Before reading this, please note that I am not with the Jehovah's Witnesses.
I am posting here regarding a video on youtube.com entitled:
Era Charles Taze Russell un masón?
Much of what PiedraParlante states in his comments, although directed to me, is irrelevant to me or the Bible Students, since neither I or the Bible Students believe in an organization such as the Jehovah's Witnesses.
One may translate this page into Spanish by using Google translate (CLICK HERE)
I will be adding many links here that are not permitted in the comments at youtube.com. Most of the pages linked to have the translator installed that can be easily used to translate the pages into Spanish (or other languages provided).
Charles Taze Russell was most definitely NOT a member of the Freemasons' organization. The tens of thousands of pages that have been produced from his works attest that he was not a member of that organization. All the alleged proof presented in the video (similar to that of Springmeier) is actually based on what has to be imagined and assumed.
Russell did, however, sometimes make use of some of terminology of the Freemasons, as, for example, in that of the of "building" of the temple of God as described in the Bible, but he did not apply this with the Freemasons' own symbolisms, but he applied it to the Bible, and he also applied the concept of a "secret society" to that Biblical msytery (secret) of the church and the secret things that only the people of God can understand. Russell also, in harmony with Colossians 3:4 and Romans 8:19, made use of the Mason's expectation, showing that what they (as well as the whole world) are expecting is the true Messiah of the Bible. Russell's method was similar to Paul's use of the heathen idol of the unknown God as basis to explain the true God, who was unknown to them, or the races that he applied to the Christian race. (Acts 17:23; 1 Corinthians 9:24) Paul was not condoning the unknown god idol, nor was he condoning all that is associated with Roman/Greek races; neither was Russell ever condoning either the Freemasons' or the Rosicrucians' organizations. He classified all such "secret societies" together, and advised Christians to have nothing do to with them.
Did Russell "confess" to be a member of the Freemasons' organization in his sermon on the "Temple of God"? Absolutely not! Russell plainly stated in that sermon: "I have never been a Mason." I have no reason to think that Russell was lying when he stated that in his sermon.
I am a Free and Accepted Mason
The Temple of God
Quotes from Russell Regarding Secret Societies
Russell and the Jehovah's Witnesses
After Russell died, Rutherford began almost immediately to create a new organization, with himself as its head, which led him to eventually reject the "good news of great for all the people" that was preached by Russell and the Bible Students and is still being preached by the Bible Students.
The "Finished Mystery", however, was not written by Russell. I am not with the Watchtower, and I do not consider the tens of thousands of pages of Russell's works to be rubbish. His works may be found online at http://mostholyfaith.com.
Russell did not believe in an organization such as the Jehovah's Witnesses. The JWs preach a message that is almost the opposite of the "good news of great joy which will be for all people" that Russell preached.
Founder of JWs?
Rutherford did not change the name of the earlier Bible Students movement to "Jehovah's Witnesses" in 1931. Indeed, by the year 1930, as a whole (represented by the majority), the earlier Bible Students movement had already rejected Rutherford's new organization and Rutherford's new alleged good news which included the tidings of great woe of eternal destruction for millions of men, women and their children who did not accept Rutherford's message, thus denying for those millions of people any benefit from the ransom for all. Yes, this new message was indeed almost the opposite of that taught by Russell.
While many of the Bible Students who did not accept Rutherford's new organization did for a while continue to use the phrase 'International Bible Students', that term was evidently causing confusion, so that most Bible Students dropped "International" and went back to just "Bible Students" or "Associated Bible Students".
The legal entity in England, however, by the name of International Bible Students Association is under the control of the Watchtower, and the name of that legal entity has not been changed.
Russell a Prophet?
Charles Taze Russell never claimed to be a prophet at all; in fact he stated many times that he was not a prophet. He never claimed to be "the last prophet," Laodicean or otherwise. Indeed, you can search all through Russell's writings; you will not find "PROFETA LAODICEANO" (Laodicean Prophet) ever even mentioned anywhere in his writings. You can use yahoo.com's search to search mostholy com for that phrase; you will not find it. Russell never used the phrase Laodicean Prophet or "Laodicean Messenger"; Russell did not put "Laodicean Messenger" on his gravestone, nor did he leave any directions that such should be done. Russell, however, had no control over what others did or said about him, especially after he had died.
As best as I can determine, however, Russell's original gravestone did not have the term "Laodicean Messenger" on it; evidently the present gravestone was erected some years after Russell died. Here is a photo of the original gravestone:
Russell never gave any prophecies, and stated many times that his expectations should not be considered "prophecy". Russell stated that his expectations could be wrong, but that the prophecies of the Bible will be fulfilled regardless as to whether he had it right or not.
Was Russell Buried in a Masonic Cemetery?
No, it is not true that Russell was buried in a Masonic Cemetery. Charles Taze Russell is buried at the Rosemont United Cemetery, 226 Cemetery Lane, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Russell was buried in a plot owned by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in that cemetery. Nevertheless, this is not a “Masonic Cemetery”.
Is the Pyramid in the Rosemont Cemetery "Russell's pyramid"?
I have not found anything in Russell's writings that suggests that he ever considered such a construction of a pyramid. Rutherford had this pyramid constructed several years after Russell died, and it was claimed that Russell had approved that construction, but, to me, it seems that such would have been out of character for Russell. That pyramid monument, however, was not just a memorial for Russell, but for all the workers who died while living at the Watch Tower headquarters. There are many names inscribed on that monument. At any rate, it was Rutherford who had the monument constructed, and therefore I refer to it as Rutherford's pyramid monument.
End of the World
Russell had no obsession about the "end of the world". Indeed, he stated many times that he did not believe in such. Russell spent most of his time defending the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, and helping others to become more like Jesus.
To Russell the expression "end of the world" seem to be a denial that the world would be blessed by the coming millennial age. Russell did believe in the end of the age, to be followed by the blessing of all the heathen; Russell did not believe in the concept of the end of the world as that expression is often used. Russell certainly did not believe in the JWs' concept of the end of the world.
The very article presented in the video from Bible Students Monthly: "End of the Word in 1914 - Not the View of Pastor Russell nor of the I.B.S.A." shows what Russell believed concerning the concept of the "end of the world". I asked PiedraParlante if he had actually read that article. The entire article may be found at:
PiedraParlante claims that Russell falsely predicted "many times" the end of the world. I can only marvel at such a statement. In reality, the only time that one could construe that any date for the end of the age would be 1914. In his earlier years, Russell adopted Barbour's proposition that the time of trouble was to be over in 1914, and many like to quote some of Russell's earlier statements regarding this with the idea that he was predicting the end of the world. However, this is the "only" date that one could possibly present in such a connection, although even then Russell was not predicting what many think of as the "end of the world", nor even what the JWs preach as the "end of the world."
Regardless, however, some Bible Students evidently did not accept Barbour's conclusion that the time of trouble was to end in 1914, and from their study of the prophecies, they came to the conclusion that 1914 would not see the end of the time of trouble, but rather the beginning of the time of trouble. Such was mentioned by Russell several times in the years up to 1904, but Russell himself still held to the idea that 1914 would see the end of the time of trouble, not the beginning of the time of trouble, up until that date (1904). However, in 1904, he became persuaded that he had been wrong in accepting Barbour's conclusion, and came to realize that the end of the times of Gentiles would indeed see the beginning, not the end of, the time of trouble. Thus, from 1904 up until 1914, Russell spoke of his expectations of seeing the beginning of the time of trouble in 1914; he certainly was not expecting the "end of the world" in 1914, as many have falsely claimed.
CTR's Expectations for 1914:
At any rate, Russell never predicted anything at all for 1874, and certainly thus never expected any kind of "end of the world" for that date, since it was not until two years after 1874 (in 1876) that Russell even accepted that date, and then he accepted it as the when Christ had returned. He certainly never expected any kind of "end of the world" at all for 1878, 1881, or any other date; so the idea that Russell "many times" predicted the end of the world comes from someone's imagination.
PiedraParlantes seems to think that the date 1914 is a product of the measurements of the Great Pyramid. Actually, the date 1914 is arrived at by several lines of prophetic prophecies as recorded in the Bible; it is not just a "product" of the measurements of the Great Pyramid, although the Great Pyramid measurements do corroborate the conclusions derived from study of Bible prophecy.
Winged Sun Disk
Russell used the winged sun disk, not as a symbol of Ra, but of the true "sun of righteousness" as spoken of in the Bible. The Bible's symbolism regarding the sun and the need of, and promises of, a sun of righteousness [straight, not crooked] can be traced back to the Garden of Eden. -- Genesis 3:15; 19; 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14; Psalm 72:7; Isaiah 2:2-4; Jonah 4:8; Ecclesiastes 1:2,3; 13-18; 2:11,17-22; 4:1,7,15; 5:13; 6:1; 9:3,11; Song of Solomon 1:6; Malachi 4:2; Romans 8:19; Revelation 7:16.
PiedraParlante claims that the above fails to explain Russell's use of a symbol, although as far as I am concerned it does explain it. The above scriptures, especially Malachi 4:2, do indeed show the scriptural usage of the sun of righteousness.
"To you who fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in its wings." -- World English.
Of course, PiedraParlante may agree with many who claim that the winged sun disk is Masonic; these often follow up that logic by claiming that the Bible is a Masonic book, or that the Bible has been corrupted by the Masons to include Masonic symbolism. I have no reason to imagine this.
I also invite all to search those scriptures carefully and prayerfully to see if what I have presented is indeed a perversion of God's Word, and if I am perverting scripture, please tell me how rather than just make an vague assertions. On the other hand, it may be that God may not allow many to see the relevance of the scriptures, but if one is truly seeking to know the truth, I believe that God's spirit will lead that person to understand the relevance. If the reader does not understand the relevance, and sincerely seeks to understand, feel free to ask questions in comments area below.
PiedraParlante refers to Leviticus 18:3:
Leviticus 18:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, I am Yahweh your God.
Leviticus 18:3 After the doings of the land of Egypt, in which you lived, you shall not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, where I bring you, you shall not do; neither shall you walk in their statutes.
Leviticus 18:4 My ordinances shall you do, and my statutes shall you keep, to walk therein: I am Yahweh your God
Russell, of course, by using Biblical symbolism that the Egyptians had corrupted for idol worship, was not joining those Egyptians in the their symbolism. Russell did not do after the manner of the Egyptians in having people bow down to any image, or worship of a "sun-god," nor was he teaching people to walk in the ways of the laws of ancient Egypt.
Charles Taze Russell did believe that the Great Pyramid is God's stone witness in Egypt. I, and thousands of other Christians also believe this. This belief has nothing at all to do with the Freemasons'organization.
PiedraParlante evidently imagines that the Great Pyramid is a "pagan" structure, and that if I believe that it was put there by God, I am believing in a pagan symbol. The whole earth belongs to Yahweh (Deuteronomy 10:4; Psalm 24:1; 1 Corinthians 10:26), including the land of Egypt. Yahweh can certainly put a structure in the land of Egypt or anywhere else on the earth if He so wishes. And, yes there are indeed, thousands of Christians that do believe that the Great Pyramid is God's stone witness in Egypt. Regardless of whether one believes that the Great Pyramid is the monument spoken of in Isaiah 19:19,20 or not, the scripture still shows that God can put whatever He wants anywhere He wants on His earth, without becoming "pagan" of itself. Of course, practically all of God's creation has been perverted to idolatrous practices (sun, moon, stars, cows, etc.); this does not mean that God's sun, for instance, is itself "pagan" or that it is an idol.
Charles Taze Russell was not involved in any demonic occultism.
Russell and Occultism
Cross and Crown
Russell never approved of the Masons' organization, nor did he ever use artwork designed to promote the Freemasons' organization. The cross/crown artwork Russell used had nothing at all do with the Freemasons' organization or the organization called the Rosicrusians.
The cross/crown symbol that Russell used, and that Bible Students use today, is not, of itself, a pagan or Masonic symbol, although the Knights Templar do use some artwork that is similar. Likewise, the heathen have indeed perverted symbolism for their idolatries, and God has allowed such perversion, as he did with Egypt. (Isaiah 19:14) The cross/crown symbolism has been used for centuries by almost every major Christian denomination. PiedraParlante has reproduced an argument that is similar to Springmeier and others in which that which is being imagined and assumed is presented as though fact, such as the assumption that the Cross and Crown is a Masonic symbol, and thus anyone who uses anything like that is imagined and assumed to be using a Masonic symbol; however, it is also claimed that the cross and crown is a Rosicrusian symbol, and thus, anyone who uses as similar symbol is using a Roscicrusian symbol. (Evidently it is also being imagined that the Freemasons and Rosicrusians are one and the same, and that all Rosicrucians are Freemasons, and that all Freemasons are Rosicrusians) From that it is imagined and assumed, and based on what is imagined assumed it is stated as a fact, that Russell, because he is imagined to have used Masonic symbols, is also imagined to have been a Freemason and a Rosicrusian. The whole argument is built on what has to be imagined and assumed.
Is the Cross Symbol an Idol?
Russell's Cross and Crown Symbolism - Masonic? Rosicrucians?
I will add that, because of the misuse of the cross and other symbolism, I believe that it would have been better if Russell had not used artwork that closely resembled that used in idolatrous worship.
For the Sake of the Others' Conscience
Jesus did say that he was to give his flesh for the life of the world; he did not take that flesh back; he was put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit. Having ascended and offered his body for sin, Jesus does not take that body back, which would, in effect, annul the whole basis of the redemption in Christ.
Jesus Died a Human Being - Raised a Spirit Being
The Man Jesus - Still a Man?
Is Jesus Still a Little Lower Than the Angels?
Jesus' Appearances in the Locked Room
The World Will See Me No More
Christ's Parousia - Presence or Arrival?
Astrape - Lightning?
Faithful and Wise Servant/Faithful and Discreet Slave
I am not with the JWs and I don't believe in their doctrine of a faithful and discreet slave class who rules over another class that are not of the faithful and discreet slave class. Nor do I believe that Jesus was speaking of appointing Charles Taze Russell to an office called "Faithful and Wise Servant." For what I believe on this, see:
I agree with Russell that Christ never authorized any denominationalism or sectarianism. All such sectarianism will not be permitted to continue into the new age when God's kingdom will rule the whole earth. This includes the sect known as "Jehovah's Witnesses" as well as the Roman Catholic sect and all denominations and sects of Protestantism. I also agree with Russell that destruction of Babylon the Great will free all from such sectarianism, that such destruction is not to result in the eternal destruction of those who are in Babylon the Great. (Russell thus disagreed with the JWs' teaching of eternal destruction of all those "in Babylon the Great.")
Russell and Sectarianism
Russell and Catholic Church
Mankind's Course to the Day of Judgment
The following digresses from the actual theme of the video, but PiedraParlante brings these matters up in his responses to me, so I am mostly just giving links to where I have discussed these matters before.
As for "hell fire", although some translators have added that expression to their translation, the Bible never speaks of such.The word being mistranslated as "hell fire" is the Greek word that is usually transliterated as "Gehenna," meaning the Valley of Hinnom. See my examination of these scriptures:
Michael the Archangel
Is Jesus the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
In the Bible, Jesus is not once presented as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. One can use the spirit of human imagination so as to assume such in many scriptures, but a close examination of the scriptures reveal that the Son of the Most High is not a person of the Most High of whom he is the Son.
See my site:
Jesus and His God
No Trinity in Isaiah 9:6
Not a Series of Names
The Mighty God
The Singular Name of the Son Given
Isaiah 9:6 and the Alleged Trinity
The Singular Name
In the Beginning
The Logos of God
John 1:1 and Trinitarian Assumptions
The Logos was Theos
1 John 5:20
Jesus is mighty (Hebrew EL, Greek THEOS -- transliterated), but Jesus is not the MIGHT, the Almighty, the one who is the only true MIGHT (John 17:3), the source of all might (including the mightiness of Jesus).
The Bible no where says that for one to be saved, one must add to the Bible that Jesus is Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or that one must add trinitarian or "oneness" dogma to the Bible and read that dogma into the scriptures.
Comments regarding the above may be posted below: