Saturday, May 15, 2021

Beware of False Reports and False Insinuations

Beware of False Reports

A book entitled Beware of False Religions and Pagan Traditions, presents the following picture with following claims: 

""Below is a photo of where Jehovah's Witness' [sic] founder, Charles Taze Russell, is buried in the Greater Pittsburg Masonic Center Cemetery. As you can see, Satan is behind ALL false religon. Notice the creepy illuminati pyramid ...""


We do not have a copy of the book quoted, and we can only present what is included in pages as given in Google books.

The first false report in the above is that Charles Taze Russell is the founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses. We should note that Russell was never a member of  the "Jehovah's Witnesses." He preached against such an organization, and he preached against the kind of message that the Jehovah's Witnesses present. He was definitely not the founder of that in which he did not believe, and which he preached against. For links to some our research related to Russell and the Jehovah's Witnesses:
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/12/jws.html

The second false report in the above is insinuation that the pyramid in the picture is "where" Russell was buried, which to many reader's minds would mean that Russell was buried in or under that pyramid. Actually, the pyramid monument is not "where" Russell is buried. The picture given does not actually show Russell's grave. His grave is near that monument, but no one is buried in or under that pyramid monument. A few years after Russell died, Joseph Rutherford authorized this replica of God's Witness in Egypt (Isaiah 19:19) in the middle of the plots then owned by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in the Rosemont Cemetery. For links to some of our research related to Russell's grave:
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/12/p-grave.html

The next false report is related to the claim that Russell is buried in the "Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center Cemetery." Search as one may, one will not find any cemetery in Pittsburgh by such a name. One will find the "Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center" across the street from the Rosemont Cemetery, but there is no connection between that Masonic Center and the Rosemont Cemetery. The Rosemont Cemetery, where Russell is buried, was established in the year 1905. There was no Masonic Center near that cemetery at that time; there was no Masonic Center near that cemetery when Russell was buried there in 1916. Indeed, there was no Masonic Center near the cemetery until the mid-1990s. decades after Russell had died.


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Cephas Ministries and Russell

There is a series of articles on the Cephas Ministries site aimed at the Jehovah's Witnesses, but which, in fact, have a lot of false information about Charles Taze Russell, who was never a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses. We will be examining many of these falsehoods on this page. While the authors of the site may actually believe the false and misleading information presented (based on use of false information provide by others), it still remains that which is told falsely about Russell, especially is gossip/slander style, is still lies.

Russell's Tombstone

Russell's Tombstone
It is claimed that on Russell's tomb one may find "the Knights Templar Symbol for the York Rite of Freemasonry." There are at least two major falsehoods being presented here. What is being pictured as being Russell's tombstone is the pyramid monument that Rutherford authorized to be constructed a few years after Russell died. It is not true that this pyramid monument is Russell's tombstone. That monument is not a tombstone at all; no one is buried in or under that monument to God's Witness in Egypt.

For more research with documentation related to this, see the links provided at Russell's Gravestone.

The symbol being imagined, assumed and presented as a though fact as being the Knights Templar symbol is actually the Biblical cross and crown symbol:

Cross and Crown Symbol

In reality, the Biblical cross and crown symbolism has been used by almost every major denomination at one time or another; it is still used by many denominational churches to day. The Knights Templar (who profess to be Christian) claim that they adopted the cross and crown symbolism from traditional church use. Nevertheless, the cross and crown illustration used by the Knights Templar is NOT the same as that which Russell used. Their adaptation of a cross and crown illustration does not mean that we need to imagine, assume, and present as being fact, that everyone who makes use of any similar Biblical symbolism is using a Knights Templar symbol.

It is claimed that the cross and crown symbol shows whom Russell was serving, adding, "It was not Jesus Christ of Nazareth to be sure." Anyone truly familiar with Russell's works would know that Russell was indeed devoted to service of the Lord Jesus.

For links to related research, see: Russell and the Cross and Crown.

33rd Degree Freemason?

It is claimed: "This is where Charles Taze Russell (1852 - 1916), 33rd Degree Freemason and founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses cult is buried." And it is stated: "This tombstone is all the proof we need that Charles Taze Russell was a 33rd Degree Freemason." In reality, there is nothing at all on Russell's tombstone, nor on Rutherford's pyramid monument that has anything to do with man's Freemasonry organization nor with the Knights Templar. Russell, of course, as stated before, is not buried in or under the pyramid monument in the Rosemont Cemetery. But was Russell a "33rd Degree freemason"  -- the Knights Templar? To a be a member of the Knights Templar, one has to accept the extra-Biblical trinitarian creeds. Since Russell preached a totally different message than that of the Knights Templar, and the message he preached strongly clashes with the trinitarina creeds, to think that Russell was a member of the trinitarian Knights Templar would be to think that Russell spent his entire forturne and nearly his entire life preaching against what is he is claimed to have been promoting by preaching against what he was is alleged to have been promoting. Of course, such self-contradictory reasoning is silly.

For links to related research, see: Russell and the Freemasons.

Founder of Jehovah's Witnesses

It is claimed: "Charles T Russell founded the JW movement in 1879 by starting his own magazine." Again, this is not true. Russell was never a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Indeed, the message that Russell spent nearly his entire life preaching and defending is almost the very opposite of the message preached by the JW leadership. Russell was not the founder of that in which he did not believe and which he preached against. The only cult (if that is what one would wish to call it) that Russell believed in was that of belonging to Christ. Rutherford was the real founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

For links to related research, see: Russell and the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Fritz Springmeier

It is claimed that for proof that Russell was a Freemason "please find the book called The Watchtower and the Masons by Fritz Springmeier." The fact it there is nothing in his writings that gives any proof whatsoever that Russell was a member of the Freemasons. Springmeier very craftily presents many imagination and assumptions as being fact, and based upon the what is being imagined and assumed to be fact, he makes all kinds of false claims about Brother Russell. 

For links to related research, see: Russell and Fritz Springmeier

It is claimed that Russell "denied the deity of Christ and the biblical teachings on hell and eternal punishment, which is typical of people who develop cults." As stated, all of this is misleading. Russell did not deny diety of Christ, but he did show from the Bible itself what Jesus' deity means. Russell did not deny the Biblical teaching on hell, but he did show from the Bible what the Biblical hell really is. Jesus did not deny the Biblical teaching of eternal punishment, but he did show from the Bible what that punishment really is.

God willing, we examine statements on more pages later.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Did Russell "Dabble" in Heathen Religions?

The claim is spreading that Brother Russell at one time "dabbled in Eastern religions." 

Below we present some links to some online who made this claim (often among many other misrepresentations of Brother Russell):

Douglas Beaumont * Tim Challies * Bob Faulkner

Despite claims otherwise, technically Eastern religions includes Christianity and the Hebrew religion, since both originate from the Middle East. The exclusion of these from being thought of as Eastern religions is based on traditional concept that would separate Christianity as coming from the what is often called the "Middle East." We assume, however, that what is meant by "Eastern religions" are heathen Eastern religions, not including Christianity or the Hebrew religion.

Nevertheless, Did Russell 'dabble in many heathen religions?' The word "dabble" means:

Definition of dabble

transitive verb
: to wet by splashing or by little dips or strokes : SPATTER

intransitive verb
1  a : to paddle, splash, or play in or as if in water
   b : to reach with the bill to the bottom of shallow water in order to obtain food
2 : to work or involve oneself superficially or intermittently especially in a secondary activity or interest
        dabbles in art -- Merriam Webster

INTRANSITIVE VERB

If you dabble in something, you take part in it but not very seriously. -- Collins

The latter definition suggests some kind of active participation in. We don't believe that "dabbled" would be the correct word to use regarding Russell. As best as we can determine, Russell himself never stated that he "dabbled" or that he participated in eastern religions. What he did say was:

Thinking that we had already examined the Bible sufficiently, we turned our attention to heathen religions, only to find them less rational in some respects, though less fiendish, than our own creeds. Evidently the most intelligent peoples have been the most thoroughly seduced by Satan and his doctrines of demons, into believing the most horrible things respecting the Creator and His purposes toward His human creatures. -- Watch Tower, December 15, 1914, page 377.

And he said:

So that even when I had thrown away my Bible, when I did not know its value, I got to looking for a Bible somewhere and I searched amongst all the heathen religions to see if I could find one any better than the one I had thrown away, and I found nothing nearly as rational, nearly as reasonable, as the Bible when I understood it. -- What Pastor Russell Said, Q197:1.

And:

Brought up a Presbyterian, and indoctrinated from the Catechism, and being naturally of an inquiring mind, I fell a ready prey to the logic of infidelity as soon as I began to think for myself. But that which at first threatened to be the utter shipwreck of faith in God and the Bible, was, under God's providence, overruled for good, and merely wrecked my confidence in human creeds and systems of misinterpretation of the Bible. -- Watch Tower, July 15, 1906, page 229.

In other words, since -- at that time -- Russell believed what the creeds taught was actually what the Bible taught, he temporarily lost confidence in the Bible, and examined other religions, but found them unsatisfactory. Nevertheless, Brother Russell did evidently for a brief time examine various heathen religions, but found them wanting. However, we believe that to use the word "dabble" is very misleading, as it leaves the impression that he did more than just examine and reject those religions. Indeed, we suspect that this word was chosen for the purpose to make it appear that Russell had adopted heathen doctrines and/or practices.




Friday, October 30, 2020

Response to "JW Freemasonry Proven" Video

I am responding to a video on Youtube given the title, "JW Freemasonry proven in less than 2 minutes." Some gave a link to this video as proof that Russell was a member of the Freemasons. I am not with the JWs, but much in the video is related to Charles Taze Russell, who was never a member of the JWs. Believing Brother Russell to be a fellow servant of the Lord Jesus, I present this review of a video on youtube, which video may be found at:
https://youtu.be/ZrGvAbyToyc

After watching the video, I found nothing at all presented in the video that offers any actual "proof" that Russell was ever a member of the Freemasons' organization, or that he was in support of such an organization. Anyone truly familiar with Russell's work would know that he spent nearly his entire life presenting a message contrary to such an organization. What this video does is create a false mental link between various Biblical illustrations and similar illustrations used by the Masons of the Knights Templar. This is designed to leave the false mental assumption that this is proof that Russell was a member of the Freemasons.

The Biblical cross and crown symbol that is on the Watch Tower is simply that, a Biblical illustration of taking up one's cross in order to obtain the crown. Similar cross and crown symbolism has been used for centuries by the various churches, long before Russell or the Knights Templar used it.

I could not find any place that Russell ever used any "HOC SIGNO VINCES" emblem as presented in the video, nor was the cross and crown symbolism Russell used the same as in the insignia, nor is it the same as that presented in the picture taken from the Masonic temple in Philadelphia.

For links to some of my related research:
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/p/cross-and-crown.html

The Biblical "armor of God" illustration that appeared on Russell's Watch Tower is simply that: a Biblcal illustration. There is no reason at all to think that this Biblical symbolism is from the Masons.
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/2014/12/symbols-masons.html

The video shows a picture of the pyramid monument that Rutherford authorized, several years after Russell died, to be built in the Rosemont Cemetery. It shows this monument with the the Masonic Center in the background. Evidently this is done with the desire to deceitfully leave a mental impression that is some way this monument is to be associated with that Center which is across the street from the Rosemont Cemetery. Of course, the reality is that Rutherford's replica of the God's Witness in Egypt has nothing at all do with the Masons, or with the Masonic Center, which center did not even exist when the replica of God's Witness was constructed in the Rosemont Cemetery. The Masons purchased the land adjacent to the cemetery in the 1990s and the construction of the Masonic Center was completed in the mid-1990s. This was several decades after Russell had died, and after Rutherford had the pyramid monument constructed in the cemetery. Despite what one may wish like to imagine and assume, there is no link at all between Rutherford's pyramid monument and that of the Masons.

For links to some of my related research:
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/p/great-pyramid.html

The video then presents a copy of the "The Finished Mystery" book, which, by the way, was not written by Russell, with the "sun of righteousness" symbol on it. It then leaves the impression that this symbol is the same as that of Egyptian sun-god symbols, and evidently this is supposed to be proof that Russell was a member of the Freemason. There are similarities, and although the Egyptian usage actually perverted the symbolism for idolatrous practices (Isaiah 19:14), in the Bible it is Jehovah Himself who uses such symbolism of the promised Messiah. (Malachi 4:2) Fritz Springmeier seemed to think that Malachi wrote what he did under the influence of heathenism. If so, that would mean that Jehovah never said what Malachi recorded and thus that Malachi was a false prophet (Deuteronomy 18:20,22), and since the New Testament supports Malachi as a prophet, it would mean that the entire New Testament is false.

For links to some more of my related research:
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/p/sun.html

The video presents a overhead picture of one of the convention centers constructed by the Jehovah's Witnesses, which, when viewed from a high angle, resembles the pyramid with its eye as found on the US dollar. It is imagined and assumed that such is of the Masons (although it is not), and that the JWs purposely constructed this center to copy what is evidently being promoted a Masonic symbol. I am not with the JWs, and I don't defend their organization, but to me, it simply appears that they constructed the center in the shape of the lot which they had purchased, and that the stage by coincidence appears to be similar to an eye when viewed from high above. At any rate, it still has to be imagined and assumed that this constructed because the JWs are Masons, or run by the Masons, etc.

We are then shown a cover of Fritz Springmeier's highly deceptive book, "The Watchtower and the Masons." Springmeier is very skillful at twisting everything to make it appear to agree with his conspiracy theories. The reality is that if Russell was a member of the Knights Templar, then he had to accept and openly confirm traditional trinity doctrine of man's creeds. Since the very basis of the atonement in the Bible that Russell spent nearly is entire life preaching and defending, is not in agreement with those creeds, if Russell was a member of the Knights Templar, this would mean, in effect, that Russell spent nearly his entire life sabotaging what he is alleged to have been supporting by such sabotage. 

For links to some of my related research:
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/p/fritz-springmeier.html

We are then shown a picture of Tony Morris wearing a ring. I am not with the JWs, so I had to look up who Tony Morris is. Evidently, he is a member of the JW "Governing Body." Although I certainly cannot make out what is on the ring, it is evidently being promoted as being a Masonic ring. There are pictures presented on the left side of the screen that leave the impression that this is the kind of ring being worn by Tony Morris. I can say that I have found no evidence that Russell ever used such a God symbolism as appears on the rings to left, which symbol is used by the Masons. I am not with the JWs, but I do believe it is possible that there may be Masons among them, although I highly doubt there may be many. It could be that Morris may be a member of the Masons, but I highly doubt it.

Evidently the viewer is being led to believe that the Great Pyramid and its passages are of the Masons. This, of course, is totally silly. The Great Pyramid in Egypt exised long before man's Freemasonry organization was created, despite the claims of some otherwise. I believe the evidence is overwhelming that this pyramid is indeed God's Witness in Egypt as spoken of in the Bible.

I have links to various Biblical studies of God's Witness in Egypt at:
http://gpwit.blogspot.com/p/on-this-site.html

The video evidently tries to make the Biblical Hebrew tetragrammaton of God's Holy Name is some vague manner to be associated with the Freemasons. While some Freemasons appear to highly esteem the Holy Name, most of the Freemasons evidently do not; they appear to use the traditional "Lord", "the Lord", and "God" as found in most translations. At any rate, God's Holy Name in the Bible is not of the Freemasons, regardless of how or in what way the Freemasons may use, misuse, or misrepresent that name.

I have links to some of my own research related to God's Holy Name at:
https://nameofyah.blogspot.com/p/on-this-site.html

Again, we are presented with a picture of the square and compass "G" symbol with a picture of Russell to the left and a picture of a cover of Russell's Watch Tower to right. Evidently, this is done with the purpose of associating that symbol with Russell and his Watch Tower, although, to the best of my knowledge, Russell never used that symbol.

Russell, however, was never a member of the Jehovah's Witnesse organization. He preached against such an organization, against such authoritarianism as found in that organization, and against the message preached by that organization.

For links for some of my related research:
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/p/authority.html
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/p/jws.html












Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Armageddon will be in 1914 or 1915?


The following is presented on the CARM site:
Armageddon is in 1915

" . . . the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878[3], and that the "battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1915, with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced." (The Time is at Hand, 1881, emphasis added. The date was changed to 1914 in a later edition.)

Armageddon is in 1914

 " . . . the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878[3], and that the "battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1914, with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced," (The Time is at Hand, 1889,...).

Much of the page has to do with the JWs and how they constantly change their teachings and thus is not actually related to Charles Taze Russell (who was never a member of the JWs) or the Bible Students. It is not our purpose here to defend the JW organization, but we do defend Brother Russell regarding any false or misrepresenting statements made about him.

However, since there was no edition of The Time Is At Hand until 1889, there is evidently something wrong with the above. Obviously, the author has gotten the editions confused.

The first quote actually appears to be from the 1911 edition, in which the date 1914 was changed to 1915 in some places. There were changes on page 101 that were made in the 1911 edition that Brother Russell evidently never authorized, as can be seen from many of his other statements at that time.

Nevertheless, page 101 in the 1899 edition reflects Russell’s view before 1904. The original on page 101 reads:
That the “battle of the great day of God Almighty ” (Rev. 16: 14.), which will end in A. D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership, is already commenced.”
This was changed in the 1911 edition to:
That the “battle of the great day of God Almighty” (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1915, with the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership, is already commenced.
Anyone familiar with Russell's statements elsewhere in the Watch Tower, sermons, etc, at that time, would know that Brother Russell no longer believed that the "battle of the great day of God Almighty" had already commenced in 1874, as he did before 1904. Brother Russell never fully updated his Studies to reflect his change of viewpoint in 1904. From his writings in the Watch Tower and elsewhere, we can see that from 1904 onward Russell was not expecting Armageddon (the time of trouble) to commence until October of 1914.

There were several instances in which 1914 was changed to 1915 in the 1911 editions that Russell apparently never authorized. Russell usually reported changes made in the pages of the Watch Tower. He never reported any change to page 101 of The Time Is At hand.

Today, most editions of the The Time Is At Hand retains the 1915 error on page 101. The only edition we know that has made changes to reflect Russell's change of viewpoint is that of Paul S. L. Johnson. Johnson's 1937 edition reads:

Johnson’s 1937 edition therefore reads:
that the “battle of the great day of God Almighty” (Rev 16:14) will begin in A.D. 1914, and that it will end in the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership.
We have more related to this at:
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/11/jworg.html
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/2017/01/changesstudies.html

In 1915, however, Russell evidently separated the actual battle of the great day from being the entire "time of trouble," and began to realize that the battle is the final phase of the time of trouble. Nevertheless, he died in 1916, still holding to the belief that the time of trouble had begun in 1914.

Unlike the JW leadership, however, Russell did not assume authority so as to demand that all Bible Students had to accept his conclusions. Russell's Watch Tower did not act as a central governing authority while Russell was alive.