Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sun of Righteousness Symbol


Fritz Springmeier (FS) makes quite a few assertions concerning Russell and sun worship. His statements appear not to be based on anything Russell said, but rather in the usage of the "sun of righteousness" illustration that appeared on the cover of the Studies in the Scriptures, and the usage of the rising sun of righteousness in a picture in earlier issues of the Watch Tower. It is further claimed that these illustrations are Masonic symbols, and are offered as proof that Russell was a member of the Mason's Society.
Following in Springmeier's deceptions, many sites have joined in misrepresenting Russell as being a Freemason and a Rosicrucian, as well as being of some kind Illuminati bloodline set out to take over the world.  An author on one site imagines and assumes as being fact: "This is not a common symbol of Christianity that Russell inadvertently borrowed, this was an unchristian symbol solely of pagan origins."
Of course, "the winged sun disk" symbol itself was around for a long before there was a Free Masons Society or a Rosicrucian Society, so the symbol itself is not of Masonic or Rosicrucian origin. Nevertheless, according to FS:
I remember the first time I came in contact with Jehovah's Witness literature. I was in high school, and as the caretaker of our family library I puzzled over the symbolic meaning to the cover. Two tiny snakes with protruding gold tongues  encircled a Winged globe on the book's reddish-brown cover. The book was part of a series "Studies in the Scriptures". What the symbolic meaning of this strange Winged-Sun-Disk with snakes was not explained. Obviously, the meaning was for those "in the know" and not the casual reader. -- The Watchtower and the Masons, page 1.
Yes, Russell did use a sun of righteousness illustration with wings on the cover of the Studies in the Scriptures, but we are sure that he saw nothing in the usage of the illustration involving of sun worship, or the Masons. In his first volume of the Studies of the Scriptures, in the first paragraph of the first study, Russell stated:
The period in which sin is permitted has been a dark night to humanity, never to be forgotten; but the glorious day of righteousness and divine favor, to be ushered in by Messiah, who, as the Sun of Righteousness, shall arise and shine fully and clearly into and upon all, bringing healing and blessing, will more than counterbalance the dreadful night of weeping, sighing, pain, sickness and death, in which the groaning creation has been so long.
The above words, in effect, state what the sun symbol on the front of the Studies of the Scriptures was meant to depict. CLICK HERE for a search of Russell's writings for the phrase "sun of righteousness".
Only one who is either not actually familiar with Russell's writings, or who deliberately wishes to misrepresent Russell, would make such assertions as Springmeier makes. However, we may wonder about the description given by Springmeier, since it does not match the actual design that appeared on the Scripture Studies. Variations of the symbol were historically connected with the worship of sun-gods (under various names), but a study of the Biblical usage indicates that this kind of illustration may have been originally used by the ancestors of the Hebrews as depicting the promises of hope long before the heathens used it to worship the sun-gods.  -- Genesis 3:15; 22:18; Psalm 89:36.
The only "secrecy" that would be connected to the usage of the winged sun of righteousness illustration would be in that one would be ignorant of the scriptures, and thus, by not knowing what the scriptures say, the meaning of the illustration would be a mystery, a secret.* An allusion to this illustration is in Malachi 4:2, where Yahweh says: "But to you who fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in its wings. You will go out, and leap like calves of the stall."
==========
*See the study:
Understanding Kingdom Mysteries
Nevertheless, if Russell was guilty of sun worship, then was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, guilty of the promoting the same sun worship?  FS states concerning this:
Springmeier, Masons, pages 125, 126:
There seems to be a fairly wide concensus of commentators that this refers to the Winged-sun-disk of Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, and Persia. That Jewish scripture would allude to a pagan religious symbol might give us pause to think about how thoroughly they were surrounded by and mixed in with the pagan world at this time. A comparison might be for a Christian to say, "Christ is a superman." Or for another to say, "God is an awesome God."
Prof. John P. Smith (& Mitchell and Brewer) in the International Critical Commentary explain Mal. 4:2- "--2. But, for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will arise with healing in his wings] This exact figure is nowhere else employed in the Old Testament; but cf. Ps. 84:11, 139:9 It means apparently that the era of prosperity and peace that is due the righteous will be inaugurated on Yahweh's day, and that all the wrongs of the past will be made right for Israel. Like the morning sun dispelling the darkness of night, so will a sudden manifestation of Yahweh's righteousness illumine the gloom of Israel's afflictions. Righteousness is here practically equivalent to vindication and victory, as is so often the case in Is., chs. 40-66; e.g. 412 458 4613 5l5.6.8 561 621. Cf. Je 236 3316. In connection with 'sun of righteousness," it is of interest to note that the Babylonish Shamash, the sun-god, was conceived of as the god of justice. The absolute impartiality of the sun's rays may easily have given rise to the association of justice with the sun. The phrase "sun of righteousness" does not indicate any personal agent, but is rather a figurative representation of righteousness itself (v.i.). The phrase "in its wings" at once suggests the winged solar disk of Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, and Persia. This representation was doubtless known in Judah at this time, either through borrowing from without or as having been inherited from a remote antiquity in Israel itself as in the rest of the oriental world. Isolated allusions like this suggest how little we really know of the social and aesthetic background of Hebrew literature."
We are not sure why FS quotes Mr. Smith above, but it appears to be to establish that the phraseology in Malachi 4:2 is being borrowed from heathen idolatry. If this is so, then, we have to ask: Was Malachi lying when he said that these were words of the Most High Yahweh? (Malachi 1:1) Was Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus, guilty of sun worship in saying the words recorded in Malachi 4:2? Is the Bible a heathen book for mentioning the kind of symbolism that Russell utilized artwork to depict? And if this symbolism that Malachi recorded means that Russell is a Mason, would it not also mean that the prophet Malachi was a Mason, or that the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jesus, was a member of the Mason's Society? The reasoning is of itself secular, saying, in effect, 'we assert that this symbolism is a Mason (or Rosicrucian) symbol, and therefore because we assert this, we further assert that Russell was a member of the Freemasons.  Thus, based on this, our assertions are fact, and thus the fact is that Russell was a Freemason because we have imagined and assumed this to be so.'
No recognition is given by those who present their assertions as being fact to the possibility that heathen religions may have adopted the idea of the winged-sun from earlier Hebraic origins although the quotation of Smith as provided by Springmeier shows that this is a possibility.
However, according to the above quote of John P. Smith,  the "Sun of Righteousness" in Malachi 2 means "righteousness" itself. "Righteousness" is equated with Jewish "victory" and vindication. The idea appears to be to deny that Messiah is being spoken of in Malachi 4:2, not unless one takes the view that this Jewish victory and vindication itself is the Messiah, thus discrediting a personal Messiah. This would thwart the hope set forth in Genesis 3:15. Of course, in reality, there is no Jewish victory, nor is there any Jewish vindication, outside of Jesus, the Messiah promised by Yahweh.
Most Christian commentators do identify the "Sun" spoken of in Malachi 4:2 with the Messiah -- Jesus, although most Christian commentators, believing that those blessed by this "Sun" to be only the church, fail to recognize that the saints, as participants with Jesus as the seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:28), will also participate with Jesus in bringing the blessings and healing to the world (including Israel), the event which all human creation has been (ignorantly) waiting and longing for. (Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14; Psalms 72:7; Isaiah 2:2-4; Daniel 7:22;27; Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30; Romans 8:17,19; 1 Corinthians 6:2; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 5:10; 20:4,6) We need to note, also, that most commentators believe that the Son of God is a person of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and therefore confuse the two.
Certainly, it is far more likely that Our Lord is indicated here than it is that, "The Babylonian sun-god Shamash" should be considered as having any "connection with the `sun of righteousness'" mentioned here. How amazing it is that liberal scholars who cannot find Jesus anywhere in the passage can discover the heathen sun-god of ancient Babylon!
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Malachi 4". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/com/bcc/view.cgi?book=mal&chapter=004. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.
The Bible's symbolism regarding the sun and the need of a sun of righteousness can be traced back to the Garden of Eden. Many believe that the sun in Genesis 1:16 is a type for Jesus as the sun of righteousness.
When Adam sinned, became unrighteous, no longer straight, part of the curse upon man was:
Genesis 3:19 By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For you are dust, and to dust you shall return. -- World English
The sweat of Genesis 3:19 comes as a result of the heat from the sun. This indicates, in turn, a suffering that did not exist before. The symbolism of the sun as representing that which causes suffering (as a result of God's curses upon man in Genesis 3) amongst the lineage that became sons of Israel can be seen from the references to the sun and its heat (both literal and symbolic) in the Bible. -- 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; Revelation 7:16.
CLICK HERE for a list of Russell's references to Genesis 3:19.
In Ecclesiastes, Solomon is describing the crooked condition of all man "under the sun", associating this with vanity. This condition he attributes to God, saying "It is a heavy burden that God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with." (Ecclesiastes 1:13) This is an obvious reference back the curses of Genesis 3. Solomon continuously associates this condition of mankind with the sun, thus showing a symbolism of sun with burden of vanity. Paul, likewise describes this condition in Romans 1:20-33; 2:1; 3:9; 5:12-19; 8:20; Philippians 2:15; Ephesians 2:3. He describes it as a "bondage of corruption." (Romans 8:21) Additionally, Peter spoke it of when he spoke of the "corruption that is in the world through lust." -- 2 Peter 1:4.
Solomon said that "there is no new thing under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:19) and "Consider the work of God, for who can make that straight, which he has made crooked?" (Ecclesiastes 7:13) Solomon was saying that there is no way that anyone under the subjection of vanity who could bring a new creation that is not under subjection to vanity. Man cannot justify himself, make himself straight. So how is man to be saved from the vain condition he is under, if he cannot make himself straight?
Going back to Genesis 3, God indicated a remedy when he stated to the serpent:
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your [seed] and her [seed]. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel. -- Genesis 3:15
This promise indicates a reversal a matters, for if the serpent would be bruised in the head, it would mean the death of the serpent. But the promise is that a seed of the woman would come that would do this. Paul uses women to symbolize a promise or covenant; likewise, in this vague statement, God designates his promise as being a woman who would produce a seed. This seed is spoken of in the New Testament as being Jesus and those who believe on him in this age, while amongst the present "perverse and crooked generation." -- Acts 2:4; Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 15:25; Galatians 1:4; Philippians 2:15; Revelation 12:15.
To displace the present sun of vanity, a new sun would be needed, a sun of righteousness, and the development of the symbolism of a sun of righteousness that is come with healing in his wings or beams. Jesus was born into this world, but he was not begotten of this world; likewise, those who believe in Jesus become begotten anew not of this world as a new creation. Jesus' coming into this world was not as a part of the crooked generation of Adam, but God specially prepared his body.  -- Hebrews 10:5.|
CLICK HERE for a search of Russell's works for the expression, "under the sun."
Getting back to FS's description of what he saw on Russell's books (the winged sun disk symbol),  he evidently sees the two arrows pointing to the sun as snakes protruding with "gold tongues," or else he has confused the artwork Russell used with that used by othrs. (In reality, the whole illustration that Russell utilized, as well as lettering, was embossed on the cover in gold, not just those arrows.) Below is a reproduction of the cover of the book, *The Time is At Hand*, so that one may see what actually appeared on the books.


Evidently, FS reports the inner part of the wings that partially encircle the sun as the body of snakes. However, the "sun of righteousness" illustration, as used by Russell, does not actually match the symbol as used by the ancient heathen religions, nor does it match exactly the symbol presented by FS from the Albert Churchwood's book, Signs and Symbols of the Primordal Man, which FS claims to be the Masonic form. The symbol FS presents does have snakes, and possibly that is what FS had in mind when he made his statement. At any rate, one would have a hard time trying to see "snakes" in the illustration that appeared on Russell's books. Below is a reproduction of the symbol as presented in Signs and Symbols of the Primordal Man, so that one may compare and notice the differences in from that which appeared on Russell's books.


So far, we have not found any of the winged sun disk symbols presented to Masonic, pagan, or used for sun worship, that are actually the same as that which Russell used. It seems that the illustration that Russell used may have been designed specifically to represent the sun of righteousness depicted in Malachi 4:2.
Nevertheless, if Russell was guilty of anything in using the winged sun symbol on his books, it was just that -- in view of the historical usage of this kind of symbol in idolatry -- it may have been in poor judgment to have used the symbol. On the other hand, should we refuse any benefits from the literal "sun" because the sun is worshiped in idol worship? Should we seek to take the sun out of the sky because it used in idol worship? Does the fact that heathens worshiped the sun make the sun any less a creation of God, or any less a fitting illustration of the Messiah? Should we discard the Bible itself because it has been used in occultic and spiritistic practices?
Regardless, almost all publishers of Russell's works today do not include the winged sun illustration on the cover.
In his book, The Watchtower and the Masons, FS states:
Russell at various times gave various interpretations to Malachi 4:2. A comprehensive examination shows he said the Sun of Righteousness is
1) Jesus and his church (Pastor Russell's Sermons, p.790,244) WT Reprints pp.4557,5097,5339,5420.)
2) The spiritual seed of Abraham (Overland Monthly, p.205)
3) Righteousness (Harvest Gleanings, Vol l,p.417)
4) Truth (Harvest GleaningsVol. 1,p.421)
5) Cyrus the Great (Harvest Gleanings, Vol l,p.521)
6) Jesus as the center part of the Sun (WT Rp. 5135)
Evidently, the above is meant to leave the impression that Russell was not always consistent in his application of "the Sun of Righteousness" in Malachi 4:2. What it actually does is show how the writer is very capable of making things appear to other than what they really are, that he in general ignores what is actually being spoken of, or that he is only interested in finding what may taken out of context so as to make it appear to supporting his false misrepresentations.
The sun itself does indeed represent the rising sun, the Messiah, which, does include all the seed of Abraham by faith, both Jesus and those who come into the covenant with God as the seed through Jesus. Thus 1) and 2) above are actually saying the same thing. The statements presented above regarding the other references, however, are misleading, to say the least.
The reference to Harvest Gleanings, Vol. 1, page 417 is not to "righteousness" itself, but rather to "the righteous" (the justified ones) as spoken of Matthew 13:43. It is "the righteous" -- not righteousness itself -- that Jesus spoke of and that Russell identified as "Christ and his glorified church", who are justified, made righteous, through their faith in Jesus. What Russell actually stated:
"The knowledge of the glory of God shall fill the whole earth," declares the Prophet. (Hab. 2:14) And again, "The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in its beams," and again, "Then shall the righteous [Christ and his glorified saints] shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father." (Mal.4:2; Matt. 13:43)
Then FS asserts that Russell says the "sun" represents "truth", and Harvest Gleanings, Vol. 1, page 421 is given as a reference. I am presenting what Russell actually said below:
The promise to which Christ and the Church are heirs is that they shall be God's instrumentality for the blessing, instruction and uplifting of all the willing of the world of mankind. To be heirs of this promise made to Abraham, that in his Seed all the families of the earth should be blessed, would be a meaningless farce and jest on the Almighty's part had he not purchased or ransomed all men and provided a time and means by which his blessing should accrue to the world. Thus we perceive that he has arranged a time for granting the world a trial for life a trial respecting their willingness to abandon the ways of sin and death and to walk in the ways of righteousness under the enlightenment of the Truth, which, we are assured, shall shine forth as the sun, and whose beams shall heal humanity. (Mal. 4:2) The means for the blessing we see provided in Christ, and his Bride, the "Elect" Church of this Gospel Age; but the guarantee of the whole is fixed beyond peradventure in the fact that "Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," or, as our text declares, became the Mediator between God and man by giving himself a ransom for all.
Please not carefully what Russell said! It should be obvious that Russell is still showing the "sun" itself to be Jesus and the church, not "truth" in general. However, as Jesus and the church begin to rule as the sun of righteousness, the truth will begin to figuratively shine from them as the sun of righteousness, just as the physical sun shines forth with rays of light upon the earth.
Next we are told that Russell identifies the "sun of righteousness" as Cyrus the Great, and Harvest Gleanings, Vol.  l, page 521, is given as a reference. Did Russell identify Cyrus the Great as the "sun of righteousness" as stated? Look as we may on the page given, we will not find any place that Russell identifies Cyrus as the "sun of righteousness". Let us read what Russell actually said:
CYRUS A TYPE OF THE CONQUERING CHRIST AND HIS MESSAGE.
This likeness of Cyrus to Messiah is not merely in the particulars noted. It should be remembered that the name Cyrus signifies "the sun," and that thus in his name he reminds us of the prophecy of Christ-"The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His beams. "
Moreover, there were sundry very remarkable prophecies respecting Cyrus, made long before he had come into prominence. Through the Prophet Isaiah (Isa. 44:28) the Lord speaks of Cyrus as His shepherd, who would lead back Israel; and again (Isaiah 45:1-4), He calls him His Anointed, saying, "Thus saith the Lord to His Anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two-leaved gates, and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of brass and cut in sunder the bars of iron; and I will give thee the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, Jehovah, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob My servant's sake, and Israel Mine elect, I have even called thee by name; I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known Me."
All Brother Russell is saying is that Cyrus is a "type" of Christ, and  Russell  identifies Christ, not Cyrus, as the "Sun of Righteousness."
The final assertion is that Russell taught "Jesus as the center part of the Sun" (Watch Tower Reprints 5135). In The Watchtower and the Masons, FS informs us that Russell "stated that the resurrected Christ was at the center of the sun." Read what Russell actually stated:
Today's study points out that the ministry of Jesus would be in Galilee; that those people of the Jews who at the time were supposed to be in greatest darkness would see the great Light of Divine Truth, as represented in Jesus and His ministry. This had a primary fulfilment in Galilee, where the major portion of the mighty works of Jesus were performed. But its real fulfilment lies in the future, when the great light of the Millennial Kingdom, "the Sun of Righteousness, shall arise with healing in its beams." Before that glorious Sun, sorrow and sighing will flee away; ignorance and superstition will vanish; sin and darkness will be no more; every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. Jesus is the great Center of that Sun of Righteousness, but, as He points out, the Bride class, in process of selection during this Age, is to be with Him in the Morning, shining forth His glory. They shall sit with Him in His Throne.
I do not think that Russell would have thought that he was saying that Jesus was the center "part" of the Sun of Righteousness, or that Jesus was located "at the center" of the Sun of Righteousness. Russell did not use that terminology at all, but rather he seemed to be using the term "center" as meaning the central head of all members of the "Sun of Righteousness". At any rate, the context shows that "sun of righteousness" includes Jesus and the church, in agreement with all the other statements of Russell.
The expression "Sun of Righteousness", of course, is figurative in the usage of the word "Sun". As such, Jesus would only be "figuratively" located in the center of this figurative Sun.
Then FS states concerning Russell:
And he interpreted the wings as
a) A great light (WT Rp.3686)
b) Beams of Christ (WT R p.4557, Pastor Russell's
Sermons, p.55)
c) Beams of grace and truth (Overland Monthly, p.205)
This in furtherance of the assertion that "Russell at various times gave various interpretations to Malachi 4:2."
Point a) The wings as "a great light". What Russell actually said as found in Reprints 3686:
"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined." After the Hebrew idiom this statement pertaining to the future reads as though it related to something only in the past, just as in verse 6 we read, "Unto us a child is born," whereas Jesus was not born at that time nor until several centuries later. The standpoint of the shining light is still future, the great light is not yet shining upon the people, they still dwell in the land of the shadow of death. The shadows of our demoralized, sinful, dying condition affect all of life's interests for R3686 : page 381 the world of mankind. As the Apostle explains subsequently, "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together, waiting." (Rom. 8:22.) The world is still waiting for this great Light, which the Scriptures promise shall in due time shine forth, "The Sun of righteousness with healing in its beams." (Mal. 4:2.) Our Lord refers to the same great event, still future, and assures us that when that Sun of righteousness shall shine forth it shall include not only himself but all of his faithful disciples, the ripened wheat of this Gospel age. He distinctly portrays this in the parable of the wheat and the tares, telling us that at the close of the age he would gather the wheat crop of this age into the garner--the heavenly state--and he adds, "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the Sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear let him hear."--Matt. 13:43.
There is nothing in Russell's statements that would lead us to think that the "wings" of the "Sun of Righteousness" is being defined as the  "the great light", as being distinct from the "Sun of Righteousness". Russell interpreted the "wings" of the "Sun of Righteousness" as being "beams", and thus refers to the "beams" of the Sun of righteousness as bringing healing to the peoples. It appears that he is referring to the figurative beams of sunlight that would figuratively radiate from the figurative sun,  as that being symbolized as figurative "wings". However, he is still associating the "Sun of Righteousness" with the promised seed (including Jesus and his church) as fulfilling the "great light" prophecy, not just the "wings".
The next assertion concerning Russell's alleged "various interpretations" concerning the "wings", is that Russell interpreted the "wings" as being "beams of Christ" as found in Pastor Russell's Sermons, page 55, and the Watch Tower Reprints page 4557.
The sermon referred to is "Messiah's Sharp Arrows", based on Psalm 45:5. Let us read the paragraph in question, from pages 54 and 55:
It will be during that Millennial period of Messiah's Reign that force will be used instead of preaching; that His rebuke will smite into the hearts of His enemies, and that all shall fall under Him. Every knee must bow, every tongue must confess. Happy will it be for the world when Messiah shall take unto Himself His great power and reigns. Blessed will it be for the people when His sharp arrows shall smite them and when His judgment as a hammer shall break the hard, stony hearts; for, as the Scriptures declare, He wounds to heal. (Hos. 6:1.) The healing process will be coincidental to the wounding and breaking; for the great Messiah, Christ and the Church, will be not only the King, the Ruler, but also the Priest of that Millennial time to heal, to console, to forgive, and the great Prophet to instruct the thousands of millions of Adam's race who have gone into death during the reign of Sin and Death and under the blinding influences of the Adversary. No wonder the Scriptures speak in glowing terms of that glorious Millennial Day, when the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth! No wonder they picture this symbolically as the rising of the Sun of Righteousness with healing in its beams. -- Mal. 4:2.
It should be obvious that this quote is not saying anything different about the wings than the earlier quote from Reprints 3686, for the earlier quote reveals that Russell was expressing "wings" as meaning "beams".
From Reprints 4557, the paragraph under discussion is:
The great light which flared forth in Capernaum, Bethsaida, Chorazin and Nazareth, the chief cities of Galilee, exalted these places to heaven figuratively, in the sense of bestowing so great honor and privilege upon them. But they were in turn cast down to hades, the grave, because they received not the message. (Matt. 11:20-24.) The light shined in darkness and blessed and gathered some, "the elect," and passed onward to bless and gather others, as it has continued to do throughout this Gospel Age. The time for the still greater enlightenment of the whole world is yet future. In the Millennial morning the Redeemer and his elect Church (Malachi 4:2) will shine forth as the Sun of Righteousness with healing in its beams for the enlightenment and blessing of Israel and the whole world of mankind--including the millions who have gone down to the darkness of hades, the grave.
We still find nothing different concerning the "wings" from what is stated in Reprints 3686. In all three references, Russell is identifying the "wings" as "beams", and he presents the figurative "Sun" as representing the Messiah, and thus these beams, of course, would be beams of Messiah.
We are next given a reference to the Overland Monthly articles, and the claim is that Russell designates the "wings" as "beams of grace and truth." -- Overland Monthly, p.205.
The paragraph being referred to is below:
The morning of joy, the Millennial Morning, of course, cannot be ushered in until the rising of the Sun of Righteousness. Its beams of Grace and Truth will flood the earth with the light of the knowledge of the glory of God to such a degree that it will drive out, expel, all ignorance, superstition and sin, which have worked such havoc in our race.
What is Russell saying here? Is he saying anything that conflicts with the earlier quotes? No, rather he is identifying the figurative beams of light as representing the light of grace and truth that will flood the earth in the age to come. This all harmonizes with Russell's other thoughts.
FS states further in his book on the Masons:
Russell told his followers they would not be around to see the sun of Mal. 4:2 rise. (WT_Rp.l24)
What does Reprints, page 124, actually say? (Please note that by saying "we" the author, presumed to be Russell, is referring the joint-heirs with Christ, the 144,000.)
Q.--It speaks elsewhere of the "Sun of Righteousness arising with healing in his wings." When sunrise has come we do not need lamps. Does not this seem to indicate that we shall reach a condition whether by sight or not, where there will be no need of the light of "the lamp?" Does not this involve the thought of faith giving place to sight?
W.--I think not. It is not we but the Jews who see the "Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings;" and they are told in connection with it to "remember the Law of Moses." (Malachi 4.) On the contrary, we, with Jesus our head will constitute that "Sun of Righteousness," as Jesus said (Matt. 13:43) speaking of the "harvest" or end of this age, when the wheat of the church should be completely separated from the tares of the same:
"Then shall the righteous shine forth as the Sun in the kingdom of their Father."
It is the same thought that is expressed in Rev. 21:24 of the New Jerusalem shining and the Nations walking in the light of it. Yes it is a grand thought, that the day so long expected is near at hand. Not only natural Israel but as Paul says: "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth together in pain until now," and "waiteth for the manifestation of the Sons of God." (Rom. 8:19 and 22.) All are now passing through a dark night of experience with sin, woe and death; all creation is sick; they groan in pain and soon they shall be delivered. Soon the "Great Physician" -- "the Elijah"--"The Sun of righteousness (the Christ, head and body) shall arise with healing in his wings."
Now the world is full of suffering,
Sounds of woe fall on my ears,
Sights of wretchedness and sorrow
Fill my eyes with pitying tears.
'Tis the earth's dark night of weeping,
Wrong and evil triumph now,
I can wait, for just before me
Beams the morning's roseate glow.
Yes, Bro. Q., "when He shall appear we shall appear with Him in glory." We will not be here when the "Sun" rises. True we are now in the dawn, but there is quite a while between first dawn of day and the Sun rise, and that is what Peter means. "We have a more sure word of prophecy--as a light in a dark place until the day dawn and the day star arise in your hearts." Jesus is the day star--"The bright and morning star." He must come first to us before we shine with Him as "the sun." And, dear Bro. Q., do you not see that this very thing is now being fulfilled? To all who recognize Jesus as present it is a fountain of joy to realize in Him the sure forerunner of our own glory with Him, and the great millennial day of restitution for the world.
It should be apparent that when Russell said "We will not be here when the 'Sun' rises", that he is not saying that the joint-heirs will not be present at all, but that they will not be here on the earth, since they are joint-heirs with Christ, and thus become part of that Sun of Righteousness. In other words, the joint-heirs with Christ are included in the rising of this figurative sun, and thus will not be present here on the earth when they rise as that figurative sun. This is scriptural.
For more information on Charles Taze Russell, see:
Some earlier statements I  made concerning the winged sun disk:
1998:
1999:
2000:
2005:
2006:
2007:
Some comments from freemasons in response to our question regarding the winged sun disk (1999):
Some comments by others:
See also:

No comments:

Post a Comment