This is in response to a post that appears at:
The author claims that Russell was a deceiver and antichrist, and yet in reality the real deceiver is the one who is responsible for the misleading statements made on the blog page concerning Russell.
Charles Taze Russell did not believe in an organization such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, nor in the teachings of that organization; Russell was not the founder of that which he did not believe in and which he preached against.
Focus on Charles Taze Russell, Category: Church Organization
From 1904 to 1914, Russell was not expecting the Gentile kingdoms to suddenly disappear in 1914, but rather that the time of trouble was to begin in 1914. What Russell wrote for the Bible Examiner basically reflected the views of N. H. Barbour regarding 1914, which views Russell later rejected.
1904 and Russell’s Changes to the Studies in the Scriptures
The statements are deceptive concerning Russell and the year 1874 since it would leave the reader with the assumption that before 1874 Russell was expecting that Christ would return in the flesh in 1874, but when he didn’t happen, that he came up with the idea that Christ had returned invisibly in 1874. Actually, it was not until 1876, two years after 1874, that Russell became interested in 1874, and that due to the fact that he had already come to the conclusion that Jesus would not return in the flesh that had been sacrificed. However, long before 1876, and even before 1874, Russell had evidently already concluded that Jesus’ return would not be in his physical body, since Jesus had sacrificed his body for our sins.
The statement concerning 1915 and 1918 is also deceptive, since Russell never changed the date 1914 itself to either 1915 or 1918; Russell died believing that the Gentile Times had ended in 1914, and the time of trouble had begun in 1914. He did not change the date 1914 to 1915 nor to 1918. 1915 (along with the date 1920) was suggested as possible dates for the end of the time of trouble, but these dates were suggested almost ten years before 1914, and thus had nothing to do with changing the date 1914 to 1915. There had been many dates suggested by various Bible Students long before 1914 regarding when the time of trouble could end; as far as I know, all were based on parallels. These suggestions were not replacing 1914 but rather were offered as suggestions as to how long the “time of trouble” might last after 1914. Russell, long before 1914, sometimes presented the arguments for a date, or made reference to those dates. One of these dates was 1918. Just before he died, Russell suggested 1918 as a possible date for the end of the harvest; however, in the same article he stated that there is no time limit set for the garnering, thus Russell was still not setting a date for the passing away of the present heavens and earth.
Focus on Charles Taze Russell: Archive for the “1915” Category
Matthew 24:35,36 speaks of the hour when the present heavens and earth are to pass away; this is not speaking of the beginning of the parousia (1874), nor to the ending of the Gentiles and the beginning of the time of trouble. (1914) Indeed, from Russell’s standpoint, neither would any date suggested for the end of the harvest necessarily mean that the heavens and earth would pass away on that date.
The matter concerning 2 John 7 is deceptive, for it assumes that John was speaking of Christ’s return as being in the flesh and overlooks the context. John’s reference to Jesus’ coming in the flesh (2 John 7) is related to the purpose of his coming in the flesh, to give that flesh for the life of the world. (Luke 22:19; John 1:29; 4:42; 6:51; 12:47; 1 Corinthians 11:24; Hebrew 10:5,10) To deny that Jesus came as a man, in the flesh, having the sinless glory a little lower than the angels (1 Corinthians 15:40; Hebrews 2:9), would be to deny the atoning sacrifice of Jesus church and for the world. (1 John 2:2; 4:9,10) To claim that Jesus will return in the flesh, would, in effect, deny the purpose for of Jesus’ coming in the flesh, since it would either be the same as saying that Jesus did not complete the offering of his flesh, or that he took back that offering, thus nullifying the offering for sin. Russell, by the way, came to realize this before he accepted (in 1876) that Christ has returned in 1874.
The idea that he “cannot be a prophet of God” is deceptive, since Russell never made any such claim, nor could be said that he “prophesied falsely”, since he never “prophesied” anything at all. Rather, Russell disclaimed being a prophet: