date through study of Bible prophecy, not from the Great Pyramid, and certainly not through any practice of demonic “divination”. I notice that Barbour mentions the date of the end of the times of Gentiles in September of 1875, but the first mention of 1914 as corroborated by the Great Pyramid that I have found did not appear until January of 1876. Thus, I conclude that some time before September of 1875, Barbour had already concluded from study of the Bible that the Gentile Times were to end in 1914, and then after that he found the measurement of the Great Pyramid confirms the date 1914.
Russell, later in 1876, accepted Barbour’s studies. In 1904, evidently after considering arguments made by some of his associates, Russell deviated from Barbour’s conclusion that the time of trouble was to end in 1914. I should note, however, that Russell presented his conclusions and expectations regarding those conclusions as his own, and refrained from the authoritarian approach taken by Rutherford after Russell died.
It is claimed that “later” the year 1914 was obtained by means of “a numerologic equation” from the Bible. This is misleading on two counts: the date 1914 was evidently first obtained from study of Bible prophecy, not from the Great Pyramid. I conclude that the author has the matter backwards. The phrase “a numerologic equation” seems to be implying the claim of some connection with spiritistic numerology. Barbour did use “numbers” given in the Bible which relate to time prophecy; he did not use any form of spiritistic numerology.
The statement is made that Russell’s (alleged) “numerologic equation” [evidently meaning his studies on time prophecy) has no credence at all. This sounds like what many say of the Bible itself, for many state that the Bible “has no credence at all.” Of course, what Barbour presented and what Russell presented was several scriptural lines of credence found to be harmonious with itself, as far as the dates and the chronology is concerned. One of the greatest reasons I accept the Bible by faith is the harmonious way all writers present the seed of woman — the seed of Abraham, leading up to Christ and seed of faith in the New Testament and the blessing of all the families of the earth; likewise, one of the reasons I accept the chronology and the dates as presented by Barbour is the self-corroboration of several scriptural lines of presentation as presented by Russell, which is indeed as credible as the Bible itself, if one understands the matter. This is not to say that I agree with all conclusions of either Barbour or Russell.
It is claimed that a lot of Russell’s “ideas have gone and been done away with.” This is misleading, since it is not totally true. Most of Russell’s ideas are still being preached and held to by thousands of Bible Students. His works are still being published.
It is true that the Jehovah’s Witnesses have, for the most part, done away with the central teachings of Russell, but it is not true amongst many of the Bible Students. Many Bible Students may not agree with all that Russell taught, and some have sought to refine on his ideas, but the central things that he taught still remain.
It is claimed the date 1914 “actually failed because they initially had ideas for Armageddon to take place at this point.” This is highly misleading. Russell’s intitial understanding concerning Armageddon, which he adopted and adapted from Barbour, was that Armageddon had begun 1874, and was to last until 1914, when it was believed that peace would fill the earth. Some Bible Students objected to this, and had concluded that the end of the Gentiles would not see the end of the time of trouble, but rather the beginning of time of trouble. Russell himself adopted this latter view in 1904. Russell died in 1916 believing that the time of trouble had begun in 1914. I believe it did, and that we are still in the time of trouble to this day, and I see no failure in the date itself.
Russell, however, never believed in the kind of Armageddon that the Jehovah’s Witnesses preach, that is, the idea that all unbelievers and their children were to be eternally destroyed. This is almost the opposite of what Russell taught.
What was the teaching that attracted most to Russell? I have no doubt that it was the teaching of the ransom for all, the coming age when all nations of the earth will be blessed, etc. I, for one, am thankful to God for the works of Russell.
Addendum to Comments given:
One person comments that Russell had a new doctrine that appealed to people, with the statement following: No fire/brimstone hell and pyramid power. While Russell presented the old teaching from the Bible on the Bible hell, he never presented any doctrine at all about “pyramid power.” A search of Russell’s works shows that he never mentioned “pyramid power” at all.
Russell did, however, believe that the Great Pyramid is God’s witness in Egypt. This has nothing, however, to do with “pyramid power.”
The Bible idea of hell to this day has not been accepted by many people. The carnal mind wishes to have a doctrine that would eternally keep their enemies in some kind of suffering for all eternity; such evil doctrine does not come from spirit of God, but from the spirit of error.
Another person, using the identity “Legal Alien” states that Russell “claimed to have a better translation of the Bible.” I am not sure what this is referring to. Russell did use works of Bible scholars to show how many words from the Hebrew and Greek have often been translated to suit man’s self-appointed so-called orthodoxy. If the thought is that Russell produced his own “translation” of the Bible, Russell never claimed such, and never did such.
In court, Russell plainly stated that he was not claiming to have been trained in either Greek or Hebrew. He was not permitted to explain that he uses the works produced by those who profess themselves to be Hebrew and Greek scholars to show how words are translated.
Ross’ Alleged Facts and Perjury Accusations
“Legal Alien” claims that the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus was not the begotten Son of God. I have never seen or heard any of the Jehovah’s Witnesses ever profess such a thing. I am not with the JWs, but have read many of their books, and no that this statement is false.
Regarding Russell, I know Russell did indeed believe that Jesus is the begotten Son of God. Indeed, the fact that Jesus is begotten shows that he had a beginning, for no where in the Bible do the words for begotten mean without a beginning, but always it refers to that which is in some way brought forth into being. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus. — Ephesians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3.
Russell did indeed deny the God-dishonoring trinity doctrine. The trinity doctrine is nowhere to be found in the Bible, but has to be imagined, assumed, added to, and read into, each every scripture that is used to allegedly defend the added-on dogma. Indeed, if the trinity dogma is true, then there has been no redemption given to pay the wages of sin, since the trinity dogma would end up denying the basis of that Jesus’ ransom sacrifice for all.
A Christian will do well to compare the Bible itself with the dogma of man’s self-proclaimed orthodoxy and accept what the Bible says, even if it is not in harmony with what man’s self-proclaimed orthodoxy heresy teaches.
This is in response to a paragraph at:
The paragraph purports some secret of Charles Taze Russell, evidently as related to the freemasons’ organization, and Russell is assumed to be the founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Charles Taze Russell was not the founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization. No such organization existed in the days of Russell, and Russell actively preached against such sectarianism and authoritarianism until the day he died. Additionally, the JWs’ alleged “Good News” of bad tidings of great woe for most of the people that they will eternally destroyed is almost the opposite of the glad tidings of great joy for all the people that Russell preached. Thus, it is misleading to say that Russell was the founder of that which he did not believe, and which he actively preached against. See the categories, “Sectarianism“, “Sole Channel/Authority“, “Gospel/Good News“, “Founder of the JWs?”, and “Church Organization” on the “Focus on Charles Taze Russell” website.
It is claimed that Russell is buried under a pyramid monument. This statement is totally false. Russell is not buried under a pyramid monument. See: “Russell’s Grave”
Additionally, Rutherford’s pyramid monument has nothing at all to do the Freemasons’ organization. It has nothing to do with being coincidence of not being a coincidence since the Great Pyramid was not built by the Freemasons; I (and many thousands of Christians) believe it was built under the direction of Yahweh (Jehovah). Regardless, the Great Pyramid is not a structure that belongs to the Freemasons. And, contrary to what many have claimed, the Bible is not a book of the Freemasons.
Russell was not a member of the Freemasons’ organization. We have tens of thousands of pages of his works that give overwhelming evidence that he was not a member of such an organization. See: “Freemasons” and “Pyramidology“.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 8 so far )
Another video, aimed at Jehovah’s Witnesses, but mostly attacking Charles Taze Russell, has been put on Youtube entitled: Jehovah Witnesses- Freemasonry Jesuit Connection Exposed Edited and Compiled by David J. Stewart. At least one other site has embedded the video.
As I have pointed out many times, Charles Taze Russell was never associated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization. That organization was created by Rutherford after Russell died. The Jehovah’s Witnesses preach an message that is almost the opposite of that which Russell preached.
In the video, we are first asked to notice “the Masonic Cross” that appeared on the Watch Tower in the days of Russell. I notice that there is a cross, crown and wreath symbol; I do not notice any “Masonic” cross on the old Watch Tower; the idea of “the Masonic Cross” has to be imagined and assumed.
It is bluntly stated that “Russell was a 33rd Degree Freemason.” Having studied Russell’s writings for almost 50 years, I can say without a doubt at all that Russell was not a member of the Freemasons’ organization.
Next a picture of a Masonic Center is displayed with the words “Russell and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in the Greatest Masonic Center Cemetery”. In reality there is no such cemetery as “The Greatest Masonic Center Cemetery.” The technique being used is highly deceptive and leaves one with the thought that that Russell is buried in a cemetery by the name of “The Greatest Masonic Center Cemetery.”
Russell is not buried in a “masonic cemetery” at all. The United Rosemont Cemetery that exists across the street from the Masonic Center that is displayed in the picture is not a Masonic cemetery, although there a masons buried in that cemetery. Indeed, the Masonic Center in the picture did not exist in when Russell was buried in the Rosemont Cemetery. That Masonic building was constructed decades after Russell had died.
Next we are shown a picture of Rutherford’s pyramid monument and are asked to “notice the Illuminati pyramid.” Actually, all that is shown is Rutherford’s pyramid monument; I do not notice any Illuminati pyramid. The idea of “Illuminati pyramid” has to be imagined and assumed. Russell is NOT buried in or under that pyramid, however.
In the video, we are given a picture of the inscription of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society on the side of Rutherford’s pyramid monument, and are told that “this is irrefutable proof that Jehovah Witnesses are inseparably linked to Satanic Freemasonry.” And yet, not one proof has been give of this alleged “irrefutable” proof. All that has been presented is what has been imagined and assumed.
We are next presented a picture and told to note the Freemasonry cross, the Knights Templar symbol. I see that the Knights Templar have a symbol that is similar, although not exactly the same, as that used by Russell; that symbol itself, however, is not “the Freemasonry cross” (there really is no such thing), but it is used the Knights Templar who claim to be Christians who are also Freemasons. The idea that this symbolism IS, of itself, exclusively a Freemasons’ or even Knights Templar symbol, is being imagined and assumed.
We are next asked to note the “Masonic Cross” in a Freemasons Hall. Evidently this hall is used by the Knights Templar. We can see a crown and crown symbol, but it is evidently being imagined and assumed that this symbol is of and exclusive to the Freemasons, which assumption, to be consistent, would lead one to believe all the Christians (practically all of the Christian denominations) down through the centuries who have used similar symbolism must be also be Masons.
We are next presented the ridiculous idea that of an illuminati bloodline, and the claim that Russell of this bloodline. The assumption seems to be that anyone who of this alleged bloodline cannot possibly be removed from whatever curse or evil is being attributed to the alleged bloodline, and that since Russell, unlike most people, was born of that bloodline, he was already condemned to be Satanic and there was no way to escape such a destiny. This, of course, is antichrist, as opposed to the redemption that is spoken of in the Bible. There is what one could call a scriptural “illuminati” bloodline, but that bloodline began in the Garden of Eden, when man, represented in Adam and Eve, began “professing themselves to be wise” (Romans 1:22), which led to them becoming by nature of their disobedience, sons of wrath. (Ephesians 1:2,3) Thus the whole human race from Adam became of this scriptural illuminati bloodline through the sin of Adam, but not without remedy, since Christ took the condemnation upon himself, so that one, in becoming a new creation, can escape from the condemned bloodline. — Roman 5:12-19; 8:19-21; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; Ephesians 2:1-10.
The Illuminati bloodline implication as presented in the video and by Fritz Springmeier would thus seem to deny that the blood of Christ could purchase those under this alleged bloodline, and would thus be antichrist, denying the main purpose for which Christ came in the flesh. — John 3:16,17; 6:51; 12:46,47; 1 John 2:2; 2 John 1:7.
In the video, we are presented with the statement that Charles Taze Russell was a Satanist. In reality, it is imagined and assumed that Russell was a Satanist, and what has been imagined and assumed is presented as though fact. Anyone genuinely familiar with Russell’s writings KNOWS that he was not a Satanist.
We are also told that Russell was “a pedophile according to his wife.” Mrs. Russell did present some claims that Russell’s behavior was inappropriate as related to several women, but her statements do not include any accusation of his being a pedophile, and she actually denied that she was accusing her husband of adultery.
We are told that Russell was a friend of the Rothschilds. Russell sent at least one letter to one of the Rothschilds; I have never seen any proof, however, that he had any close friendship with the Rothschilds. The Rothchilds most certainly did not fund the Watch Tower Society in its beginning. Such an idea comes from what some imagine, not from actual facts.
We are told that Russell promoted Zionism. This seems to imply that there would be something wrong in promoting Zionism. The statement also leaves me with a feeling of antisemitism. It seem to imply that anyone who would promote Israel’s return to Palestine must be Satanic. Russell did recognize that the Zionist movement is part of fulfillment of Bible prophecy, and he believed that Christians should, as the Bible states, speak consolingly to Israel along this line, if that is what is meant by promoting Zionism. However, if Russell was a Satanist for doing this, then the Bible itself is Satanism. (Indeed, Springmeier seems to think the Bible, at least as we have it, is a product of the Freemasons, although I am not sure that he directly ever stated such.)
To search Russell’s works for the word “Zionism”, CLICK HERE! Please note that many of the results are not Russell’s words, but statements made by others.
The video quotes from Fritz Springmeier’s book, “The Watchtower and the Masons.” Springmeier notes that Russell spoke unfavorably of the Freemasons organization, but passes it off as being a “smokescreen.” In effect, this would mean that Russell spent most of his life sabotaging what he was supposedly promoting by sabotaging what he was allegedly promoting, which is totally ridiculous. We have tens of thousands of pages of Russell’s works that present overwhelming evidence that Russell was not a Freemason. Almost all, if not all, of Russell’s known works are online at:
As I stated before, anyone truly familiar with Russell’s writings KNOWS that Russell was not a member of the Freemasons. Knowing his writings, I can say that he was definitely not a member of the Freemasons’ organization.
The video next drifts away from Russell and starts presenting the ideas concerning the New World Translation, partly true, most of which is distorted. I will not address much of what is stated, except to say that I do not believe that Westcott and Hort were “Satanists” as that term is often used. Of course, all of us, if we obey Satan rather than God, and all of us have done this many times in our lives, it could be said that by such an act we are Satanists, although that is not the way the word “Satanists” is usually used in common language. In other words, if you have ever told a lie, scripturally, in that act itself, you would be Satanist, following the father of the lie. (Matthew 6:24; John 8:44) The only escape from this is the new creation that is created by means Christ.
We are still living in what the Bible calls the “present evil age.” (Galatians 1:4) Satan is still deceiving the entire world. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9) Even many of Christ’s own servants are being deceived to some degree. (Luke 12:48) It is indeed true that people often “”love evil more than good, Lying rather than speaking the truth.” — Psalm 52:3.
Many people are fascinated by the imaginative and assumptive, and seem to like to approve of such, and broadcast such, far and wide, and advocates of such deceptions are many, whereas only a few endeavor to seek out the truth beyond the assertions based on assumptions, and there are even fewer who publicly broadcast the truth as opposed to the wide broadcast of the distortion of truth. It is sad to see, however, Christians who claim to believe in the Bible rebroadcasting such statements that would, in effect, deny the redemptive blood of Christ.
For more information about Russell, see:
I am presenting some sites below that are spreading the idea that Russell was a member of the freemasons, was a some kind of Satanic bloodline, etc. PLEASE NOTE! Most of these sites are filled with distortions and misrepresentations of Russell.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 13 so far )
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.!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Something that keeps popping up over and over on the internet is the idea that Charles Taze Russell was buried in/under a pyramid. Statements are made in reference to Russell’s pyramid memorial, Russell’s pyramid tomb, Russell’s pyramid tombstone, Russell’s pyramid gravestone, etc. This is usually stated in the context of efforts to “prove” that Russell was a member of the Freemasons or that he belong to a secret organization called “The Illuminati.” It is being imagined and assumed that Rutherford’s pyramid monument that was constructed a few years after Russell’s death is a Freemasons’ pyramid, and/or that it is an “Illuminati” pyramid, and it is being imagined and assumed that the cross and crown symbol on that pyramid is a Masonic symbol, and based on these imaginations and assumptions it is being claimed that what is being imagined and assumed is proof that Russell was a member of the Freemasons, and/or a member of the Illuminati.
Russell, however, advised several times that Christians should remain free from all such “secret” organizations; that they were soon to be destroyed, etc. The tens of thousands of pages that have been produced from Russell’s works attest beyond any shadow of a doubt that Russell was not a member of these secret organizations.
Nevertheless, to set the matter straight concerning where Russell is buried, there is no pyramid on Russell’s tomb. There is a pyramid monument that was built several years later in the middle of the WTS plot of the Rosemont Cemetery, but that monument is not a tomb, nor is there anyone at all buried under or in that monument.
The picture at this link shows where Russell is buried:
The picture at this link is not where Russell is buried:
This monument was meant to serve as memorial for all the workers who died at that WTS headquarters; it was not a monument built solely as a memorial to Russell. This can be seen by the many names inscribed on that monument.
Some related links:Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
The claim is being made that Charles Taze Russell was a proven perjurer. However, this “proof” of perjury does not come from any legal charge of perjury leveled against Russell from any court, but rather the “proof” is in misrepresentation of the facts as offered by one J. J. Ross, who published his accusation of perjury in a book entitled “Some Facts and More Facts About the Self-Styled ‘Pastor’ Charles T. Russell.” We have provided an examination of some of those alleged “facts” in another website, so will not reproduce that examination here. See:
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