Monday, December 20, 2010

Russell Was Never the President of the Jehovah's Witnesses

Stephen E. Jones presented some erroneous statements concerning Russell to which I responded; he then presented even more errors in statements to which I tried to respond, but since my responses were not allowed, I have decided to respond to them here. I believe that Jones, whether he allows my responses or not, if he is really interested in the truth of the matter, he should at least correct the errors he has presented.  Whether he allowed my responses to appear or not is irrelevant; the fact that he has not made any changes in his misrepresentations of Russell is what concerns me.

He stated concerning Russell:

While JWs no longer have one absolute "earthly leader" in the sense of one dominant individual, as it did have in the reigns of its first three Presidents, Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916); Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869-1942) and Nathan Homer Knorr (1905-1977)
Is this true? No, since there was no "Jehovah's Witnesses" organization in the days of Russell, and Russell certainly did not have  "reign" over anyone.

Indeed, Charles Taze Russell was never the president of the Jehovah's Witnesses. The JWs' organization did not exist in the days of Russell. Russell was a non-sectarian who preached against such authoritarianism as is found in the JW organization. Furthermore, Russell disowned being any "ruler" of the church (which he stated many times existed amongst all the denominations of Christianity).

See Russell and Sectarianism

Nor did Russell use fear of the "second death" as a whip to bring anyone into subjection (as does the JW leadership). The gospel - the good news of great joy which is to be to all the people - preached by Russell was almost the opposite message of that preached by Jehovah's Witnesses. After Russell died, Rutherford immediately had the by-laws of the Watch Tower Society changed, and went about creating a new organization, which the bulk of the Bible Students movement rejected.

Founder of the JWS

Russell was indeed the main founder of the legal entity The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. However, that entity was not originally created so as to support or control an organization such the "Jehovah's Witnesses." Russell, being a non-sectarian, did not believe any such kind organization (and actively preached against such until he died), nor did he or the Bible Students believe in the message that is preached by that organization. Even though some of the Bible Students sought to make Russell some kind of ruler, Russell followed the example of Jesus and refused such. (John 6:15)

See Russell and Sectarianism

Furthermore, Russell actively preached against similar kinds of alleged "good news" (as preached by the JWs) until he died. Russell never preached a gospel that Christians had to come to him, or to the Bible Students movement, for salvation, as do the JWs regarding their organization. He taught salvation only through Christ, irrespective of any human sect, organization, or denomination. No, the JWs did not retain what Russell taught in this regard, but claimed that for one to have salvation, one has to come to what they call "Jehovah's organization," meaning that which is headed by their leadership in Brooklyn.

Yes, in 1931 Rutherford named his new organization "Jehovah's Witnesses." He did this because the Bible Students (as a whole, represented by the majority) had rejected this new organization, as well as his new gospel of woeful bad tidings of eternal destruction for most of the people. As a whole the Bible Students movement carried on its affairs without giving approval to Rutherford's new organization, or his new gospel, and are still doing so to this day. Therefore, as a whole, the original Bible Students movement did not take the name Jehovah's Witnesses.

It is true that Rutherford developed his new organization "out of" the Bible Students movement, but the Bible Students movement as a whole (represented by the majority) rejected that new organization. It is not just a matter of semantics; it is a matter of actually examining the facts.
The Founder of Jehovah's Witnesses

There was no "central authority" in the days of Russell; the only "authority" -- if one can call it that -- that Russell maintained was that of "pastor" towards those congregations that had elected him as such. Russell did not seek to take control of the affairs of local congregations. All congregations were free to either elect him as pastor or not, or to reject him as pastor at any time. All congregations were free to make their own appointments of elders and deacons for whatever needs they might have. Such coercive methods of Rutherford and the JWs were not approved by Russell, and I am sure that he would not approve of the JW organization today because they do employ those methods, and especially since they have denied the ransom for all, the main doctrine that Russell started publishing the Watch Tower to defend.

Russell, however, allowed others to disagree with his conclusions; he often printed differing views in the pages of the Watch Tower, and even learned from those who disagreed with him. He did not go around -- or have any representatives going around --  disfellowshiping people because they disagreed with him, as did Rutherford.

Yes, one of the very first acts that Rutherford did was to deceive the voters into passing new by-laws for the Watch Tower (without permitting the voters to read the new by-laws) which new by-laws did indeed, in effect, create a "new organization," the very thing Russell had sought to keep from happening, both by the original by-laws as well as by his last will and testament, which Rutherford ignored. Trusting Rutherford, the voters passed the by-laws without having read them. It was only later that many of them began to realize they had been deceived, and even later that the majority of the Bible Students began to realize what had happened.

The word "organization" rarely appeared in the Watch Tower publications in days of Russell as related to the legal entity, and never in the sense that Rutherford began to use that term after Russell died. The December issues of 1916 slowly began to subtly introduce the concept of "organization" in a new way.

At first, back in 1917, only a few of the Bible Students understood what was happening; however, by 1930, the majority of the Bible Students movement had indeed rejected Rutherford's new organization, and his new gospel of eternal destruction for most of the world in Armageddon without their receiving any benefit from the ransom for all.
Russell on church organization

Steven E. Jones claims:

Most of Russell's core doctrines: denial of the Trinity, denial of conscious existence after death, apostasy of Christianity in the second century, Jesus' invisible return, destruction of this present world at Armageddon, salvation only through the Society, etc, were retained by Rutherford and by the Watchtower Society down to this day.
Denial of Trinity

Of course, Russell denied what is not the in the Bible. He did not find any trinity concept in the Bible, and he did find that the trinity is contradiction to the redemption that is in Christ, actually replacing what the Bible presents about the ransom for all.

Denial of the Conscious Existence After Death

Russell actually denied that the dead are conscious while dead, he did not deny any conscious existence after death, since he believed the dead, both the just and unjust, are to raised in the resurrection of the last day.

Russell, however, showed how such doctrines as the trinity and the alleged inherent immortality of the human soul/spirit are not in the Bible, have to be added to the Bible, and how they have replaced and/or are in contradiction to the glorification of God and the central doctrine of the Bible pertaining to God's redemption out of sin and death in Adam, that is, the atonement (which is to the glorification of God).

Apostasy of Christianity in the Second Century

Russell taught the apostasy had already begun in the first century, just as it states in the Bible. However, if Steven E. Jones does not believe there has ever been any apostasy, then why is he not a member of the Roman Catholic Church and in obedience to the pope in Rome? Indeed, most, if not all, of the earlier protestant reformers did believe that there had been an apostasy, and that the Roman Catholic Church was a result of that apostasy. This was indeed at the very basis of the protestant reformation.

Jesus' Invisible Return

Do the Jehovah's Witnesses preach Christ's invisible return the same as Russell? No; they do believe Christ returned invisibly in 1914; Russell, however, never believed that. Russell taught that Christ had returned in 1874, and was indeed present on the earth, since that date. The JW leadership has, however, rejected the chronology that Russell presented. Rutherford wanted to find some way to apply prophecies to his new organization in order to promote his claim that his new organization is "God's visible organization on earth", and thus rejected what Russell had presented on major applications of time prophecy so as to force those time prophecies into his alleged history of the alleged "God's visible organization on earth". Russell, however, did not believe in this doctrine of Rutherford's "God's visible organization on earth," nor in the chrononlogy and applications of time prophecies as presented by Rutherford, and which are basically still held by the JW leadership to this day. Thus, while the JWs did retain the date 1914, what that date means to them, and what it meant to Russell, are totally different. Thus, the JW leadership did not retain what Russell taught about the year 1914.
Russell's Expectations Concerning 1914

Destruction of This Present World at Armageddon; Salvation Only Through the Society

The JWs did not at all retain what Russell taught about the passing away of the present heavens and earth, nor of what he taught concerning "Armageddon." Russell did not believe in the JW-type Armageddon at all. Some of the Second Adventists as well as the 7th Day Adventists taught a doctrine similar to what the JWs preach, and Russell thoroughly countered those teachings, and open opposed them. I am sure that he would also do the same concerning Rutherford's new doctrine of an Armageddon that would eternally destroy millions, billions, of men, women and children without their ever having any benefit from the ransom for all.

Rutherford introduce a doctrine that is almost the opposite of that Russell taught, thus it is certainly misleading to say that the JWs have retained what Russell taught about the "destruction of this world" or about "Armageddon." They indeed teach almost the opposite of what Russell taught. The core doctrine of Russell was the Biblical doctrine of the "ransom for all." Russell never believed in the JW-type of Armageddon, nor did he believe in end of the world in the same manner that the JWs teach. The JWs did not retain what he taught on these topics. Russell never taught anything like the idea that all who disagreed with his teaching would be eternally destroyed without receiving benefit from the ransom. No, the JWs did not retain the doctrine of Armageddon from Russell, but Rutherford created a totally new doctrine of Armageddon. Russell most definitely never taught any doctrine of "salvation only through the Society." The JWs did not retain what Russell taught about salvation, but rejected what he taught and replaced it with a new gospel of salvation through their organization.

I assume that Steven E. Jones actually believes that Russell taught "salvation only through the Society", as he has not changed his statement on this, although it is totally false. Russell never taught such a thing! There are many others, however, who are also so ignorant of what Russell taught that have attributed many of the teachings of Rutherford and the later JW leadership to Russell.

Russell on Salvation and Atonement
Russell and Armageddon
End of the Word in 1914?
JW Claims and Russell's Expectations Regarding 1914

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Did Charles Taze Russell Deny the Bible Doctrine of Hell?

Something we keep seeing repeated over and over concerning Russell is that the denied the Bible doctrine of hell. In reality, he did not deny the Bible doctrine of hell, but rather he upheld and defended what the Bible said about hell, as opposed to what self-proclaimed orthodoxy would have us imagine and assume on the scriptures. What Russell denied was the added-on so-called "orthodox" view of hell, which is not found in the Bible, except that one use the great spirit of human imagination in order to "see" that doctrine in the Bible.

Some of Russell's works in which he presented the Bible doctrine of hell as distinguished from the man's self-proclaimed orthodoxy which would add heathen mythology to the Bible.

The Subject of the Atonement - Man

What Saith the Scripture About Hell?

Adam Went to the Bible Hell

Christ's Ascension From Hades

Yahoo Search of Russell's Works for the Expression "Bible Hell"

We have expanded on Russell's findings, giving more detail and refuting some of the arguments of those who wish to uphold adding to and blending into Scripture the Hellenistic mythology. See:

Hell in the Bible - What Does the Bible Really Say About Hell (A Brief Outline with Scriptures)

Examining the Word "Hell"

Links to some sites that are making this claim (we do not agree with claims made on these sites): 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5

Thursday, September 2, 2010

6,000 years from Adam's Creation - 1872 or 1873?

The following appears on a site as among alleged "failed" prophecies of the JWs:

6,000 years from Adam ended in A.D. 1872. (Daily Heavenly Manna, inside cover page).

6,000 years of human history ended in 1873.(The Time is at Hand, p.33)

Actually, neither statement is a prophecy, but simply a statement, as related to the chronology that Russell had adopted. Additionally, it appears that the statements are given in the above manner to make it appear to be in contradiction to each other, whereas in reality they are not. In the manner in which they presented, the two quotes, could be an attempt to deceive one into thinking a contradiction exists, wherein reality, there is no contradiction, or the person(s) who present the quotes may be ignorant of how Brother Russell presented chronology.

We need to point out that in "The Time is At Hand", on the very same page references, we find a statement that 6,000 years from Adam's creation to also be 1872.Yet, on the same page, he presents this as being 1873.

IN this chapter we present the Bible evidence which indicates that six thousand years from the creation of Adam were complete with A.D. 1872; and hence that, since 1872 A.D., we are chronologically entered upon the seventh thousand or the Millennium--the forepart of which, the "Day of the Lord," the "day of trouble," is to witness the breaking into pieces of the kingdoms of this world and the establishment of the Kingdom of God under the whole heavens.

How could both be right? How could it be that 6,000 years from Adam's creation be both 1872 and 1873?

The answer lies in the manner of application of chronology that Russell adopted. The basis of the chronology adopted runs from fall to fall (Jewish years), not from January to January as does our modern calendar. 1872 would end in September/October of 1872 according to our modern calendar, and thus 1873 would begin in October of 1872 as found on our modern calendar. It is from this perspective that the two statements above are found to be in harmony, since October of 1872 would be 6,000 years from Adam's creation, and since September/October of 1872 would begin 1873, Jewish reckoning of autumn to autumn years. In reference to the ending of the 6,000 years, it would be 1872; in reference to beginning of the year, it would be 1873.

Although Russell was never associated with the JW organization (that organization did not exist until after Russell died), what the JWs believe are often read back into what Russell stated, since the JWs claim that Russell was a JW, and they often falsely extend their organization back to the days of Russell. Thus, authors often quote Russell as part of their attack on the JW organization, without noting or distinguishing between what Russell taught concerning organization and how it differs greatly from what the JWs teach.

At any rate, Russell never originated any prophecies; the only prophecies he believed in were those of the Bible. He did discuss possible expectations regarding various dates that he believed study of Bible prophecy had revealed, but he distinguished between the prophecies of the Bible and his expectations. Russell, however, never gave his expectations with any idea that all Christians must accept them. Russell did not consider his teachings on prophecy to be essential for Christian fellowship, and, indeed, acknowledged differing opinions among his associates in the Bible Students movement  Russell never claimed authority over fellow Christians or the congregations, as did Rutherford after Russell died.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Failed Prophecies?

Russell never made any prophecies, so there were no prophecies from him that "failed". Charles Taze Russell never claimed any direct revelation from God. His opponents, as well as some others who claimed to be his followers, have made this claim for him, but he denied such from the very beginning and continued in such denial until the day he died. He certainly never claimed to be a prophet, as did Joseph Smith.

Charles Taze Russell (although he stated his views firmly as his beliefs) was never dogmatic about his beliefs on chronology and time prophecy, nor did he demand of the Bible Students associated with him or anyone else accept his beliefs. His statements were:

"Our own views are not prophecy, but interpretations of the holy prophets of old." (Watch Tower, October 1890, page 8)

"Neither must you lean upon the DAWN and the TOWER as infallible teachers. If it was proper for the early Christians to prove what they received from the apostles, who were and who claimed to be inspired, how much more important it is that you fully satisfy yourself that these teachings keep closely within their outline instructions and those of our Lord; -- since their author claims no inspiration, but merely the guidance of the Lord, as one used of him in feeding his flock." ("The Watch Tower", June, 1893)

"We are not prophesying; we are merely giving our surmises, the Scriptural basis for which is already in the hands of our readers in the six volumes of SCRIPTURE STUDIES." (Watch Tower, January 1, 1908, page 5).

"I am not a prophet." (What Pastor Russell Said, Q272:1, 1910)

"Some people try to make out that I claim I am infallible, and know everything. You are all witnesses that that is not true." (What Pastor Russell Said, Q14:1, 1911)

"We try to be careful about every word that goes into the Watch Tower, but we do not claim to be infallible; we are doing the best we can." (What Pastor Russell Said, Q56:1, 1910)

"We have never set forth anything to indicate that our view in the matter was infallible. I do not know positively that the times of the Gentiles will end in October, 1914, or at any other particular time. We think there is strong reason for believing that the Gentile Times will end in October, 1914. We give it as our opinion, and set before you the Scriptural reason. Some may believe and some not. This is our thought and if it is correct, about that time, or shortly thereafter, a great time of trouble will come upon the world." (What Pastor Russell Said, Q313:2, 1914)
Many more quotes could be provided.

What one will not find anywhere in Russell's writings is that he claimed that his writings were a direct revelation from God, or that his expectations were directly from God.

I will say that, after Russell died, that Rutherford made all kinds of claims for Russell that Russell himself never claimed, including the claim that Russell was a "prophet".

Russell was expecting the "time of trouble" to begin in 1914, which indeed it did, and we have been in that "time of trouble" with its spasms ever since; he was not expecting the earth all of a sudden to become a paradise in 1914, as many have assumed, rather he was expecting almost the opposite, trouble and warfare such as the world had never seen before. Several dates were suggested for how longer after 1914 the "time of trouble" might last; Russell stated that he could not find a scripture that shows how long "the time of trouble" would last after 1914. The belief that the time of trouble was to begin was never changed after 1914, for the facts indicated that it had begun 1914. Russell certainly never concluded that the "Gentile Times" did not end in 1914, and he continued to believe that until the day he died. As far as I know, even the JWs continue to believe that the Gentile Times ended in 1914 to this day; I know that they did back in the 1990s, so if they have stopped believing this, it would have to be in the last few years, not back in 1914 as allegedly due to some imagined failing of 1914.

See my research concerning Russell's expectations for 1914 at:

See also:
JW Claim and Russell's Expectation Concerning 1914:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Russell and "Christian Truths"

This is in response a blog on a site called Christian Truths. We will not be providing too much in this blog, but will be mostly giving links to where we have provided information. Please click on the links for more information.

The author evidently considers Charles Taze Russell as having been of the Jehovah's Witnesses organization, when in reality that organization did not exist when Russell was living.

Russell did not believe in an authoritarian organization such as the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Russell preached against demonic occultism, and certainly was not involved in such.

We are shown a picture of the Masonic Lodge building was constructed across the street from the Rosemont United Cemetery, where Charles Taze Russell. The evident design to deceive the reader into thinking that Russell was a Mason because the Masons, evidently several decades after Russell died, constructed a Masonic building across the street from where he had been buried.

We are falsely told that Russell was a "33rd Degree Freemason", when in fact, he was never even a member of the Freemasons' organization.

We are then presented with another picture of the pyramid monument that is in the Rosemont Cemetery, which shows the Masonic Temple in the background. Again, the evident deception that is desired to be promoted by this is that the pyramid monument is a Masonic pyramid. The words above the picture tell us to the notice "the Illuminati pyramid". In fact that pyramid has nothing to do with any secret organization called the "The Illuminati." Such is being imagined and assumed. In reality, that monument was constructed several years after Russell died, as a memorial to those who had died while working at the WTS headquarters. The monument was to be a reminder of the God's witness in Egypt, the Great Pyramid, None of this has anything whatsoever to do with a secret organization called the "The Illuminati", nor with the Freemasons.

The statement is made concerning the picture of the pyramid monument that "this is where Russell is buried." The deceptive implication that this seems to be desired to leave is that Russell was buried in or under that pyramid monument, whereas in reality he was not buried in that monument, nor under that monument.  The pyramid monument was constructed a few years after Russell died, and it is located in the middle of the plot owned by the WTS in the Rosemont Cemetery. However, no one is buried in or under that monument, and there is nothing on or about that monument, that is connnected with the Freemasons' organization. The cross and crown symbol, of itself, is not a Masonic symbol, although many would like one to think this so that they can use that symbol to make it appear that Russell's usage of the symbol means that Russell was a Freemason. Such reasoning, if taken to its logical end, would mean that practically every traditional church denomination there is Masonic, since practically every denomination has used some form of the cross and crown symbology. In reality, what is being presented as proof that Russell was a Mason is what someone has imagined and assumed.

CLICK HERE to see where Russell is buried.

It is claimed that what is presented on the page is "irrefutable proof of the Jehovah's Witnesses are inseparably linked to Satanic Freemasonry." We are not with the Jehovah's Witnesses, and we do not believe in that organization, nor did Charles Taze Russell. Nevertheless, what is being spoken of here is concerning Russell, and thus we need state that, in realty, no proof at all was presented that Russell was linked to Satanic Freemasonry; what was presented is what someone has imagined and assumed.


Russell believed in the Bible hell, but he did not believe in the eternal suffering theories that are often associated with hell. Of the scriptures given, only one relates to the true Bible "hell" (hades/sheol)

Some links regarding the Bible hell:

1 John 5:7 says nothing at all about three persons in one God, nor do 1 Timothy 3:16, Acts 20:28 or Isaiah 9:6 offer any proof that Jesus is the only true God.

Related 1 John 5:7, see:

Related to 1 Timothy 3:16, see:

Related to Acts 20:28, see:

Related to Isaiah 9:6, see:


As best as we can tell, "Christian Truths" removed in the original post that we responded to above. Another post now appears dated June 1, 2010, simply entitled "Cults," which is a label often used, especially by those who follow the men who developed the trinitarian dogma, to represent those who refuse to follow Athanasius and other who have developed a false "orthodoxy" for God.

At any rate, the pages allegedly presents "truths" concerning the cults listed; whether the things listed are actually truths regarding the other groups listed or not, we will not address here. Our concern is with what is stated about Charles Taze Russell, and what is presented as beliefs in connection with Russell.

Again, the "Christian truths" belies the truth in misrepresenting Russell as the founder of an organization that he did not believe in. Indeed, Russell preached against such authoritarianism as exists in the JW organization until the day he died. Russell certainly did not believe in the Gospel(?) of bad tidings taught the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Was Russell the Founder of What is Now the Jehovah's Witnesses?

"Christian Truths" further belies the truth by stating that Charles Taze Russell taught that "the church belongs to the ecclesiastical wing of Satan's organization." Search as one may in Russell's writing, you will not find any mention of the church belonging to any ecclesiastical wing of Satan's organization. In this "Christian Truths" fails to present the truth. Russell never used the phrase "Satan's organization" at all. It does not appear in his writings. Russell did teach that the human sectarian church organizations formed by man were part of Satan's Empire (Kingdom); Russell denounced sectarianism, not the church. Although he denounced sectarianism, at the same time he believed that the true church could be found amongst all various Christian sects and denominations. Russell stated: “the Lord in Heaven records as members of His true Church all the saintly — whether Roman Catholics, Anglican Catholics, Greek Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc. — and none others…. Do we not see that a part of our mistake was in calling the outward organization the Church of Christ, instead of remembering that the Lord alone writes the names of the Church, that He alone reads the hearts, that He alone is the Judge, and that He alone has the right to blot out the names of those who become reprobates? … We must see that the Church is a comparatively small company of saintly footstep followers of Jesus, irrespective of sectarian lines.” And Russell stated: “all who are worshiping any church organization should be warned. See thou do it not.’ These are thy fellow servants. ‘Worship God.’ `Rev. 22:9`.” He further stated: “so far as the true Church is concerned, the only authority in it is the Lord, the Head of the Church, and his Word, and the words of those whom he specially chose to be his mouth-pieces, the apostles.” And, “we believe that in every nation and denomination there are some true saints of God, members therefore of the true Church of God.” 
Russell and the True Church

"Christian Truths" continues to misrepresent the truth by presenting the false statement that Russell condemned the teachings of the church in all ages. Russell did condemn the false teachings of men who claimed to represent the church, and which teachings have been formed by the spirit of human imagination; he never condemned the original teachings that were given to the true church in the first century.

Did Russell ever say that Christ did not rise from the dead? Absolutely not! Indeed, Russell taught that Jesus did rise from the dead. (CLICK HERE) Indeed, it is the one who claims that Jesus' soul never died who would be claiming that his soul was never raised from the dead, for, following such logic to its conclusion, how can a living soul that is not dead be raised from the dead? Indeed, if Jesus had been living at all, then he was not raised from the dead, but from the living.

See our own studies on Jesus' resurrection:

The Manner of the Resurrection
Raised in the Spirit
Jesus Died a Human Being – Raised a Spirit Being

More may be added later, Yahweh willing.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Statement from Morton Edgar Regarding Rutherford's "Organization."

Morton Edgar, a prominent writer amongst the Bible Students even in the days of Russell, wrote the following in the latter 1920s, in response to Rutherford's new "organization" doctrine. Edgar's statement reflected the sentiments of many Bible Students living at that time, as they were appalled at what Rutherford was doing with the Watch Tower Society that had been formed for different purposes.

The word “organisation” does not occur in the Bible, and its use is apt to mislead. The Scriptural word is “kingdom”; and our Lord distinctly said that “the kingdom of God cometh not with observation”—with outward show—Luke 17:20. Therefore there is no “visible organisation of God on earth,” as is claimed by some to their undoing.

We interrupt here to note that this what Brother Russell had taught throughout the years of his ministry, right on up to to his death in 1916. The idea that there is no "visible organisation of God on earth" did not originate with  Brother Edgar. It is what Brother Russell had stated many times. For instance, Russell stated: "There is no organization today clothed with authority." (Watch Tower, October 1, 1893, page 1573)  A year later, he stated, "A visible organization is out of harmony with God’s divine plan." (Watch Tower, December 1, 1894, page 1743) That he was still holding to this view in 1915 can be seen from his statement, "There would be nothing to come out of, as an organization, if one is an International Bible Student." (The Watch Tower, July 15, 1915, pages 218, 219) And just before his death, in 1916, Russell stated concerning the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of his day: "Let it be borne in mind that the Society exercises no authority, makes no criticism, but merely gives advice; and that in the interest of the Lord’s Cause and the Lord’s people." (The Watch Tower, August 15, 1916, page 248) Russell consistently refuse accept any special authority over fellow believers. For more related to this, see our links to research related to Brother Russell, Authority and Organization

Brother Edgar continued:
How often Brother Russell warned us against this very thing, and how foolish we shall be if we do not heed his warning. We shall indeed be foolish if we claim that “only through our system or organisation will the heavenly Father accept praise and service”; for this would make it appear necessary for every spirit-begotten child of God to “bow the knee” to the few who have constituted themselves heads of the organisation. The apostle shows that it is only the carnal, fleshly mind that is deceived by such unscriptural claims—1 Cor. 3:1-6, 18-23....
I for one entirely repudiate this talk of “God’s visible organization on earth” during this Gospel Age. It is dangerous talk, and gives rise to all kinds of persecutions and ungodly claims, as anyone who has consecrated reasoning powers can see.... If there was one thing that our dear Brother Russell warned us against, more strongly than any other, it was this very thing. Brother Russell never made any such claim for the “Society” when he was here in the flesh and amongst us, for he knew better. But Judge Rutherford, apparently, does not know enough to keep himself clear of it. In the very first chapter of the first volume of “Studies,” Brother Russell speaks of this “false idea that the nominal church, in its present condition, is the sole agency” for the recovery of the world from sin. -- Published in "Gleanings From Glasgow"
As many have pointed out, as sectarian leadership power increases in the hands of imperfect men, the persecuted become the persecutors of others who disagree with them. When imperfect men claim or attributed such power, a carnal spirit of rulership takes over, and the words of love that Jesus proclaimed are either forgotten or twisted to fit the sectarian claims. Outward love may be claimed by those within a certain sectarian fellowship, but Jesus stated, "If you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don't even the tax collectors do the same?" (

Our concluding thoughts: While God is allowing sectarian divisions at the present time, as well as persecutions of each other between such sects. the time will come when all of God's people will serve Jehovah "shoulder to shoulder." (Zephaniah 3:9) While many sects claim this as being fulfilled in their own particular group, this, we believe, will have its fulfillment until after Satan has been abyssed so that he no longer will be allowed to deceive the people. (Revelation 20:3) Then, not only will the various sects among Christians fade away, so will all religions of man cease to exist, as all people of all nations learn the ways of Jehovah. (Isaiah 2:2-4)  Jesus will not allow any of the sectarian denominational divisions (heresies) to continue into the age to come. 

Some Related Links
What Did C. T. Russell Teach About “Organization” As Related to the Watch Tower?

Who Did Russell Actually Believe to Be the “only authority” of the Church?

Friday, January 1, 2010

The marriage of Charles Taze and Maria Russell (Link)

One of the JWs has a page on Russell's marriage which I believe to be very informative. Be aware that the site does preach the JW organization in the other posts, but the information on the post linked to below appears to be accurate and useful.The material is reproduced from the JW Proclaimers book and their 1975 Yearbook, discussing Russell's marital problems, and the charges his wife brought against. The post brings out that Mrs. Russell denied that she was claiming that Russell had committed adultery.