Examining Freeminds’ Discover the Legacy

Posted on March 18, 2012. Filed under: His Teachings, Is it true what they say? | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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.

Rank Amateur

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:

The Faithful and Wise Servant and Other Servants
Parable of the Four Servants

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.
See:
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.

See:
Jonas Wendell’s 1870 Presentation
The JW Organization, Armageddon, 1914, and Russell
Armageddon and the Day of Judgment

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

Russell wrote:

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.
See:
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.
See:
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.
See:
JW Claims and Russell’s Expectations Regarding 1914
CTR’s Expectations Concerning 1914

End of the World in 1914?

The JW Organization, Armageddon, 1914, and Russell

Beginning of the Time of Trouble

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.

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Is This True or False?

Posted on November 20, 2010. Filed under: Is it true what they say? | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

A post is presented on a site called “Hot Events” that asks the question directed toward “Jehovah’s Witnesses”: Is This True or False? I do not know if the question is thought of as rhetorical, but none of my responses to the post have been acknowledged, so I am left wondering if the owner posted this material, and asked the question without actually expecting anyone to seriously to challenge what is stated, thus, with the assumption that the statements are true.

After doing a search of the internet, I have found that this material has been copied and pasted to many sites, blogs and forums. It seems that many like rush to spread false accusations, misrepresentations, etc., without actually investigating whether what is stated is fact or not.

As a Bible Student, I am mostly concerned with what is being stated about Charles Taze Russell, and do not intend to respond all of the things being said about Rutherford and others.

#1: It is being claimed that the sect now known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses was started by Charles Taze Russell.

Is this true, or is it false? Many may be inclined to say it is true, but one who knows the facts, if he is honest, should answer: It is false!

The first major reason for answering that the statement is false is that Charles Taze Russell did not believe such a sectarian authoritarian organization as the Jehovah”s Witnesses. He actively preached against such authoritarian sectarianism. The JW organization was slowly formed by Joseph Rutherford after Russell died; the Bible Student movement as a whole did not become part of that organization. Indeed, the Bible Students movement that had been associated with Russell, as a whole (represented by the majority), rejected Rutherford’s new organization, and continued their activities without Rutherford or his new organization. Therefore, it is misleading to say that Russell started what is now the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

See the following:

Was Russell the Founder of What is Now Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Russell — Founder of the JWs?

Russell Was Not the Founder of the JWs

Is Russell Responsible for the JWs?

The second major reason for answering that the statement is false is that Russell taught a “Good News” that is almost the opposite of that Rutherford introduced, and which still serves as a basis for Jehovah’s Witnesses’ “Good News” to this day. When Rutherford introduced his new “good news”, he several times misrepresented what Russell taught on the “ransom for all,” setting up one strawman argument after another, and then knocking down the strawman. Many of these “strawman” arguments still appear in the Watchtower publications to this day.

Nevertheless, since Russell really did preach “glad tiding of great joy for all the people,” as opposed to the bad tiding of eternal destruction for all people who reject the JW organization, again it would be misleading to say that Russell started such sectarianism.

See Russell’s studies on:

Which is the True Gospel?

The True Gospel and Its Effects

Why Will There Be a Second Advent?

“The Day of Vengeance” What, When and Where Will It Be?

Ransom and Restitution

#2: It is being claimed that Russell, at the age of seventeen, tried to convert an atheist to Christianity, but that Russell was himself converted to agnosticism.

Is this true or false? Yes, this part is true; that is to say, Russell at least tended toward agnosticism, or perhaps deism, for a short while, believing that the unjust, unreasonable, diabolic doctrines of man’s so-called orthodoxy were actually part of the Bible.

#3: It is being claimed that some time later, Russell attended an Adventist meeting where he was told that Jesus would be back at any time, and thus Russell “got interested in the Bible.”

Is this true or false? I cannot answer this completely, because Russell did not state exactly what it was that sparked his interest when he attended Jonas Wendall’s meeting in 1870. Russell never stated what Wendell spoke on that aroused his interest, but considering what Russell did write concerning his views between 1870 to 1876, it seems highly unlikely that Russell would have been aroused with Wendall’s views on the return of Christ is 1874. It would seem more likely that Russell may have been aroused by Wendall’s views concerning the condition of the dead, or something similar. In Russell’s writings, he stated that he did not accept Wendell’s prophetic “dates”, and that he had no interest in prophetic dates until 1876; so it seems very likely, if Wendell had spoken on his views concerning 1873 in 1870, Russell, then tending toward agnosticism, would not have been attracted by what Wendell presented. However, if Wendell spoke on one of Russell’s greatest concerns about the Bible, that is “hell”, or something related to the condition of the dead and the resurrection, then it seems more logical that Russell would have responded to that message favorably.

See:

Wendall’s 1870 Presentation

#4: The claim is made that William Miller predicted the world to end in 1843, and then 1844. Due to the perceived failure of these dates, it is alleged “many people became frustrated and withdrew from the Adventist movement.” It is claimed that a remnant, being led by Ellen G. White, formed the Seventh-Day Adventist movement. The leading light of Adventism had been William Miller, a flamboyant preacher who predicted that the world would end in 1843. When it didn’t, he “discovered” an arithmetical error in his eschatological calculations and said it would end in 1844. When his prediction again failed, many people became frustrated and withdrew from the Adventist movement, but a remnant, led by Ellen G. White, went on to form the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, and that it was “this diminished Adventism which influenced Russell.

Is this true or is it false? It is basically true, but yet it is still deceptive. The reader will probably be left with the thought that Russell was influenced by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The author does not reveal that there were many “Adventists”, often referred to collectively as “Second Adventists”, who were not associated with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Russell was influenced by many “Second Adventists” writers, but I have found no evidence of any influence by any of the Seventh-Day Adventists’ writers.

#5: It is claimed that Russell took the title “Pastor” even though he never got through high school.

Is this true or false? It is true in the sense that Russell never had formal high school education as administered in classrooms; however, it is misleading since by the time he was ordained as pastor in Pittsburgh, his education through private tutors and his own self-education and would have rivaled that of many that of many college graduates. Nevertheless, the statement would seem to be saying that one has to have man’s secular training in a “high school” in order to serve as a pastor. The Bible never makes such a stipulation.

It is also misleading to say that Russell “took the title of Pastor.” Russell was appointed as pastor by the church that he was associated with in Allegheny, PA. He did not merely take the title or office upon himself.

#6: It is being claimed that before Russell got his religious career well underway, Russell promoted what he called “miracle wheat.”

Is it true or false? Did Russell, before “his religious career was well under way” even know of anything called “Miracle Wheat”? Assuming that one counts his “religious career” as having been well under way in 1879, when he started publishing The Watch Tower. Had he known anything of Miracle Wheat before he started publishing the magazine? Absolutely not! And certainly by 1904, he surely had his religious career well under way! Had he ever said anything at all about “Miracle Wheat”? Absolutely not! Kent Stoner did not discover the “Miracle Wheat” until 1906. Russell did not find out about it until about two years later, around 1908, when it was being reported in the newspapers. Kent Stoner was a farmer in Virginia, and had no association with Brother Russell or the Bible Students. The name “Miracle Wheat” was first given to this wheat by either Kent Stoner, one of his associates who helped him in isolating and keeping the strain pure, or by the newspapers. The point is that there is no way that Russell even knew about this “Miracle Wheat” “Before he got his religious career well underway.” He certainly had his “religious career” well under way in 1908, thus the statement is false.

#7: It is claimed that Russell promoted what he called “miracle wheat.”

This continues from #6. This needs to addressed in two parts:

Did Russell ever “promote” miracle wheat? Indirectly he did, but the use of the word “promote” might be misleading. What actually happened is that two farmers, both Bible Students, had purchased some seeds from Stoner and had grown a lot of this “Miracle Wheat”, and wished to offer it for sale, and would donate all proceeds to the Watch Tower Society. Russell placed announcements of this offer in the pages of the Watch Tower, and allowed the seeds to stored, packaged and shipped from the basement of the headquarters of the Society.

The second part, to address is: what he called “miracle wheat,”

This is not exactly false, but again it is misleading. Someone named a rounded plastic tubing “hula-hoop” and every one called it “hula-hoop.” Likewise, since Stoner’s wheat discovery was named “Miracle Wheat”, Russell also called by that name. However, it is highly likely that the author chose the above wording so as to imply that Russell is the one that named the wheat “Miracle Wheat”, and probably that is the what most readers would assume from the way its is written. Russell, of course, did not give the wheat its name; he did call it by the name that was given to it in the newspapers, that is, “Miracle Wheat.”

#8: The statement is made that Russell sold this Miracle Wheat at sixty dollars per bushel.

This I have to give as false. Russell himself did not sell any of the wheat; it was others who offered the wheat for sale. Russell simply conveyed their offer in a few words of the Watch Tower. The price of sixty dollars per bushel was $25 LESS per bushel than Stoner had been selling the same wheat.

#9: It is being stated that Russell claimed Miracle Wheat “would grow five times as well as regular wheat.”

This is definitely false! Russell never made any claims at all for Stoner’s Miracle Wheat. He published newspaper reports of Stoner’s claims and claims by others concerning Miracle Wheat, but I have been unable locate any place where even Stoner or anyone ever stated exactly that it would grow five times as well as regular wheat. Newspaper reports were showing that it did grow many times more than other wheat, but the amounts varied from farmer to farmer.

#10 It is being claimed that Stoner’s Miracle Wheat grew slightly less well than regular wheat, that this was established in court when Russell was sued.

False on two counts. (1) The wheat was shown in court to produce several times that of regular wheat. (2) Russell was never sued regarding Miracle Wheat. It was Russell who sued the Daily Brooklyn Eagle for libel.

For the true facts regarding Russell and Miracle Wheat, see:

Charles Taze Russell and the Miracle Wheat Story

Pastor Russell in Reply to Critics

A Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens

Borlaug’s New Miracle Wheat (Search)

#11 It is being claimed that Russell “marketed a fake cancer cure.”

False. The cancer cure that Russell obtained was not fake; many seem to simply assume that it must have been “fake” since they have already condemned Russell of all kinds of other falsehoods, thus it seems that they are willing to believe that they have a right to assume anything else imaginable. The formula which Russell obtained from a doctor was legit, and similar formulas are used to this day to treat skin cancer. However, the use of the word “marketed” implies that he was selling this formula.

Here is how Russell himself describes the way he “marketed” this formula, as shown from his offer: “The recipe has come to us free and we are willing to communicate the formula, but to those only who are troubled with surface cancers and who will write to us directly, stating particulars. No fee will be charged, but in order to protect the sufferers, we require a promise that they will not sell the formula to others, nor receive pay for the use of it, nor communicate the formula to anybody. Any one known to be a sufferer can be informed of the terms on which the prescription is obtainable through us.”

See:

A Cure for Surface Cancer

#12: It is being claimed that Russell also marketed what he termed a “millennial bean.” The comment is made that the name “millennial bean” probably meant that it took a thousand years to sprout.

The way this is presented is false. Again, the word “marketed” is also applied to this “Millennial Bean.” The statement that Russell “termed” this “millennial bean” is also misleading, since he is not the one who gave it the name “millennial bean.”

See our report:
Millennial Bean

#13: It being claimed that Russell taught his followers the non-existence of hell.

Is this true? No! Russell taught anyone who would listen that the Bible hell does exist, but that it is not the kind of “hell” taught by man’s self-claimed “orthodoxy.”

See:

To Hell and Back! Who Are There?

Click Here for a search of Russell’s works regarding the Bible hell.

See our subdomain:
Life Now and Hereafter

#14: It is being claimed that Russell taught his followers the annihilation of unsaved people, which doctrine, it is being claimed, Russell picked up from the Adventists).

Is this true? No, Russell did not teach the annihilation of “unsaved people.” The author who makes this claim simply seems to be ignorant of what Russell did teach. Indeed, one of the main reasons for starting the Watch Tower magazine was to combat this false teaching that many Adventists were promoting. However, the writer, by using the word “Adventists” is probably referring to the Seventh-Day Adventists, not to the general groups often referred to as the “Second Adventists.”

While I do not necessarily agree with all of Russell’s conclusions, I would recommend reading Russell’s studies:

Our Lord’s Return – Its Object: The Restitution of All Things

The Day of Judgment

Ransom and Restitution

While many Adventists were teaching the annihilation of unsaved people, Russell rejected that teaching, and proclaimed the “ransom for all” saves everyone who is dying in Adam. — John 12:47,48; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6.

#15: It being claimed that Russell taught the non-existence of the Trinity.

Is this true? Yes! And I agree with him on this, since it was Jesus himself who said that the Father is the only true God. — John 17:3.

For many studies related to this, see:
Jesus and His God

#16: It is being claimed that Russell taught the identification of Jesus with Michael the Archangel.

Did Russell identify Jesus with Michael the Archangel? Yes, as this conclusion is indicated from the Bible itself. However, before Russell reached this conclusion, many trinitarians had reached the same conclusion, that is, that Michael is Jesus.

See:

Michael the Archangel

Trinitarians and Michael the Archangel

#17: It is being claimed that Russell “the reduction of the Holy Spirit from a person to a force.”

Russell did not have to reduce the holy spirit from being a person, since the Bible no where presents the holy spirit as a person of the God to whom the holy spirit belongs. In the phrase “spirit of God” (ELOHIM, Genesis 1:2), does the word “God” (ELOHIM) represent one person, or three persons? Does the alleged person of the holy spirit belong to one person or three persons, one of which would be the person of the holy spirit which would then belong to the person of the holy spirit?

God’s holy spirit is likened to God’s finger (as the power of God). (Matthew 12:28; Luke 11:20) As the instrument of the revealing of truth, the holy spirit is likened to God’s “mouth”. (1 Kings 8:24; 2 Chronicles 6:4; 36:12,21; Ezra 1:1; Isaiah 1:20; 40:5; 45:23; 48:3; 58:14; 62:2; Jeremiah 9:12,20; Ezekiel 33:7; Micah 4:4; Matthew 4:4; Mark 12:36; Acts 1:17; 28:25; Hebrews 3:7; 9:8; 10:15,16; 2 Peter 1:21) Are we to think of God’s finger or his mouth as a separate and distinct person of God (using trinitarian terminology)? Is your finger, or your mouth, a separate and distinct person of yourself?

In Russell’s studies on the Holy Spirit, we have not found any place that he ever describes the Holy Spirit of God as simply being “force.” If by “force”, one means “power”, this is certainly an aspect of God’s Holy Spirit.

See Russell’s studies:
The Channel of the Atonement: The Holy Spirit of God

Hear O Israel! Jehovah Our God is One: Jehovah

#18: It is being claimed that Russell taught the mortality (not immortality) of the soul.

This is true, at least as related to the dogma that says that man’s soul is inherently immortal; I believe Russell was correct in not adding to the scriptures this dogma an inherent immortal soul or spirit that continues to be conscious when the body dies. Such an idea is not once presented in the Bible, and one has to call upon the spirit of human imaginations in order “see” such a doctrine any where in the Bible.

CLICK HERE for a list of studies that are related to immortality.

#19 — It is being claimed that Russell taught the return of Jesus in 1914.

This is totally false. Russell never once taught the return of Christ in 1914. In 1876, Russell accepted that Russell had already returned in 1874, and he believed this until the day he died.

#20 — When 1914 had come and gone, with no Jesus in sight, Russell modified his teachings and claimed Jesus had, in fact, returned to Earth, but that his return was invisible.

The above is also false. Obviously, if Russell did not teach the return of Christ in 1914, he did not change his viewpoint concerning 1914 as the return of Christ, since Russell was never expecting Christ to return in 1914 at all. Russell was expecting the time of trouble to begin (Armageddon) in 1914, and we believe that time of trouble did begin in 1914, and we are still in that time of trouble to this day.

It is stated:

#21 It is being claimed that Russell taught that Christ’s visible return would come later (evidently after 1914), but still very soon.

As stated this is also false. Although I am not sure what is meant by the above statement, Russell did not believe that Jesus would ever return “in the flesh.” We have found no reference in Russell’s writings wherein he ever stated that he was a “visible return” of Christ at any time. Russell believed that Jesus offered his flesh once for all time as an offering for sin (Hebrews 10:10), thus Russell was not expecting for Jesus to come in that flesh at anytime. Nevertheless, the effects of the invisible kingdom of Jesus will be made manifest throughout the earth. Russell was, from 1904 to 1914, expecting the manifestation of Christ and the church to be some time after 1914, but if the thought is that Russell that Christ would return in his former flesh, Russell never believed such an idea. Russell began to realize around 1873 that Christ would not come again in his sacrificed flesh or body. Jesus does not take back his sacrifice.

Another point concerning this is also important to understand: Russell did not believe in “Armageddon” as it is taught by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. His view that was that “Armageddon” was to be over a period of time, in which many events were to take place. He believed that Armageddon was to discipline the nations, not to eternally destroy millions of men, women and children without their obtaining any benefit from the ransom for all.

#22 It is being claimed that in 1931, Rutherford changed the name of “sect” to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

While Rutherford did indeed change the name of his new organization to “Jehovah’s Witnesses” in 1931, it is deceptive if one thinks that the Bible Students movement became Jehovah’s Witnesses. As a whole (represented by the vast majority), the Bible Students movement rejected Rutherford’s new organization and his new gospel associated with “organization” doctrine. Thus, as a whole, the general name of the movement “Bible Students” was never changed to Jehovah’s Witnesses. The “Bible Students” continue exist to this day.

The following provide links to other sites that present essentially the same misleading material:

Is This True or False? – Catholic Answers

Is This True or False? – Catholic Apologetics

Is This True or False? – The Age Cases

Is This True or False? – Pittsburgh City Guide

Is This True or False? – The Truth About Jehovah’s Witnesses?

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