Saturday, January 3, 2015

JWs, Jesuits and Charles Taze Russell

A Presentation by
Ronald Day
Of
Restoration Light Bible Study Services
http://reslight.net

This Presentation is in response to a video presented by Youtube poster:
Entitled:
The Jehovah's Witnesses Watch Tower Founded by The Jesuits Cults Exposed Low

I will be presenting, to the best of my knowledge, the facts concerning the statements as made in video concerning Charles Taze Russell.

Much that is presented in this video has already been addressed elsewhere, so I am providing links to other research where one may find documentation and/or other information concerning what is being presented.

First of all, I am not associated with the Jehovah's Witnesses, nor do I support such an organization.

Charles Taze Russell and the Jehovah's Witnesses

Charles Taze Russell was never a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses organization, nor was he the founder of that organization. He did not believe in such an authoritarian organization.

See my research regarding:
Russell and the Jehovah's Witnesses


End of the World in 1914?

It is claimed that the end of world was expected for 1914.

Russell himself was not expecting "the end of the world" in 1914. Nevertheless, at least before 1904, it depends on how one would define "end of the world". To Russell, who was familiar with the "end of the world" predictions of the Adventists, this term meant the end of the planet earth, and the eternal condemnation of all but a few. Russell did not believe in any such "end of the world".

Russell was expecting the "end of the times of the Gentiles" in 1914, and in his earlier statements, he presented his expectation that the end of the time of trouble to come in 1914. From this view, one could equate his expectations with the "end of the world", although Russell himself did not do so. Nevertheless, in 1904 -- ten years before 1904 -- Russell came to understand that the scriptures show that the ending of the Gentitle Times would not bring the end of the time of trouble, but rather that it would signal the beginning of the time of trouble. Thus, one cannot say that from 1904 ownward Russell was expecting "the end of the world" in 1914.

Links related to the above:
End of the World Issues, Russell, and Article on “Modern Ghana” Site
End of the World in 1914?
Beginning of the Time of Trouble – Quotes From Russell
Universal Anarchy — Just Before or After October, 1914 A.D.
1904 and Russell’s Changes to the Scripture Studies
CTR’s Expectations Concerning 1914


Russell's Education

The claim is made that Russell started publishing "The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Kingdom" although he had no theological training or background.

By the time Russell started the Watch Tower magazine in 1879, he had already had about ten years of theological training and background. By 1879, his education probably equaled that of bachelor's degree, and in some ways more so.
See:


Russell's Watch Tower and the JW Watchtower

The Watchtower magazine that exists today is not Russell's Watch Tower magazine. Russell's Watch Tower no longer exists; it ended when he died.

"The Watchtower" today teaches a message that is almost the very opposite of what Russell taught and believed.


No One Can Understand Without Russell?


It is being claimed that Russell said that no one could understand the Bible without his books. That was not exactly what Russell said, but he did say something similar. In context, Russell was discussing the question of whether reading his books was "Bible study". He was saying that such would be so only if one has proven to himself from the Bible itself that what is stated in his books are in harmony with the Bible.

Since error is so prevalent amongst the churches, yes, one does need help to see the truth and realize the difference between the errors and what the Bible actually does say, and Russell did believe that his writings provided that help, since only his writings, or writings of others that were in some way duplicating what he wrote, was showing forth this difference.

Russell did indeed believe that his writings were in harmony with the light of the Bible, and he believed that God was using him in a special way to show these truths from the Bible, although he did not claim any special inspiration for his writings. Thus, accepting that his books were in harmony with the light of the Bible, anyone not in harmony with what he had written would be, to some extent, in darkness. Nevertheless, Russell maintained that no one should accept anything that he wrote except that one is convinced that what he wrote was in agreement with the Bible. Indeed, any Bible-believing Christian author who writes anything about the Bible should believe that what he wrote is harmony with the light of the Bible, allowing room for human error and mistakes.

Furthermore, Russell admitted several times that his conclusions, especially concerning chronology and time prophecies, could be in error.


Russell, however, unlike the Watchtower of today, did allow his associates to reach their own conclusions without threat of being disfellowshiped.

The Great Pyramid
 
The video states that Russell believed that the Great Pyramid is God's second witness, next to the Bible. I could not verify that Russell ever viewed the Great Pyramid as God's "second" witness, but he did indeed believe that the Great Pyramid is God's witness spoken of in Isaiah 19. So did many of the Christians before him, and so do many Christians today. To me, the evidence is overwhelming that it is indeed God's witness in Egypt.

It is stated that Russell claimed that the measurements of the Great Pyramid verified 1914 as "the year the world would end." While the Great Pyramid does verify the year 1914, Russell never spoke of 1914 as "the year the world would end."

The video states that 1914 came and went and that "Russell and his followers were not raptured from the earth and the end had not come." As shown, Russell was not expecting "the end" to come in 1914. One of the things Russell stated could happen in 1914 would be the completion of the church, which, to him, meant the 144,000 of Revelation 7 and 14. Such could signal the change of the final member of this group from earthly to heavenly life. He was not expecting a "rapture" as that word is often used. Otherwise, his main expectation was that the time of trouble was to begin in 1914, bringing with it, among other things, "warfare". Russell died in 1916, still believing that the time of trouble had begun in 1914. I, and many others, believe that the time of trouble did begin in 1914, and we are still in this time of trouble, and may be in it for many years yet to come. See the links provided above.

The claim is presented that the "date was pushed forward, from 1914 to 1915, and then, to 1918". This is totally false. This is all in connection with the alleged "end of the world" for these dates. The reality is that Russell never spoke of the end of the world for any of these dates. And to say that 1914 was changed to 1915 or 1918 is very misleading, to say the least. The matter concerning 1915 is very complicated, but this date had been presented long before 1914, and certainly never replaced the date 1914. Russell never stopped believing that in October of 1914 that the Gentile Times ended and that the "time of trouble" began at that time. Russell did speak of 1918 as a possible date for the end of the harvest, but he never spoke of the end of the world for 1918. Since this has been discussed on my other websites, I will not go into this in detail here.

See my research related to:
1915
and
1918

The video claims that Russell died in 1916, "sick, weary, and disappointed." Russell, of course, was indeed sick with multiple illnesses, which I am sure did cause him much weariness. However, I have found no evidence that Charles Taze Russell died disappointed in 1916; the evidence from his writings suggest that he was indeed rejoicing that the time of trouble had begun in 1914!

The video then states that at Russell's gravesite there stands to this day a "massive stone pyramid" as a reminder "of his false prophecy". This, again, is misleading. Several years after Russell died, Rutherford did build a replica of the Great Pyramid in the center of the plot owned by the WTS in the Rosemont Cemetery. It stands to this day as a monument to Russell's and the Edgars' works regarding God's Stone Witness, as well as a testimony to God's Plan salvation for the church and the whole world. Russell, however, never made any prophecies, and thus, never gave any "false prophecy". 

See my research related to:
Russell and the Great Pyramid
and
The Great Pyramid and the Bible




Joseph Rutherford

The video then discussed Joseph Rutherford. After Russell died, Rutherford virtually destroyed the legal instrument as Russell had intended for it to be, and by deception had new by-laws passed, and by use of the new entity that he, in effect, created, proceeded to form a new organization based on a similar hierarchy as used by the Roman Catholic Church, with himself holding authority similar to a pope. Russell preached against such an "outward organization."

In 1917, Rutherford, by means of legal trickery, had the majority of the Board of Directors dismissed and replaced with his supporters. His legal trickery caused many of the Bible Students to stop supporting him. By 1918, about 1/7 of the Bible Students were no longer supporting Rutherford.  As Rutherford continued to tighten his grip on claiming that local congregations should be in subjection to him, by 1928 the Bible Students movement, as a whole, represented by the vast majority, had rejected Rutherford's new organization, and were continuing their activities without that organization.

See documents presented by various Bible Students (I do not necessarily agree with all conclusions presented in these documents):
http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/bsllinks/History.htm
http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/doctrine/witness2.htm
http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/doctrine/witness5.htm


The End Just Around the Corner


The idea that "as in 1914", nothing happened, is false, since something DID happen in 1914, as has already been discussed. As best as I can determine, Russell NEVER spoke of "the end just around the corner" at all. Russell did not believe in the doomsday message that Rutherford later preached, although many incorrectly attribute the present-day Armageddon message back to Russell.

See my research related to:
Russell and Armageddon


The Jesuits

The video never mentions how any of this is thought to be tied to the Jesuits, so I am not sure why the Jesuits are mentioned in the title.


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