Friday, September 25, 2015

Charles Taze Russell, The Jehovah's Witnesses, One World Government & The Last Days

There is a video on Youtube entitled "Charles Taze Russell, The Jehovah's Witnesses, One World Government & The Last Days". This video presents a lot of imaginative assumptions, and takes some statements of Brother Russell out of context, and claims that Russell was a member of the Freemasons, but it never presents any actual proof that Russell was a  member of the Freemasons organization. Actually, those familiar with Brother Russell's works know that he was not in support of the Freemasons, and most definitely was NOT a member that organization.

The pyramid monument in the Rosemont cemetery is shown in the video, evidently with the desire to leave the impression that it is a Masonic monument, and in some vague manner would prove that Brother Russell was a member of the Freemasons. Of course, in reality, the pyramid monument in the Rosemont Cemetery has nothing at all to do with the Freemasons.

The video focuses on the Masonic Center that is across the street from the Rosemont Cemetery, again, evidently with the thought of leaving the viewer with the impression that there is some connection between the pyramid monument and Russell with that Masonic Center. Actually, the fact that the Freemasons built a Masonic Center across the street from the Rosemont Cemetery in the 1990s (several decades after Russell died) has nothing at all to with Charles Taze Russell. There was no Masonic Center at that location when Russell was buried in the Rosemont Cemetery.

The video speaks of the pyramid monument as though it is Russell's "tomb". Actually, the pyramid monument that Rutherford authorized to be built in the Rosemont Cemetery is not a "tomb". No one is buried in or under that pyramid monument.

See my research:
Is Russell Buried in or Under a Pyramid?

The cross and crown symbol that is on the pyramid monument that Rutherford authorized to built is, of itself, NOT a Knights Templar symbol. That is simply someone's assumptive assertion, which is repeated over and over as though fact.
See my research:
Russell's Cross and Crown Symbolism - Masonic? Rosicrucian?

Russell was not buried in two different places, as implied in the video. The picture of Russell's grave is where he was buried in 1916, and it still where is buried to this day. It is not "an older tomb" of Charles Taze Russell. It is the only place where he was ever buried.
See my research:
Russell's grave

In the sermon "The Temple of God" from which a section is highlighted in the video, what Russell said is taken out of context with the evident desire to promote the deception in making it appear that Russell was saying that he was a member of the Freemasons organization. No, by his statement, Brother Russell was NOT admitting that he was a member of the Freemasons' organization, but as the context shows, he was speaking of being a mason -- a builder -- for Christ. Brother Russell later made it plain that he had never been a member of the Freemasons' organization when he stated, "I have never been a Mason." The sermon, "The Temple of God", was given in Masonic hall, but it was not given to the Freemasons, but rather to Bible Students who had rented a meeting room from the Masons.
See Russell's sermon:
The Temple of God

A point related to Brother Russell's reference to "Masonic brethren". By noting what he wrote concerning the Freemasons and the Knights Templar, he evidently assumed that all Freemasons are Knights Templar, which is not true. One has to profess belief in Christianity to be a Knights Templar; one has to only claim to be believe in a Supreme Being to belong to the Freemasons. Thus, one can be a Freemason without claiming to be Christian.
See my resource page regarding:
Russell and the Freemasons

At any rate, Brother Russell (unlike the JWs) did not claim that the Bible Students are the "the only true church" or "religion". Russell believed that the true church is "composed of consecrated followers of Christ, irrespective of all denominational lines — those who, turning from sin, accept Jesus as their Redeemer, through whom they have forgiveness of sins and reconciliation to the Father–those who have become disciples of Christ, taking up their cross to follow him, and who have received the begetting of the holy Spirit." (1910 International Bible Students Convention Report, page 79) Thus, he could refer to Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Presbyterians, etc., as well as Freemasons who profess to be Christian as "brethren". At other times, he also spoke of himself as being a Baptist, a Methodist, as Catholic, without meaning that he was a member of those denominations. Similarly, he spoke of himself as being a Mason, not meaning that he was a member of the Freemasons' organization, but as being a mason for Christ.
See my research related to:
Russell's View of the True Church

Charles Taze Russell was never a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses; he was a non-sectarian who did not believe in the authoritarianism that the JW leadershp claims. Russell did not believe that he, or anyone else, could scripturally claim authority over the church. He preached against the kind of organization that Rutherford later created.
See my research related to:
Russell and Church Organization

The JWs teach a message that is almost the very opposite of the good news of great joy that will be for all the people that Russell spent most of his life proclaiming. The Bible Students today still proclaim this good news of great joy that will be for all the people, while the JWs have rejected that message and replaced it with a message that basically states, "Join our organization or else you and your children may be eternally destroyed" in their conception of Armageddon.
See my resource page regarding:
Russell and the Jehovah's Witnesses

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Russell and Statements Regarding the Abydos Tablet and More

The following is in response to some statements made in a video regarding the Photo Drama of Creation.

I find it totally amazing how people can find fault with Brother Russell's presentation of corroboration of the Bible in documents such as the Abydos tablet or any other source, as though it is something evil. Instead of being something crazy, it is, in fact very scholarly. To condemn Brother Russell's use of the Abydos tablet as a confirmation of the Bible, if one is consistent, would be condemn any use of any historical document outside the bible at all throughout history to corroborate the Bible, and yet we know that many scholars have and still do make use of many documents outside the Bible to confirm Biblical accounts.

No where did Brother Russell say that Moses was an Egyptian, although Moses was brought up as the adopted son of an Egyptian princess. Brother Russell did quote the Bible as saying "Moses was 'learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.'" -- Acts 7:22.

What appears to be happening is that Brother Russell's statements of corroboration of the Bible as found in the Abydos tablet is being twisted to mean something other than what Russell clearly intended. Any "lies" thought to be be in Segment 21 of the Photo Drama has to be imagined and assumed. It was not Russell that twisted things around, but it does appear that there are those who would twist what Russell presented around to make it appear to be something other than what it was intended to be. He was, in fact, simply defending the accuaracy of history as given in the Bible. See the segment presented in this video at: https://youtu.be/G9QLXPyKSyc

Closely related to his, however, is the segment before. See the segment before at: https://youtu.be/iOoOpPza1KI

Nevertheless, Brother Russell was never a member of the JWs, and no such organization existed in Russell's day. Brother Russell was not part of any "governing body" of such an organization. Indeed, he preached against such authoritarianism. See my research: What Did C. T. Russell Teach About “Organization” As Related to the Watch Tower?
http://ctr-rlbible.com/?p=1892

It was not until after Russell died that Rutherford created the organization that he later named called "Jehovahs' Witnesses". By 1928, the vast majority of the Bible Students had already in some way rejected Rutherford's "Jehovah's visible organization" dogma. See my research:
Bible Students Did Not Become Jehovah's Witnesses
http://rlbible.com/?p=488

I myself am a Bible Student, and will be eternally thankful to God that He used Brother Russell to bring forth so many truths from the Bible, especially as to the ransom for all, and why God is permitting so evil and suffering among mankind. Anyone who doesn't do the research and see the Biblical truths he presented are actually Bible Students. Whatever research was done to present this video is in reality faulty, incomplete, and incompetent. It certainly does not represent what Russell taught about Moses correctly. It twists things Russell stated to make it appear to mean something else than what he intended. I highly doubt that whoever did the "research" actually did any extensive research to see what Russell actually did teach about Moses. http://tinyurl.com/mhf-moses

I do hope that future video presentations as stated in this video regarding the Photo-Drama are researched more thoroughly than what is presented in this video.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Reply to: Alleged "Dark Secrets" Video

The following was posted in response to some statements being made in a video entitled: "PT1 2015 New Dark Secrets Of JWS." While I am not with the JWs, there were some things in the video concerning Charles Taze Russell and the Bible Students that are historically incorrect and/or misleading.

Judge Rutherford was actually the FIRST, not the second president of Jehovah's Witnesses. Charles Taze Russell was never a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Russell, however, was never the president of the Bible Students. He was the president of the legal entities, which included the International Bible Students Association in England. However, since the term, International Bible Students Association, was also being applied to the Bible Students movement in general, even some Bible Students were mistakenly claiming Russell to be their "president".

Rutherford created the "Jehovah's Witnesses" by REJECTING the core teaching of Charles Taze Russell. Russell did not believe in any such sectarian authoritarian organization as Rutherford created after Russell died. Nor did Russell believe in the new gospel (good news) that Rutherford created. Rutherford began rejecting the basis of the Biblical atonement around 1923 when he introduced his "new light" regarding the second death and the sheep and goats. Eventually, he openly rejected the ransom for all around 1938, and fully replaced it with the bad tidings of great woe that will be for most of the people who do not join his organization.

Barbour had indeed been an associate of Brother Miller. After 1844, he lost interest in the time prophecies until 1859, when a British chaplain encouraged him to reconsider the prophecies of Daniel. He did this and began to realize that Miller was wrong in starting the 1260, 1290 and 1335 days at different dates, and they should all start at the same date. Applying the beginning of all three to 538 AD, this brought end of 1335 days to 1873 (he later adjusted this to beginning 539 AD with it ending in 1874).

About this same time, he also came across the chronology provided by Christopher Bowen, and realized that, from this chronology, 6,000 years from the creation of Adam would end in 1872. He saw that Bowen's chronology, similarly to that used by Miller, disregarded the conclusions of the more traditional chronologies, and that he came to believe that it was more in harmony with the Biblical descriptions of the 70 years of desolation. It was from Bowen's chronology, however that Barbour obtained the date 606 as the date of the destruction of Jerusalem. Believing Bowen's chronology to be more in harmony with the Bible, Barbour adopted Bowen's chronology for his general usage. That chronology, however, was presented in years according the Jewish autumn-to-autumn calendar, which has caused confusion, since this would mean that 606 actually began in the fall of 607, according to our calendar. Having studied John A. Brown's and E. B. Elliott's conclusions regarding the Gentile Times, Barbour adapted this to Bowen's chronology, which brought the end of the Gentile Times  in 1914.

However, the date, 1873/4, is not based on anything that is peculiar to Bowen's chronology.

Some corrections related to historical timings:

In 1873, Russell had no interest in Barbour's expectations related to 1873 or 1874. Russell did not, in 1873, sell his clothing stores, nor did he, in 1873, accept the Second Adventists' date 1873 (or 1874).

According to Russell's own words, he sold his businesses sometime shortly after 1876.

Russell, around 1872 (about 2 years BEFORE 1874), came to realize that Christ's return was not to be in the flesh, but in the spirit, since Jesus had sacrificed his flesh for our sins. (1 Peter 3:18) He did not, however, at that time (1872) have any interest in the dates of the Second Adventists, and thus it was not until 1876, about two years AFTER 1874, that Russell accepted Barbour's conclusion that Christ had returned in 1874. Russell was never expecting before 1874 that the world was going to end in 1873 or 1874.

Neither Barbour nor Russell predicted the world was going to end in 1878. They were expecting the harvest of the church in end 1878, but that was a different matter from the idea of the "end of the world". That Russell was not expecting what one might consider "the end of the world" in 1878 can be seen from the article that he wrote for the October 1876 issue of the Bible Examiner entitled "Gentile Times - When Do They End?" Brother Russell showed in that article that the Gentile Times were to end in 1914; thus he was definitely not expecting "the end of the world" in 1878. One could reason that from about 1876 on, that they had both expected that the world was going to end in 1914, but certainly not 1878, although this does not actually fit what they taught. None of these expectations, however, were prophecies.

Since Russell was never expecting that the world was going to end in 1873, as far as he was concerned, there was nothing for him to apologize related to that date. I do not know of anyone who claims that "Christ came in 1878." We are not sure when Barbour recognized the date 1914 as being the end of the Gentile Times, but Russell accepted that date from Barbour in 1876. While we cannot be certain as to who first presented the date 1914 as being the end of the Gentile Times, we do know that long before Barbour, E. B. Elliott in the year 1844 came up with the date 1914; ("Horae Apocalypticae" [1844], pages 1429-1431.) From Brother Russell's standpoint, however, he was not expecting the "end of the world" to come in 1914. However, to him, the doctrine of the "end of the world" meant the end of the planet earth, which he did not believe. Nevertheless, in 1904, Russell was additionally no longer expecting the end of the time of trouble to be in 1914; rather he began expecting that the time of trouble was begin in 1914. This meant that he was no longer expecting all Gentile Kingdoms to end in 1914, but they would continue to exist for some time after 1914. Although he did not expect the time of trouble to last very long after 1914, he said that there was no scripture that shows how long the time of trouble will last.

Nothing, however, that Miller, Barbour or Russell presented were prophecies, but rather were only conclusions presented based on study of Bible prophecies. Brother Russell himself denied being a prophet, and certainly never claimed that one had to believe in his conclusions in order to be a Christian or to be saved.

Some related material:

Various Views on Bible Chronology

A Sketch of the Development of Present Truth (Charles Taze Russell)

Did Russell Predict the End of the World for 1874?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Incredible Creed?

A link to Mr. Rumble's "Incredible Creed of the Jehovah's Witnesses" was presented to me. I am not with the Jehovah's Witnesses, and do not defend the JW organization. Mr. Rumble, however, states many things that is highly misleading, to say the least, especially related to Charles Taze Russell. I am not responding in detail here, but I am giving some brief statements and links where one may find more information.

I don't have time to go into detail, but there is much in the material that is misleading, to say the least.

Russell was appointed pastor of the group in Allegheny sometime around 1876; he did not just "assume" this title.

Russell never founded "a new religion of his own."

I could not verify that Russell ever claimed "to have written more explanatory books on the Bible than the combined writings of Paul, John, Arius, Waldo, Wycliffe, and Martin Luther." Such a claim was made, evidently by whoever originally published the book, "Pastor Russell's Sermons". The statement itself certainly appears to be true, however.

Russell never said that the Bible hell does not exist; he did point out what the Bible hell is.

Russell was never "legally compelled to restore to the purchases the money he had obtained for his miracle wheat." Russell, himself, never obtained any money from the sell of Miracle Wheat, nor was he legally compelled to return any of the money.

Russell never in court or otherwise made any claim "to be an expert Scripture scholar that he knew Greek."

Russell was not a "self-styled prophet." Indeed, he many times stated that he was not a prophet, and that his conclusions presented in his studies are not prophecies.

Mrs. Russell did not divorce Russell on the grounds of adultery; indeed, she plainly stated that she was not accusing her husband of adultery.
http://ctr-rlbible.com/?cat=83

Russell was never a member the Jehovah's Witnesses organization, and actually preached against such authoritarianism.

Russell preached against sectarianism; he preached against one becoming a "Russellite".

Russell's Watch Tower effectually ceased to exist within a few weeks after his death; Rutherford, in effect, created a new Watch Tower Society when he deceitfully had his new by-laws passed.

Regarding:
The Bible Hell

Regarding:
The Trinity Doctrine

Sunday, January 25, 2015

One Who Left the JWs

http://spiritualbrother.blogspot.com/2008/10/letter-of-disassociation-written-by.html

At the above link we find a letter of disassociation from the JWs written by one who identifies himself as "spiritualbrother." Many, like this person, are leaving the "Jehovah's Witnesses" organization, but are at the same time being misled by the lies and falsehoods that are being spread abroad. While I am not associated with JWs, the letter does contain a lot of false statements concerning Charles Taze Russell, and the purpose of this post is not to defend the Jehovah's Witnesses' organization, but to address those false statements concerning Russell, or to give links where one can find information about those statements.

I am glad to see that "spiritualbrother" has come to see a clearer picture of the faithful and wise steward. (Luke 12:42-48) Nevertheless, part of being faithful and wise in service of the Master would require that we also be careful what we might say about fellow servants. We should be careful not to just accept and repeat what people might being saying out of spite or hatred, but rather we should check to make sure that what we repeat is not actually distortions and falsehoods that are being spoken against a fellow-servant of the Master.

Regarding the mission of the church, please see:
hhttp://rlbible.com/?p=41

Regarding "blood transfusions," see:
http://rlbible.com/?p=527

Regarding the "holy name," see
http://jesus-rlbible.com/?page_id=2
http://mostholyname.wordpress.com/
http://nameofyah.blogspot.com/

Saturday, January 3, 2015

JWs, Jesuits and Charles Taze Russell

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

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

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

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

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

Charles Taze Russell and the Jehovah's Witnesses

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

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


End of the World in 1914?

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

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

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

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


Russell's Education

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

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


Russell's Watch Tower and the JW Watchtower

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

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


No One Can Understand Without Russell?


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

See my research related to:
1915
and
1918

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

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

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




Joseph Rutherford

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

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

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


The End Just Around the Corner


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

See my research related to:
Russell and Armageddon


The Jesuits

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