Thursday, January 25, 2018

Did Russell Give Out That He Himself Was “Some Great One”?

By Ronald R. Day, Senior, Restoration Light Bible Study Services (ResLight; RlBible)

J. J. Ross, in this pamphlet entitled Facts and More Facts About the Self-Styled “Pastor” Russell asserts the following concerning Charles Taze Russell:

He got a considerable following of the common people, and sold out the five men’s furnishing stores which he owned, thenceforth devoting all his time to teaching and preaching his peculiar religious doctrines and giving out that he himself “was some great one.”

Since Ross puts “was some great one” in quotes, we are left with the impression that Ross is quoting from Russell, and that somewhere Russell made the claim that he “was some great one,” using those very words. In fact, however, the alleged “fact” that Ross presents is not fact at all. Search as we may, we do not find anywhere that Russell used the expression “some great one” of himself.

One may search Russell works for the expression “some great one” below:

Search with

Ross did not give any citation as to where he obtained the quote: “was some great one.” We have found no place where Russell actually used the expression “was some great one” as such, and he definitely never spoke of himself as being "some great one,' so the quote is evidently false. As best as we are able to determine, he probably is referring to what Russell stated in the October 1, 1909 Watch Tower, page 293, which, in Ross’ mind, could be twisted to mean that Russell claimed that he was “some great one.”  Let us read the whole paragraph in order to get the context of what Russell actually stated:

Our opponents are ready to admit that the Lord has used the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society as his channel or servant in forwarding the harvest message in a most remarkable degree — in a manner and to an extent hardly to be believed and never equaled — in many tongues and at the hands of many “fellow-servants,” Colporteurs, Pilgrims, Volunteers, etc. They admit that there is no question that a remarkable service has been rendered, and hence that it is indisputable by any who believe that there is a harvest work in progress and that the Society has been a servant of the harvest message in a most profound and peculiar sense, even if they dispute that it has fulfilled Matthew 24:45, as being “that servant.” Our friends, on the other hand, point out that very rarely, indeed, is there any quarrel or dispute over the privilege of being a servant, and that never in the world’s history before has this passage been applied, and that very few would be either desirous of being “that servant” or capable of fulfilling that service. They point out that a servant is known by his service, and that if the service be shown to have been performed, the title of servant is an appropriate one, although one not generally coveted. Those who have laid claims to being “some great one” have styled themselves in some fantastic manner Messiahs, Elijahs, prophets, etc., but amongst these none has ever been found to claim the title of “servant,” nor to rejoice specially in service — particularly not without money and without price, but merely from love for the Lord, love for the Truth and love for the brethren.

Please note above that Russell did not refer to himself as “some great one,” but he refers to others who have laid claims to such. From this it appears that Ross may have taken Russell out of context so as to present as a  “fact” that Russell was “giving out that he himself ‘was some great one.'” Nevertheless, Ross continues in this same manner throughout his pamphlet, so that his “facts” are actually distortions and misrepresentations, as we hope to continue to show, God willing, as we present more posts concerning Ross' alleged "facts".

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Charles Taze Russell, Watch Tower Illustration and The Masons

He cried as a lion: Lord, I stand continually on the watch-tower in the day-time, and am set in my ward whole nights. — Isaiah 21:8, World English
Isaiah 21:11-12 - The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? [12] The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come. -- King James Version
Habakkuk 2:1 - I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. -- King James Version.

It is often claimed that the word “Watch Tower” and the illustration that Russell used on his magazine are of Masonic and/or heathen occult origins. From this, many  further imagine that this offers proof that Russell was a member of the Freemasons’ organization, or that Russell was highly influenced by the Freemasons’ organization, and/or that Russell was involved in some kind of alleged occult practices.

As with other such witchhunt-type proofs, any connection with the Freemasons or the occult has to be imagined and assumed, and then the assumed connection is presented as being fact. And yet the fact is that Russell was definitely never a member that organization, nor was involved in any heathen occult practices. Evidently, what is being imagined and assumed is that the term Watch Tower itself is Masonic, and thus anyone who uses that term must be a Freemason, or be highly influenced by the Freemasons. Likewise, it evidently imagined the usage of Watchtower symbolism is itself of the occult, and thus anyone who uses this symbol must be involved with the occult. This is the same witchhunt-type logic that is used concerning Russell’s Biblical use of the cross and crown (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; 1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 2:10) and the Christian armor (Romans 13:12; 2 Corinthians 6:7; Ephesians 6:11-13) illustrations. In other words, what is being offered as proof is not the illustrations that Russell used, by rather what is being imagined and assumed concerning those illustrations.

If, however, usage of the term “Watch Tower” is Masonic, then the Bible itself must be Masonic, since that is what Russell based his usage of the term upon, as can be seen from the scriptures that he presented on the cover of the Watch Tower. One of the scriptures used is Isaiah 21:11,12, which speaks of a watchman. The watchman, of course, would be in a watch tower (Isaiah 21:8), and would report of anything that would be of importance to whatever city he was to report to. 

Concerning Isaiah 21:11,12, Russell stated:
It is the duty of the watchman on the walls of Zion to declare the whole counsel of God the bitter as well as the sweet. This duty we continually seek to perform. It is appropriate that the glories of the millennial epoch, foretold through God's word, should receive more of our attention than the darker picture of the night of trouble with which it will be introduced. It is appropriate also that we give, as the scriptures do, still more attention to the inculcation of the principles which go to form Christian character amongst the Lord's consecrated people, because these are essentials to their attainment of the glorious privileges and honors of the kingdom. 
-- "The Morning Cometh, and a Night Also", sermon, November, 1907.

So far we have not actually found any place wherein Brother Russell directly explained why he chose the name “Watch Tower” for his magazine, but, in application, Russell believed that the Bible should be guide for what would appear in his magazine, which bore the name “Watch Tower”.

To this end, Russell presented in the pages of the Watch Tower the following (scriptural references have been expanded for search purposes):

THIS Journal is one of the prime factors or instruments in the system of Bible Instruction, or “Seminary Extension,” now being presented in all parts of the civilized world by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, chartered A.D. 1881, “For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge.” It not only serves as a class room where Bible Students may meet in the study of the divine Word, but also as a channel of communication through which they may be reached with announcements of the Society’s Conventions and of the coming of its traveling representatives styled “Pilgrims,” and refreshed with reports of its Conventions.
Our “Berean Lessons” are topical rehearsals or reviews of our Society’s published “Studies,” most entertainingly arranged, and very helpful to all who would merit the only honorary degree which the Society accords, viz., Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), which translated into English is, Minister of the Divine Word. Our treatment of the International S.S. Lessons is specially for the older Bible Students and Teachers. By some this feature is considered indispensable.
This Journal stands firmly for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian’s hope now being so generally repudiated, — Redemption through the precious blood of “the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all.” (1 Peter 1:19; 1 Timothy 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Peter 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to — “Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which…has been hid in God,…to the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God” — “which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now revealed.” — Ephesians 3:5-9,10.
It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken; — according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.

At most, it appears that it was his belief that the Watch Tower magazine would be a sentinel to present truths to spiritual Zion as they are found and understood from the Bible itself.

Regardless, the idea that the word “Watch Tower” as Russell used it is of itself Masonic, or that the Biblical illustration of a Watch Tower is Masonic, or of the occult, is linked only by use of the spirit of human imagination. As we have stated before several times on this site, we have tens of thousands of pages of Russell’s works that abundantly attest that he was not a member of the Freemasons, nor that was "into the occult"; no one has yet presented any evidence -- except for what has to be either distorted, imagined and assumed -- that Russell was a Mason, or that he was being highly influenced by the Masons, or that he was practicing anything of the occult.


Russell's Alleged Use of Masonic Symbols

Russell and the Occult

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Postings: Russell's Education

One of the faults many claim against Russell was his lack of education. In this regard, many continue to spread false charges similar to those of J. J. Ross and the Brooklyn Eagle. Russell, however, had received education from private tutors beyond his seventh grade public education. Around 1870, he determined to be non-denominational, and began an indepth study of the Bible, with the aid of many ministers, including George W. Stetson, pastor of the Advent Christian Church in Edinboro, Pennsylvania and George Storrs, editor of the Bible Examiner in Brooklyn, New York. Russell's former private tutoring, his own research and study, including his studies of many works of writings by Christian authors, more than likely gave him an education equivalent to, or beyond, that of a Bachelor's degree.

Below are links to further research that includes information regarding Russell's education:

Pastor Russell in Reply to Critics

Russell Replies Concerning His Ordination

Ross' Perjury Accusations

Walter Martin Misrepresents Russell

More links may be added later. If you know of a link that is related to the above, use the comments below to let us know.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Did Russell Get No Birthday Beliefs from Muslim Study as a Mason?

Did Russell get any “no birthday” belief from a study with the Muslims while he was a Mason? Was Charles Taze Russell ever a Mason? Did he ever teach anyone to not celebrate birthdays?

This is in response to an article appearing at:

entitled: “Are Birthdays Pagan?”

The article is addressing the Jehovah’s Witnesses belief concerning not celebrating birthdays.

First, let us say that we are not in disagreement with much of what is stated on that page.  We are mostly addressing some errors concerning the references to Charles Taze Russell and the allegations being made regarding Russell.

The statement is made:

They [Jehovah’s Witnesses] will not confess that this doctrine came from the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Charles Taze Russell got it from his Muslim studies as a member of the Masonic lodge.

It is further stated:

It is believed, and with good suspicion, that Charles Taze Russell, founder of the JWs, got his doctrine against observing birthdays from his association with the Masonic Lodge, and directly from Islamic influence.  Yes, there is an abundance of Islamic teaching veiled in many rituals of the Lodge.  Muslims do not believe in observing birthdays and devout Caliphs do not observe the birthday of Mohammed.  Russell had even more reason to crank out a doctrine against birthday celebration with his stand against Christmas, the alleged birthday of Jesus.  It was from this event on December 25 that Russell forged his doctrine against pagan holidays and birthdays, all in one neat package.  He could teach against the birthday of the Son of God and go back and pick up the ancient festival of the birthday of the sun, or sun god, and show where they were mixed.

(1) Charles Taze Russell was never associated with the organization known as “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. Russell did not believe in such an organization, and preached against such a sectarian organization until the day he died. After Russell died, Rutherford, by means of deceit and legal trickery, gained control of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and used that legal entity to develop the sectarian organization that is now called “Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

(2) Russell was never involved in any special studies of the Muslim religion, nor was he ever a member of any Masonic lodge, nor is there any "good reason" to suspect that he was. Many conspiracy theorists, by use of imagination, create a lot of alledged "facts" which are in reality not facts, etc.

(2) Charles Taze Russell never promoted a belief against celebrating birthdays at all, thus he never got such an idea from any studies he might have made concerning the Muslim religion. In fact, the “Daily Heavenly Manna” book that was published by the WTS in Russell’s time carried a page for recording birthdays opposite each date. Today, The Dawn Bible Students Association continues to publish this book with the similar format.

God, of course, never prohibited the celebration or observance of birthdays; nevertheless, we believe that many of God’s commands should be considered related to the mimicking of the idolatrous rituals that are often associated with such celebrations, in this case, that of making wishes (in effect, petitions, prayers) upon a cake and/or candle. The Bible tells us to make our requests known to the Heavenly Father, not to a cake or candles. — Philippians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 10:14,20.

(4) Charles Taze Russell was never a member of the Masons’ organization at all. If he had been, he certainly would not have spent nearly his entire life proclaiming a message that goes contrary to the Masonic philosophy, and especially in contradiction to conspiracy theories that many often claim to be the goals of the Freemasons..

On of the prominent promoters of such theories is Fritz Sprngmeier. We have written some responses regarding him, which may be seen at:

Those who are well-acquainted with the writings of Charles Taze Russell find all the proof they need within those writings that attests that Russell was never a member of the Masons’ organization, and we have no reason to question his statement when he said: “I have never been a Mason.” — Sermon: “The Temple of God,” 1913.

Additionally, we have never seen anything among the Masons that suggests, as an organization, that they do not celebrate birthdays, or that they hold, as an organization, to any kind of doctrine that one should not celebrate birthdays.