Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Beginning of the Time of Trouble - Quotes From Russell

By Ronald R. Day, Senior
This study is still in the process of being edited. Some links may not work.


Many people like to quote Russell's earlier views concerning 1914, and make the claim that Russell was a false prophet because he voiced expectations concerning 1914, but totally disregard what Russell stated elsewhere. Actually, Russell disclaimed that his expectations were prophecy, but that they were his on conclusions based on his study of Bible prophecies. Thus, never having made any prophecies, the statements of Deuteronomy 18:15-22 are not applicable to Russell.

In this presentation, however, we will be focusing on what Russell stated between the years 1904 until 1914, especially as related to the time of trouble (Armageddon) as beginning, not ending, in 1914.

Please note that Russell had no expectations similar the Jehovah's Witnesses regarding Armageddon. He was certainly not expecting that all of a sudden millions of non-believers would be eternally destroyed. His view of Armageddon was, in effect, almost the opposite of that later presented by Joseph Rutherford.

Up until 1904 Russell had continued to accept Barbour's view that the time of trouble was to end, not  begin, in 1914. In 1904, Russell rejected his earlier view, and he came to realize that "the time of trouble" was to begin, not end, in 1914. We have been asked to present evidence that Russell was indeed teaching that the "time of trouble" (Armageddon) was to begin, not end in 1914. In order to not get sidetracked from the focus on the time of trouble, we present a few brief quotes below that most directly show Russell's expectations between 1904 up to 1914, as well as some statements after 1914.
We begin with the announcement of his change of view in 1904:
We now expect that the anarchistic culmination of the great time of trouble which will precede the Millennial blessings will be after October, 1914 A.D.–very speedily thereafter, in our opinion –"in one hour," "suddenly." -- "Universal Anarchy: Just Before or After October, 1914 A.D.?" ZWT, July 1, 1904, page 197, Reprints 3389,
https://www.htdbv8.com/1904/r3389b.htm
He plainly states in that article that he had come to believe that the the time of trouble will be "after [not before, as he had previously assumed] October, 1914 A.D." This is the opposite of the view he had held before.

Also in 1904:
It is evident that the coming of universal anarchy after the "harvest," after October 1914 A.D., has nothing whatever to do with either the presence of the Reaper or the setting up of his Kingdom. -- "Fear Not, O Zion", ZWT, August 1, 1904, Beginning on page 229, Reprints 3405.
https://www.htdbv8.com/1904/r3405.htm
Again, speaking of the time of trouble as "universal anarchy", he speaks of it as coming "after October 1914 A.D." Thus this demonstrates that his expectation was no longer that the time of trouble (Armageddon) was to end in 1914.

Again, in 1904:
The fourth testimony of the angel respecting the great time of trouble closing "the time of the end" is not yet fulfilled; but on every hand we can see that the precedent conditions are ripening. This fourth feature is expressed in the words, "And there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." From other prophetic Scriptures we glean that this great trouble lies 10 years in the future. It will be ushered in at the expiration of what the Scriptures designate the "times of the Gentiles," October, 1914 A.D. -- "Lessons Drawn From St. Louis Exposition", October 2, 1904, Pittsburgh Gazette.
http://www.mostholyfaith.com/beta/bible/Newspaper_Sermons/NS06.asp#NS108:1
Here Brother Russell again speaks of that "time of trouble" as not coming before 1914, as he had assumed before his change of viewpoint in 1904, but that it would be "ushered in at the expiration of what the Scriptures designate the 'time of the Gentiles,' October 1914 A.D."
Also still in the year 1904, Russell wrote regarding the restoration of Israel:
It is to be accomplished in the day of trouble, shortly after October, 1914, we believe. -- "Prince of Peace" Isaiah 9:1-7: ZWT, December 1, 1904, page 364, Reprints 3468.
https://www.htdbv8.com/1904/r3468.htm
Again, Brother Russell shows that he was expecting the time of trouble to begin in 1914, and that "shortly after October, 1914" that Israel would be restored. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 paved the way for Israel to be restored.

In 1909:
The Harvesting of this age, we understand has been in progress since 1878, and will terminate in 1914, with the beginning of a great time of trouble upon Christendom. -- "Lesson Review" March 21, ZWT, February 15, 1909, page 57, Reprints 4336
https://www.htdbv8.com/1909/r4336b.htm
Here Brother Russell again refers to the 1914 as "the beginning of a great time of trouble", further showing that he was expecting the time of trouble to begin, not end in 1914, as he had thought before 1904.

In 1909:
These 2520 years we believe will expire with October, 1914; at that time we believe the Gentile lease of power will expire, and that the God of heaven will set up his Kingdom in Israel. We do not expect universal peace to immediately ensue because Christ is styled the Prince of Peace. On the contrary, to our understanding the collapse of the nations will be through a fierce strife, "a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation," in which "there shall be no peace to him that goeth out, nor to him that cometh in," because God will set every man’s hand against his neighbor. Our belief is that the warfare between capital and labor, emperors and peoples, will be short, sharp, decisive, and bring untold calamity upon all concerned. If people could only discern it, they would avoid it, but their eyes are holden; they see not, neither do they understand. All the parties to the conflict are plunging into it, each intent on gaining its point, and each oblivious to its own best interests. -- "Times of the Gentiles", The National Labor Tribune, July 11, 1909.
http://www.mostholyfaith.com/beta/bible/Newspaper_Sermons/NS46.asp
Brother Russell here shows that he was not expecting universal peace to come in October of 1914, but rather the time of trouble in which "there shall be no peace." We believe that peace was indeed taken away in 1914, and while there have been periods of time without actual open warfare, warfare has none the less continued either openly or covertly ever since. Some even claim that the Great War (World War I), although it officially ended in 1918, has actually continued to be fought to this day.

In 1910:
I believe October, 1914, is the time when we may expect that great time of trouble, because it seems to our judgment, as far as we can understand the Scriptures, that is the time when the Gentile period of lease, or tenure, will expire, and when, therefore, we may expect that the time of trouble shall be ushered in; and that time of trouble we understand is the one the Scriptures tell about–a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, a time of trouble which shall overwhelm all sorts of government, and every institution of the present time; and a time of trouble which thus will make ready and prepare mankind for the glorious reign of Christ and his Church, for the blessing and uplifting of all the families of the earth. -- What Pastor Russell Said, Question 555:4 (1910).
http://www.mostholyfaith.com/beta/bible/QB/qb.asp?xRef=Q555:7#Q555:7.
Brother Russell again stated that he was expecting (not giving any prophecies) that 1914 will be when the great time of trouble would be "ushered in". This is in contradiction to his earlier statements (before 1904) that the time of trouble was to end, not begin, in 1914. Also in this quote, Russell shows that he did not believe, as Rutherford later claimed, that the time of trouble (Armageddon) would eternally destroy all who opposed him, but rather that this time of trouble would "make ready and prepare mankind... for the blessing and uplifting of all families of the earth."

In 1910:
Nineteen hundred and fourteen is the time when the "Gentile Times" will end. What does that mean? I do not know, but I think it is when God lets go in a general sense of the world, and permits things to take their course; and we can readily suppose, as the Apostle says, that the course of nature would be set on fire, because of strife. In the world of mankind, I shall expect a time of great trouble, which the Bible marks out as having its beginning about October, 1914. -- What Pastor Russell Said, Question 76:1 (1910).
http://www.mostholyfaith.com/beta/bible/QB/qb.asp?xRef=Q76:2#Q76:2
Brother Russell, in harmony with many statements he made elsewhere, again states that he did not know what was going to happen in 1914. He then gives what he thinks, and his conclusion as what he believes the Bible states will happen. That conclusion is that the great time of trouble was to have "its beginning about October, 1914." Note again, "beginning", not that it would end in 1914, as he had thought before 1904.

In 1911, answering the question, How long after the end of time of the Gentiles will it be before the first of the dead are awakened from the tomb?:
Guessing would not be very satisfactory, but our guess would be that after the times of the Gentiles come to a conclusion there will be a great time of trouble as the Scriptures clearly point out — trouble as never was since there was a nation. Then, following that trouble would come the reign of righteousness, blessings, increase of knowledge, God’s favor among men, and the living nations would all be more or less brought to a knowledge of the Lord. How long that would require I do not know.  -- What Pastor Russell Said, Q589:3.
http://www.mostholyfaith.com/bible/QB/qb.asp?xRef=Q589:5#Q589:5 (1911)
Again, Brother Russell states that he was expecting that the time of trouble was to come after the end of the times of Gentiles (1914). Also we should note that he was not expecting that the time of trouble (Armageddon) was to bring eternal destruction on the masses of the people, but that after the trouble the nations would be brought to a knowledge of the Lord. Again, he states that he does not know how long after 1914 that this will require.

In 1911:
Our readers know that for some years we have been expecting this Age to close with an awful time of trouble, and we expect it to break out with suddenness and force not long after October, 1914, which, so far as we can understand the Scriptures, is the date at which the Times of the Gentiles –the lease of earth’s dominions to the Gentiles–will expire. -- "Loosing the Four Winds of Heaven", May 15, 1911, page 146, Reprints 4822.
https://www.htdbv8.com/1911/r4822.htm
Still Russell was stating that he was "expecting" (not stating a divinely-inspired prophecy) that the time of trouble would break out not long after October of 1914. He was not expecting the time of trouble to end in 1914 as he had thought before 1904.

In 1912:
We are expecting in October, 1914, that a great change will be due. Now, how quickly will it come? Whether on the stroke of the clock or not we do not know. We believe that it will land upon humanity by that time. Perhaps some of it will come before that, but we believe it will be stayed off until that time. Now, dear friends, what if it does not? We are just as well off as the rest. That is what the Bible states. If it does not state that to you, we have no quarrel. And if it does not come we will not try to bring it about. But, on the contrary, we will try to practice peace and holiness withal. We are children of peace and peacemakers, not strife breeders. But we believe the Bible teaches October, 1914, as the time. If that is incorrect for a year, or five, or one hundred years, no matter, it is coming some time, whether we have it right or not. -- Convention Sermons Report.
http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/bsl/Library/Russell/CONVRPRT/crs.pdf
Russell continues to confirm that he was "expecting" (not setting forth a prophecy) that the time of trouble would come in 1914.

In 1912:
We are not at liberty to guess when the end of the trouble will be. Whether all of the trouble will come in the next two or three years we do not know. But we think that the most serious part of the trouble will occupy a very short time. -- "Spared in the Day of Trouble", ZWT, October 1, 1912, page 326, Reprints 5119;
http://www.agsconsulting.com/htdbnon/htdb0257.htm
Notice here that Russell begins by speaking about the end of the time of trouble, not its beginning. In effect, he says he does not know when the time of trouble would end. Then he speaks of when the time of trouble was to come, Two years later from the date of the above would be 1914, three years would be 1915. Brother Russell continues to show his expectation that in 1914 the time of trouble was to begin; Some Bible Students, however, held to belief that the Gentile Times were to end in 1915, not 1914, and this may be what Brother Russell was referring to. Many of the Bible students were expecting the time of trouble to last for one year, from October of 1914 to October of 1915 (according the parallels as presented by John Edgar). Others presented other dates, 1918, 1920, 1921, 1925, etc. While Russell allowed the possibility for many of these dates, he never actually condoned any.

In 1913:
We understand that the Gentile Times will close in October 1914, and that consequently we expect, speedily following that date, the transfer of the rulership of earth to the great King of Glory, in a "time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." -- "Let Your Moderation Be Known", ZWT, June 1, 1913, page 167, Reprints 5249.
http://www.agsconsulting.com/htdbnon/r5249.htm
Brother Russell persists in his expectation that in October of 1914 the great time of trouble was to begin. Of course, he did not have any idea that the time of trouble would last as long as it has. 

In 1914 (Around January):

Evidently in response to those who were claiming that Russell was expecting the end of the world in 1914, early in 1914 Russell released the article in "The Bible Students Monthly", entitled: "End of the Word in 1914 - Not the View of Pastor Russell, Nor of the I.B.S.A." Russell was not expecting the end of the world in 1914.
http://ctr.reslight.net/images/bsm1914.jpg
http://ctr.reslight.net/?p=483

In 1914 (Before October):
Suppose that the Gentile Times should end in October, 1914, what would be the logical thing to expect? Well, I am not sure what to expect. {Page Q89} We could not be sure, we would not know, whether it would take the Lord fifteen minutes or fifteen days or fifteen years to put out the kingdoms of this world. -- What Pastor Russell Said, Question 79:1.
http://www.mostholyfaith.com/bible/QB/qb.asp?xRef=Q79:1#Q79:1
This gives further evidence that Russell was not expecting the "end of the world" in 1914. It does not directly state that he was expecting the time of trouble to begin in 1914, but if one is familiar with the rest of his works, one would realize that to be what he saying. He again states that he does not know how long this time of trouble would last.

In 1914 (before October):
I expect October will come and the kings of the earth – the Gentiles – will not know that their lease is expired. What then? A thunder clap out of a clear sky, that will begin to show these kings that a new Ruler is taking possession of the world. How will it come? I do not know the particulars. I have merely the outline.... How long did it take for the trouble that came upon the Jews to destroy them? About one year. After the forty years are ended, what might be expected here? Perhaps one year here might be enough of this trouble. [As John Edgar had suggested] God only knows. We are merely offering an idea. So I will expect 1915 will be a very severe year. -- What Pastor Russell Said, Question 89:1.
http://www.mostholyfaith.com/bible/QB/qb.asp?xRef=Q89:1#Q89:1
We continue to find that Russell was expecting (not giving a prophecy) the time of trouble to begin in 1914 and that Russell still maintains that "God only knows" how long that time of trouble may last. He alludes to Edgar's parallel of one year, which he had presented in the pages of the Watch Tower in 1905.
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Addendum 1:
Below we are providing some quotes from sites that are misrepresenting what Russell taught by not recognizing that Russell had, in 1904, changed his view concerning the time of trouble. These sites are for the most part discussing the Jehovah's Witnesses. There is much we do agree on the sites, but our desire is only to point out their errors related to Russell's expectations regarding 1914 before 1914 had arrived.

One site, claiming to present the facts, states: "It was not declared that the world would enter the time of trouble in 1914, as the time of trouble was said to have started in 1874." The site gives as proof a quote from Russell that was written before 1904. The statement, however, is not factual that "It was not declared the world would enter the time of trouble in 1914", for as we have shown above, this was indeed exactly what Russell - at least from 1904 onward -- was expecting to happen in 1914. The author of the statement is evidently ignorant of the fact that since 1904 Brother Russell was indeed expecting the time of trouble to begin -- not end -- in 1914.

Another page on the same site states: "1914 was predicted to be the 'end' of the system of things, the conclusion of Armageddon and the start of the earthly paradise." Again, some quotes from Russell before 1904 are presented to prove this. This also disregards that from 1904 on up to 1914 Brother Russell was stating that the time of trouble (which he viewed at that time as being the same as Armageddon) was to begin, not end, in 1914, as we have shown above. Russell died in 1916, still holding to be belief that that the time of trouble had begun in 1914. This idea was not something new after 1914.

Another site states almost the very same thing as the above, saying, "One of the most misleading statements in Watchtower publications is that they accurately foretold 1914 to be the 'start' of the conclusion of this system of things. In reality, 1914 was predicted to be the 'end' of the system of things, the conclusion of Armageddon and the start of the earthly paradise." Again, however, Russell's statements related to the time of trouble between 1904 to 1914 are ignored. From 1904 onward, Brother Russell was indeed expecting the time of trouble to begin, not end, in 1914.

Another author asks the question, "What was expected to happen in 1914?", and in the posting given, it is evidently thought to be giving an answer to that question. However, by disregarding Russell's change of view in 1904, it fails to accurately answer the question and leaves the reader to conclude that Russell expecting Armageddon to end in 1914.

Another author states similarly, "Prior to 1914 However 1914 was seen as the date that would be the 'end of the time of trouble.'" Again, Russell's change of view on this in 1904 is ignored, and the reader is left thinking that Russell was expecting the time of trouble was to end in 1914 right on up to 1914.
Please note that Brother Russell was never a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses, nor was he speaking with any authority as now claimed by the JWs' governing body. He did not make acceptance of his views regarding chronology and time prophecies a standard for fellowship, and any were free to accept or reject his views. Nor are we endeavoring to defend the JW organization, as we recognize that the usurpation of power their leadership claims is not authorized by God, Jesus, or the apostles. Brother Russell himself preached against such authoritarianism. Additionally, we realize that the JW leadership has made many false statements concerning what Brother Russell had been expecting for 1914. However, his expectation that the time of trouble was to begin in 1914, not end, in 1914 is a historical fact, at least from 1904 onward.

Addendum 2:

Some seem to totally disregard all the quotes we have given above and insist that we are wrong about what Russell was expecting in 1914. Again, they do this by quotes from Russell before 1904, such as:
The Watchtower July 15, 1894, p. 1677: “....We see no reason for changing the figures — nor could we change them if we would. THEY ARE, WE BELIEVE, GOD'S DATES, NOT OURS.  But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble....” This they would apply to be Brother Russell's view up until 1914, and some have claimed that when this didn't happen in 1914, that he changed his view after 1914, so as to begin to claim -- after 1914 -- that the time of trouble had begun in 1914. While Brother Russell certainly did -- after 1914 -- continue to believe that the time of trouble had begun in 1914, it was not due to any alleged failure regarding his expectations held before 1914, since he had been expecting that the time of trouble was to begin in 1914 ever since 1904 -- ten years before 1914 had arrived.
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Below still needs to be edited************


In the above, we find that Brother Russell refers to himself with the editorial "we" and "our", and states HIS belief that the dates are God's, not HIS. That part we agree with; that is our belief also that these dates are God's dates, as based on the Bible. Like Brother Russell, however, we are not dogmatic about this, and certainly would never claim one is not a Christian for disagreeing with this.

Related to the latter part, however, in which Brother Russell stated:

"bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble,"

The later quotes presented above, however, show that Brother Russell rejected this idea about ten years after he stated it. In 1904, as can be seen by the quotes given above, Russell did come to realize that he had been wrong on this and began to believe that time of trouble was to begin, not end, in 1914.

There were evidently, however, even in 1894, some of the Bible Students that disagreed with Brother Russell about the time of trouble ending in 1914, and believed that the ending of the Gentiles Times would see the beginning, not the end, of the time of trouble. Brother Russell, when he accepted this in 1904, alluded to some work of others related to a one-year parallel corresponding to October of 1914 to October of 1915. Brother Russell rejected the conclusions reached by such a parallel. However, in 1905, he did print Brother John Edgar's conclusions about that parallel. He also presented the conclusions of another brother about a different parallel.

None of what Russell wrote, however, should be viewed as being prophecies. He was simply presenting his own conclusions. He never demanded any authority as a prophet, or as a governing body, etc.

Another quote given us is from The Watchtower Reprints, September 15, 1901, p. 2876: “...The culmination of the trouble in October, 1914, IS CLEARLY MARKED IN THE SCRIPTURES; and we are bound therefore to expect a beginning of that severe trouble not later than 1910; — with severe spasms between now and then....”

Again, this Russell presented HIS conclusion -- HIS opinion -- as he saw it in 1901, still before 1904. Again, we should note that Russell was not presenting his expectations as being "prophecy", although at the time he was convinced that the prophecies of the Bible marked 1914 as the end of the time of trouble. We believe that 1914 is clearly marked in the Scriptures, but Brother Russell himself later rejected the idea that the "culmination" of the time of trouble was to come in 1914. As can be seen by the quotes we give above, about three years later he rejected what he had stated above, for he no longer believed that the time of trouble was to end in 1914, but rather he believed that the time of trouble was to begin in 1914, and end sometime after 1914.

Addendum 3: -- Quotes After October of 1914 Regarding the "Time of Trouble"

Some claim that Russell changed his mind about the time of trouble after 1914. We thus present some quotes from Russell that show that he had not changed his mind, that he continued to believe that the time of trouble had begun right on up to October of 1916.

The Harvest surely is not ended. The great Time of Trouble has already begun. -- Watch Tower, April 15, 1915, page 126.
He declares that He will be revealed in flaming fire, so far as the world is concerned – a great "Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation." (Daniel 12:1.) Many Bible students see this trouble already beginning in the awful war now spreading, and are expecting the fiery anarchy of it to result in the near future. Then quickly will come the still small Voice, the Divine influence, the mighty power of the Savior, which will deliver from sin, from death, and from Satan, who shall be bound for a thousand years. -- Watch Tower, May 1, 1915, pages 137,138.

It was a very close hit that this great Time of Trouble began near October, 1914; and it is going on now at high speed. None of the prayers that it may stop are being answered. If the time of the world war had been merely a guess, it would certainly have been a great hit. It would have been a miracle. We have come very close to it, if not exactly. -- Watch Tower, July 15, 1915, page 220.

A vivid description of this awful Time of Trouble is given by the Prophets. For the benefit of our new readers, we give a few citations of such prophecies, which repay investigation. (Isaiah 24:17-22; 28:21,22; 33:7-14; 34:1-8; Psalm 18:7-19.) See STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. 4, pp. 15-20. Along this same line, read also Isaiah 13:1-13; Jeremiah 25:8-38; Revelation 18; 16:12-21. We believe that the present strife in Europe is very forcefully depicted in some of the prophecies cited above, and that this is only the beginning of the great trouble and overthrow, the breaking in pieces of the nations as a potter's vessel. -- Watch Tower, August 1, 1915, pages 227,228.

The world has not heeded the Message of Jesus and His followers; and hence the smiting of the earth with a curse, the blow of the great Time of Trouble now beginning, is the only way by which Messiah's Kingdom can be ushered in. -- Watch Tower, August 1, 1915, page 236.

Meantime, God's Kingdom is coming, just as the Bible has foretold. The great Time of Trouble is about to inaugurate the new Reign – Messiah's Reign of Righteousness. But is not this latter coming as a thief and as a snare upon the whole world? Is it not true that as the Apostle foretold, only "Ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that Day should overtake you as a thief"? -- Watch Tower, September 15, 1915, page 277.

How glad we are to know now that the Kingdom of God's dear Son is very different from these kingdoms, and that it is about to be inaugurated! And how necessary seems the Bible declaration that incident to the establishment of the Kingdom of God under the whole heavens is the great Time of Trouble, which already is beginning, and which the Bible indicates will end with anarchy and the utter destruction of the present order of society! Thank God that a new order will speedily take its place – symbolically called the new heavens and the new earth, wherein will dwell righteousness, and wherein wars will cease to the ends of the earth! – Psalm 46; 2 Peter 3:13. -- Watch Tower, November 1, 1915, page 330.

But we are not to expect the interposition of the Lord's power to stop the great Time of Trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, until mankind shall have been greatly humbled to the dust and shall call upon the Lord in great trepidation. We are far from that condition of things now.  -- Watch Tower, Febrary 15, 1916, page 52.

The long foretold Time of Trouble, such as never was and never will be again (Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21,22), has begun. -- Watch Tower, March 1, 1916, pages 71,72.

As the great Time of Trouble progresses the spirit of evil will be made manifest more and more in all the "children of disobedience"; and more and more they will become vexed and angry with the children of obedience, who will be standing loyally by the Word of God and the principles of righteousness and love. -- March 1, 1915, pages 77,78.

We do know that the great Time of Trouble, which has begun, very closely corresponds to the Divine declaration respecting the time and conditions of the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom. The Lord Himself informs us that, at the time He shall take to Himself His great [Biv] power and reign, the nations will be mad and the Divine wrath will come. -- October 1, 1916, Author's Foreward, *The Time Is At Hand*, page iii.



Russell and the Freemasons - Links to other sites

Freemason Page on Old Site

What Did C. T. Russell Teach About "Organization" As Related to His Watch Tower?

The leadership of the Jehovah's Witnesses sometimes refers to the days of Russell as though the Jehovah's Witnesses and their organization was existing in those days. As a result, the dogmatism of the "Jehovah's organization" concept and many of the teachings related to that concept are often attributed to Charles Taze Russell. Nevertheless, the reality is that Russell never taught that "the true church" is represented on earth by any such authoritarian "visible organization" such as the Jehovah's Witnesses. Russell never spoke of "Jehovah's organization", although he did speak of "the Lord's organization", yet an examination of the context shows that he was not speaking of such in the same sense of Rutherford's "Jehovah's organization" dogma.

At least one of the JWs we have corresponded with has made the claim that Russell at first preached against such an organization, but "new light" came before he died, so that before he died, he had come to realize "the truth" concerning "Jehovah's organization". Such a claim, however, does not actually fit the facts.

One claims that "In 1879, he began the Watch Tower—what would later be known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the teaching organ of the Jehovah’s Witnesses." In reality, although Russell started a legal entity called "The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society", that legal entity, as he intended for it to be, was not never meant to be the teaching organ of an organization such "Jehovah's Witnesses". Indeed, one could say that Brother Russell's Watch Tower Society no longer exists, since Rutherford virtually destroyed Russell's Watch Tower Society after Russell died.

In this research, we will be presenting a lot of quotes from Russell which demonstrate what he actually believed and taught about "organization" as that word may be seen as related to the kind of organization that Rutherford created after Russell died. These quotes demonstrate that, even until his death, he never believed in the idea that anyone should set themselves up or be set up as "the authority" in the church.
One quote has been presented to us as proof that Russell did believe in such an organization, and that early in his ministry. The quote given is from the Watch Tower, March 1883, page 458:
We believe that a visible organization, and the adopting of some particular name, would tend to increase our numbers and make us appear more respectable in the estimation of the world.
The claim has been made that here Russell stated that he was advocating a "visible organization"; in reality, the quote has to be taken out of context, and then it has to be imagined that Russell was stating that he was advocating a "visible organization". The quote, taken in context, reveals that Russell doing just the opposite, that he was NOT advocating using a "visible organization":
We believe that a visible organization, and the adopting of some particular name, would tend to increase our numbers and make us appear more respectable in the estimation of the world. The natural man can see that a visibly organized body, with a definite purpose, is a thing of more or less power; therefore, they esteem the various organizations, from which we have come out, in obedience to the Master's call. But the natural man cannot understand how a company of people, with no organization which they can see, is ever going to accomplish anything. As they look upon us, they regard us simply as a few scattered skirmishers--a "peculiar people"--with very peculiar ideas and hopes, but not worthy of special notice. 
But, though it is impossible for the natural man to see our organization, because he cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God, we trust that you can see that the true Church is most effectually organized, and in the best possible working order. (See the plan of our organization, as stated in October issue, under the caption "The Ekklesia.") The Apostle Paul urges all to unity of faith and purpose (Phil. 3:15,16-- Diaglott.) All led by the same Spirit may and do come to a knowledge of the same truth. Under our Captain, all the truly sanctified, however few or far separated in person, are closely united by the Spirit of Christ, in faith, hope and love; and, in following the Master's command, are moving in solid battalions for the accomplishment of his purposes. But, bear in mind, God is not dependent upon numbers (See Judges 7, as an illustration). 
Recognizing this organization, which is of the Spirit, and desiring no assimilation whatever with the worldly, who cannot see or understand it, we are quite willing to bear the reproach of a peculiar people. We always refuse to be called by any other name than that of our Head --Christians--continually claiming that their can be no division among those continually led by his Spirit and example as made known through his Word. 
We disown none of our Lord's dear children. The weakest child of the household of faith (in Christ, our Redeemer) we gladly recognize as our brother. Some, in ignorance of their privilege of the communion of saints, are mixed with the various worldly organizations, to their great detriment. Though we cannot follow them there, we gladly welcome them when they come among us. Wherever we have hope of finding any such, in the various nominal Churches, etc., we tell them the "good tidings of great joy," and, by word and example, say, "Come out from among them (the worldly, though professing Christians) and be ye separate." How could we deliver this message if we were not obeying it? We have unbounded faith in our Captain; and this perfect organization, invisible to the world, marches on to certain and glorious victory.
Russell referred to an article in the October 1882 issue of the Watch Tower on "The Ekklesia". That study is online at:
http://mostholyfaith.com/Beta/bible/Reprints/Z1882OCT.asp#R407:1

In that study, Russell never presented the "organization" of the church as being a sectarian, denominational organization headed by men on earth. Indeed, he says just the opposite.
There is no organization today clothed with authority. -- Watch Tower, September 1, 1893, page 262. 
A visible organization is out of harmony with God's divine plan. -- Watch Tower, December 1, 1894, page 1743 
Beware of "organization." It is wholly unnecessary. -- Watch Tower, September 13, 1895, page 1866.
That Russell, even his later years, still did not believe in a the idea of such an organization as the JWs can be seen from Russell statement as published in “The Bible Students Monthly”, Volume 7 (1915), Number 9, in the article entitled, “The Catholic Church — St. Peter’s Kingdom Keys”. Notice that this was published about one year before Russell died.
I am aware that several churches claim to be Catholic, each declaring itself the true Church and reprobating the others as heretical. I take the still broader catholic ground-that the word catholic means general; and that any limitation such as Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, etc., to that extent denies their catholicity. 
Perhaps, therefore, I am really saying that I am more catholic than any of these brethren.
I must prove my point or be misunderstood. I hold, and few, if any, will dispute it, that the one catholic or general Church of Christ is that mentioned in the Bible-” the Church of the Firstborns, written in Heaven.” If this be admitted, my next proposition is that the Lord in Heaven records as members of His true Church all the saintly-whether Roman Catholics, Anglican Catholics, Greek Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, or Presbyterians, etc.-and none others. 
Have we not here the one Church, catholic, universal, the only Church which the Bible recognizes? In the past we have been too narrow and have sup posed that God was as narrow as ourselves. It was on this account that Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Baptists, Methodists persecuted and were persecuted, each thinking itself the true Church. Are we not all getting broader conceptions of our God and of His Church? Do we not see that we were mistaken 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 reprobates? 
St. Paul wrote against sectarianism, already manifest in his day-some saying:”I am of Paul”; others, “I am of Peter”; etc. The Apostle asks, “Is Christ divided: “(1 Cor. 1:10-13) He explains that these sectarian names signified a spirit of division that failed to recognize the true Head of the Church, His true representatives and His true members. The entire foundation of divided Christianity would disappear and the true Church of Christ be speedily manifest, if true catholicity were acknowledged.
—-We have reproduced the entire sermon at:
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/2017/11/keys.html

Also in 1915, Russell stated the following in the pages of the Watch Tower:
On one occasion I was called upon by a minister of the Reformed Church. He wanted to know how I managed my church. I said to him, "Brother __________ I have no church." He said, "You know what I mean." I answered, "I want you to know what I mean too. We claim that there is only one Church. If you belong to that Church, you belong to our Church." He looked at me in surprise. Then he said, "You have an organization; how many members are there?" I replied, "I cannot tell; we do not keep any membership rolls." "You do not keep any list of the membership?" "No. We do not keep any list; their names are written in Heaven." He asked, "How do you have your election?" I said, "We announce an election; and any or all of God's people, who are consecrated and are accustomed to meet with this company, or congregation, may have the privilege of expressing their judgment of who would be the Lord's preference for elders and deacons of the congregation." "Well," he said, "that is simplicity itself." I then added, "We pay no salaries; there is nothing to make people quarrel. We never take up a collection." "How do you get the money?" he asked. I replied, "Now, Dr. __________, if I tell you what is the simplest truth you will hardly be able to believe it. When people get interested in this way, they find no basket placed under their nose. But they see there are expenses. They say to themselves, 'This hall costs something, and I see that free lunch is served between meetings, for those living at some distance. How can I get a little money into this thing, anyway?" He looked at me as if he thought, "What do you take me for --a greenhorn?" I said, "Now, Dr. __________, I am telling you the plain truth. They do ask me this very question, 'How can [R5730 : page 219] I get a little money into this cause?' When one gets a blessing and has any means, he wants to use it for the Lord. If he has no means, why should we prod him for it?"
There would be nothing to come out of, as an organization, if one is an International Bible Student. You cannot get out of anything you have not gone into. -- The Watch Tower, July 15, 1915, pages 218, 219.
Thus, as Russell explained, to him the Bible Students Association in his day was not "an organization".  Therefore, when JWs or others speak of the Bible Students leaving their organization in the years 1917-1928, it is somewhat misleading, since, as far as the Bible Students were concerned, there was no organization to leave.

In 1915, Russell stated:
The Bible says that we should "do good unto all men as we have opportunity, especially to the Household of Faith." (Gal. 6:10). Therefore we should do good to our Roman Catholic neighbors, our Methodist neighbors, and all other neighbors. We should be glad to do good to every one. But if we have the choice of doing something for the saints or for a neighbor, then we should give the preference to the Lord's saints, whether they be Presbyterian saints or what not. That would include whoever is a son of God. We are the children of God, and we are glad to serve any other child of God, though we would be glad to see them all enjoying the liberty wherewith Christ makes free, not being entangled in any yoke of sectarian bondage. If the Son makes us free, then are we free indeed--Gal. 5:1. -- What Pastor Russell Said, page 644
What would Russell think of the judicial committees and hearings that are prevalent today amongst the JW organization? Some often blame Russell for that organization and its hearings, etc., but notice what Russell stated in 1916 (we have expanded the names of the books of the Bible as an aid in searches):
QUESTION (1916)--1--Is it proper for the Elders to sit at a court of inquiry and cite any supposed to be walking in a disorderly manner to appear before then and explain their conduct? Or should the Lord's advice given in Matthew 18:15-18 be followed? 
ANSWER.--I agree with the suggestion of the question that it should be handled in harmony with the Lord's direction in the passage cited. The Lord's word does not authorize any court of the Elders, or anyone else, to become busybodies. This would be going back to the practices of the Dark Ages during the inquisition; and we would be showing the same spirit as did the inquisitors. The Lord has put the matter in a simple way and we could not improve upon it. The Bible says, "If thy Brother trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone; if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother." That should end the matter. However, should it not be successful, the Scriptures give the next step. We read: "But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word may be established." If the wrong-doer will give heed to the admonition of the two or three and stop his wrong-doing, that would end the matter. It would not be within our province to make any demand upon him or to endeavor to administer any kind of punishment upon him. We should remember the Word of the Lord, which says, "The Lord will judge His people." If he should need any punishment, we may trust the Lord to give it to him and not take the matter into our own hands. We should have confidence in the Lord. If we stop the wrong that is as far as we can go. But if the wrong-doer should persist in his wrong- doing and not repent, and if the matter be of sufficient importance, then we are to bring the matter to the attention of the Church for correction. -- Matthew 18:15-18. 
We should not bring any small or trifling matter before the Church. It is my judgment that three-fourths of the things that are brought to my attention--matters of this kind--had better be dropped; and nothing at all be done with them. However, there might be an exception in case the matter had gone beyond the individual, and had somehow involved the whole congregation. In such event, it might be impossible to deal with the matter in an individual way. Then the Elders might constitute themselves into a Board or [Q480] Committee, and get one of their number to look into the case and see if the wrong could not be stopped, or adjusted. When the matter gets beyond the individual, we have no advice beyond the Word of God. Let us be careful not to become like Babylon, and hold inquisition and mix ourselves up. The Word of God is our sufficiency, and we should follow it closely and thereby avoid confusion.  -- What Pastor Russell Said, page 479.
Just before Russell died, Russell had the following printed in The Watch Tower, August 15, 1916, page 248:
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.
For links to more information:

Russell, Authority and Organization


















Monday, October 24, 2016

Russell, the Rothschilds and Israel

The link below provides a Google search of Russell's works for the word:
Rothschild -- Google search of mostholyfaith.com
Reference is often made to Fritz Springmeier's book "Bloodlines of the Illuminati" with the claim that the Rothchilds worked with Charles Taze Russell in sending Jewish people to Israel.
We have found no evidence that "the Rothschilds worked with Charles Taze Russell in sending Jewish people into Israel." We could find no evidence that Russell was actively involved in sending Jewish people to Israel, although he did encourage Jews to return there in harmony with fulfillment of Bible prophecies. Russell did send a letter to one of the Rothschilds in which Russell made some suggestions, but, as far as we have been able to determine, as Russell later stated, no response was received from that letter. Other than that, we haven't been able to verify any contact that Russell had with the Rothschilds.
Russell, of course, did not start the "Jehovah's Witnesses" operation, but he did start publishing the Watch Tower magazine, and was the main founder of the Watch Tower Society. He used his own funds obtained from the sale of his businesses; he did not start his Watch Tower Society with some alleged funds from the Rothschilds.
Regarding why Russell started The Watch Tower, see:

Was Russell Financed by the B’nai B’rith?

By Ronald R. Day, Sr. - Restoration Light Bible Study Services
Links updated 2/27/2018

We have been asked to examine Fritz Springmeier's claims in his "The B’nai B’rith Finances Russell".
http://www.whale.to/c/bnai.html

We will add that many make similar claims that Russell was financed by the Rothschilds, although as yet we have not found any presentation of how this is thought to be so. It may be that those who claim such do so out of the theory that the Rothschilds funded the B'nai B'rith, and thus that they funded Russell through that organization. 
Mr. Springmeier evidently claims to be a Christian, but he evidently does not believe in the Bible, for he seems to think that Russell was of some Illuminati bloodline, which would only have any meaning if Springmeier also believed that all who of such bloodlines cannot be covered by the redemptive work of Jesus.
At any rate, Mr. Springmeier presents the work of Edith Star Miller, although in her work she never really presents any thing factual at all that proves that Russell was funded by the B'nai B'rith.
We will, God willing, examine Edith Miller's imaginations at another time. Suffice it to say that her method of distortion is illustrated in the following sentence: "The Russellite teaching, drawing its own arbitrary conclusions and proclaiming them as final, professes to prove from Biblical sources that all Christian churches are evil and corrupt, that the time of the Gentiles ended in 1914, and that the Jews must henceforth reign supreme over the world." Anyone who knows what Russell did teach would know how this misrepresents what he taught; we will not go into that right now, however. Russell certainly never proposed that sinful Jews should reign supreme over the world since the Gentile Times ended in 1914.
See:
If Russell Was Not a Mason, Why Are So Many Saying That He Was?
Mr. Springmeier states: "Frank Goldman, both a member of the Order (as B’nai B’rith is known) and a Mason, escorted Pastor Russell by car to the Hippodrome for Russell’s two hour talk." This is evidently pertaining to the Jewish convention that was held by Jews at the Hippodrome in New York in the year 1911. Russell was invited by the Jewish committee to speak at that Jewish assembly, and Russell accepted that invitation. It is possible, although I have not yet found any confirmation, that Frank Goldman, who would have been about 19 years old at that time, was sent by those in charge to escort Brother Russell to the Hippodrome. It means nothing at all as far as the idea Brother Russell was financed by the B'nai B'rith.
Springmeier claims: "Jewish financiers had by the way rented the Hippodrome for Russell." The Hippodrome was indeed paid for by Jews, because it was a Jewish assemblage. Russell was an outsider who was invited to speak to that Jewish assemblage. If Russell had gone to speak to a Baptist convention at the Hippodrome or anywhere else that a building had to be rented, the rental of that building would have been paid for by the Baptists; likewise with any other religious group that invited Russell to speak, those who invited him to speak would normally pay for the rental of place for the their meetings.
Earlier (in September, 1910) a Jewish mass meeting committee, composed of Jewish leaders, invited Pastor Russell to address a New York Hippodrome rally on the topic ‘Zionism in Prophecy.’ Upon his return from Europe in October (of 1910) he was given a great ovation at the Hippodrome by many thousands of Jews. His discourse on that occasion was published by Hebrew papers throughout America and Europe. The New York Hippodrome was the largest indoor playhouse in the world until it closed in 1928. It could seat 5,200 persons at one time. {22} The UNITED ISRAEL BULLETIN reports: ‘It was a unique event at the Hippodrome which was jammed to the doors. Pastor Russell started out by saying that prophecy is proving itself through the Jewish people by whom the blessing will extend itself to every nation, people, kindred and tongue in full accord with the Divine promise and oath made to Abraham more than thirty centuries ago.”{23}
Footnote 23: 26Harte, op. cit., p. 121.  (op. cit. refers back to "Harte, Bret, The Overland Monthly.. Reprint)
Springmeier presents the following:
Interestingly, the B’nai B’rith points out in their Los Angeles B’nai B’rith Messenger their close affinity. “The Jews themselves are Jehovah’s Witnesses. In due time, according to prophecy, Jerusalem will be the capital of the world and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and other ‘Ancient Worthies’ will be resurrected and form the nucleus of God’s Kingdom on earth. This was the understanding of Pastor Russell from his studies of the prophecies, and he so taught during his long ministry.”
The quote given is not given a date, but it appears to have been written sometime after Rutherford created his "theocratic" organization and he applied the name "Jehovah's Witnesses" to it (1931). Most Bible Students will readily see that the statement is misleading, to say the least. Russell never used the expression "Jehovah's Witnesses" at all, and thus he never spoke of the Jews as being "Jehovah's Witnesses", nor was Russell ever a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses organization. Russell preached against such an organization ruled over by imperfect men who claim to have sole authority to represent God.
Furthermore, Russell made no special application of either Isaiah 43:10 or Isaiah 43:12 to the Jews, or anyone else. Russell's applications of the surrounding verses in Isaiah 43 may seen by clicking on the verse numbers at:
http://www.mostholyfaith.com/bible/BibleXref.asp?xref=bible^Isaiah^43
(We do not necessarily agree with all conclusions that Russell presents)
Russell did teach that God will raise the "ancient worthies" in the "last day" and in that day they would be put in charge of the earthly phase of the Kingdom, under God's appointed King, Jesus.
For what Russell actually taught about the "ancient worthies" in the Kingdom, CLICK HERE
(We do not necessarily agree with all conclusions that Russell presents)

Do Jewish Expectations for Zionism Encompass What Russell Envisioned?

Springmeier claims that Zionism "encompasses" Russell's expectations of an a "universal Israel", with Jerusalem as it's world capital. Evidently, the words are meant to leave the impression that Russell believed the the Jews would, by means of their own power, take over the world and rule the world from Jerusalem. At least, from what Springmeier stated, that is what one would probably think that Russell taught if one did not know better. Actually, Zionism, as envisioned by the Jews themselves, does not include Jesus as their King. Russell's expectations, based on the Bible, is based on the idea that Israel will say: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of Yahweh." -- Psalm 118:26, World English; Matthew 23:29.
Russell stated:
National favor to the Jew ended at the time of our Lord's crucifixion, as he said to them five days before when he rode on the ass, "Your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall see me no more till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." [Matt. 23:38, 39]
As a nation Israel has been without divine favor since, but the time is not far distant when at the second coming of our Lord many of that people shall say indeed, "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of Jehovah," and shall receive him, as the Apostle Paul distinctly points out in Rom. 11:25-36.
The National Labor Tribune, May 7, 1905
THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
Reprinted in Newspaper Sermons, page 184.
Russell was not in any way saying that the Jew was going rule the world without Christ, and certainly not in their sinful condition. He was saying that God was using Zionism to bring the Jews' attention to the prophecies of the Bible in preparation for the kingdom rule under Jesus. God's use of Zionism does not mean that God will bless any expectations of the Jews of bringing forth a world government without the King, Jesus.
Russell stated:
Those who view the matter through the prophetic telescope foresee the time when "the Law shall go forth from Mt. Zion (spiritual Israel on the heavenly plane) and the Word from Jerusalem, the To-Be Capital of the world under the Millennial Kingdom arrangements. Thither all the nations of earth will send their ambassadors and from thence take their laws. Upon such as will conform to these arrangements the Divine blessing will rest, uplifting them gradually from sin, ignorance and superstition to mental, moral and physical perfection. Thus, according to the Scriptures the whole earth will gradually become the Garden of the Lord--Paradise. And those times or years of restitution will bring the willing and obedient of mankind back again to the full perfection of being, mental, moral and physical, which God intended and exemplified in Father Adam. Thus eventually all the terrible results of Adam's disobedience and fall will be blotted out through the long-promised Kingdom of Israel, the Kingdom of God under Messiah the Mediator of Israel's New Law Covenant, whose gracious provisions will be open to all the nations of the earth.-- Acts 3:19-23; Jer. 31:31; Zech. 14:1-6,14-20.Hope Long Deferred Now Reviving
What Pastor Russell Wrote for the Overland Monthly
Israel will not be allowed to fulfill any goal for Zionism on what they might envision in their present blinded condition. No one in Israel will be entrusted with any power or authority of a world government without it being under the rulership of the King of Israel, Jesus.
Russell never used the expression, "Universal Israel".

Springmeier claims:

The Watchtower Society distributed a Yiddish periodical Di Stimme (The Voice) all over the world. They especially attempted to place it Russia, to motivate Russian Jews to emigrate to Palestine. Because the paper was ostensibly Christian its distribution came under less restrictions than Jewish literature.
The Watchtower Society offered to supply the Di Stimme periodical to anyone “in any quantity—free.” There seems to have been no bottom line to the financial backing of the WT Society.
As best as we can determine, Die Stimme was not published by the Watch Tower Society, but was the name of a Jewish periodical. Russell simply obtained copies of the one issue that contained his sermons. Nothing in his sermons, however, were advocating a Jewish take-over of the world, especially in the manner that Springmeier appears to be claiming.
The first report concerning Die Stimme was in the December 1, 1910, Watch Tower:
http://www.mostholyfaith.com/Bible/reprints/Z1910DEC.asp#Z387:1
"DIE STIMME" TO THE JEWS
God's Message to the Jews is being heard the world around. Not only were several of our sermons to the Jews published to the extent of 107,600 copies in Jewish papers in the English language, but in 655,000 copies of the Yiddish papers besides 325,000 copies of Die Stimme. These have been republished, we learn, in Russia and elsewhere. True, there was some opposition, but this, we believe, led the Jews to take more careful notice of the Message.
It is not our expectation that the Jews will become Christians now. It will be after they shall have returned to Palestine and the spirit of prayer and supplication shall have been poured on them, that they will "look upon him whom they pierced." Our message is to comfort them and to turn their eyes toward Palestine and to their glorious promises centering there. The Scriptures seem to imply that the "Great Company" will have the honor and privilege of leading them to recognize Jesus as Messiah, during the time of trouble.
OUR FINANCIAL SHOWING
Having in mind the foregoing work it might be expected that millions of money had been expended in order to its accomplishment. But, dear friends, economy is associated with every part of the work. No salaries are paid--merely moderate expenses. Yet we are all comfortable and very thankful and happy.
Expended for above work in
America......................................$139,743.80
Expended elsewhere:
In Great Britain........................$7,965.55
In Germany.............................. 3,673.27
In Australasia..........................   487.06
In India................................   522.37
In S. Africa............................ 1,438.62
In Sweden............................... 1,675.82
In Norway and Denmark................... 3,494.58
In Jamaica..............................   935.29
In France, Italy and Swiss..............   295.73
In Greece...............................   396.45
In Mexico...............................    50.50
_________
20,935.24
___________
Total expenditure.................................$160,679.04
Receipts:
Balance from 1909.....................$  9,718.38
Good Hopes, Tract Fund, etc............ 139,058.72
___________
148,777.10
___________
Shortage..........................................$ 11,901.94
This is close for the extent of the work, and if other "Good Hopes" be realized this balance will be wiped out before January, 1911.
We congratulate all of our dear co-laborers and praise God for the privileges thus represented.
Very truly your servant in the Lord,
C. T. RUSSELL, President.
The above reports mentions there being "325,000 copies of Die Stimme" that had been distributed, that is, evidently, the issue that contained Russell's sermons. The above does not say that Russell or that the Watch Tower Society provided the funds for the distribution of any of those periodicals, or that anyone associated with the Watch Tower Society distributed any of these 325,000 copies of Die Stimme, although it is possible that some of the Bible Students may have had a hand in distributing some of these. Being a Jewish publication, the funds were evidently provided from the Jewish publishers who distributed them. At least, from the way the report reads, that is the conclusion we reach.
But note that Russell was not advocating that the Jews were to take over the world without Christ; indeed, they cannot become anything to the world (except another nation of the world) until they are fully under the rulership of Jesus.
It is in the January 1, 1911 issue that we read:
JEWISH HOPES AND PROSPECTS
We have in the English a pamphlet which gives certain extracts from STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. III., and the Jerusalem sermon, 10c. each; in quantities, 60c. per dozen.
For those Jews who read Yiddish we have secured a large edition of the newspaper, Die Stimme, which contains Jerusalem news and reports of several of Brother Russell's sermons to the Jews.
This paper is very acceptable amongst the Jews. It does not point them to Jesus of Nazareth, but does point to the Messiah of Glory. It gives assurances that the time of the establishment of his Kingdom is near, and that then the Jews will be blessed. It points them to the land of Palestine as the place where the national blessings will begin. It does not say so, but all WATCH TOWER readers well know that according to prophecy it will be then and there that Israel's blindness will be turned away and they will recognize him whom they pierced.
It is not our expectation that the Jews will be converted to Christianity. Theirs is the chief of earthly blessings. If some few of them have the hearing ear for the spiritual message, they will hear it, but they will be the exceptional few.
We can supply these Die Stimme papers in any quantity-- free. Any of our readers who would like to have some for free circulation amongst the Jews should advise us immediately, as we are about to order a new edition.
Again, note that this periodical, Die Stimme, was not printed by the Watch Tower; it was not a publication of the Watch Tower Society. It was not a "Christian" publication, although it did contain Russell's sermons.
Russell did obtain an ungiven number of the issue that contained his sermons so that they could be distributed to the Jews, and these were offered free in any quantity to those who wished to join with this work. Whether the Jewish publishers supplied these to the Society gratis or not is not stated, but it is quite possible that the publishers may have supplied them without charge, accepting the cost as advertisement that could possibly boost the circulation of the periodical. Of course, if all the supplies ran out and no more could be obtained, no one would be able to get anymore.
Springmeier exaggerates the matter in saying "seems to have been no bottom line to the financial backing of the WT Society".  Evidently, this exaggerated statement is made to create a mindset to accept his idea that Russell was being funded by the Jews.
At any rate, Russell was not in his sermons advocating a Jewish take-over of the world; he was pointing out the prophecies that indicate that God's favor was returning to them in preparation of their acceptance of their Messiah, whom he identifies elsewhere as being Jesus.
We, however, believe that he fell short in that he did not join the New Testament writers in encouraging the Jews to accept Jesus and become dead to the Law; nevertheless, his point was that there were other future, earthly promises, that belong to Israel. If he had gone in preaching that they must accept Jesus as their Messiah, his sermons, which did point to the Messianic prophecies as applying to Jesus, would probably not have received much acceptance among the Jews.
Springmeier deceptively quotes the January 1, 1911 Watch Tower with the claim that it
quietly reveals that funding came from Jewish sources. The distribution of Di Stimme was aided “…by Jewish Journals interested in the message…”
The quote comes from the following article:
THE MESSAGE TO THE JEWS
The Scriptures are explicit in declaring that with the close of the Gospel call of this age and the completion of the Bride class Divine favor will turn again to natural Israel. We have from time to time noted favorable climatic conditions in Palestine and later on how the Zionist movement has stirred the Jews everywhere to an interest in their home land and a desire to re-possess it. But these hopes and ambitions have seemed impossible of attainment and the fervor of Zionism has recently been on the wane. Just at this juncture Divine Providence seemed to bless our message to the Jews. Most remarkably the message has been scattered all over the world, partly by Jewish journals interested in the message and partly by others opposing it--nevertheless The Voice (Die Stimme) has gone forth to the ends of the earth.
As a result Jewish hopes are turning more and more toward the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures. The result bids fair to be such a work of grace as the Scriptures describe when telling that the Lord will pour upon Israel at this time the spirit of prayer and supplication. The message to them now is that the land is theirs--that their period of chastisement is at an end and that shortly Divine blessing will come to them--not as Christians, but as Jews. Subsequently they will recognize the Spiritual Messiah referred to in Daniel 12:1. Their journey thenceforth will be an easy one, for the Kingdom will prevail, and Israel will be blessed and become the channel for Divine blessing to all the families of the earth--the chief blessing coming to them from the glorified Christ on the spirit plane and operating through his spiritual, invisible government.
First of all, the default reasoning is that Jewish journals are printed by Jewish publishers and those publishers finance their own publications; they did indeed print some of Russell's sermons in those publications, which, of course, would mean that such a distribution was indeed financed by those who were publishing those journals. Springmeier seems to be distorting this to make it appear that these journals were financing the work of the Watch Tower Society, which was not the case.
The reference to "The Voice (Die Stimme)" is evidently not referring to distribution of Watch Tower literature, but to the Jewish journals that were spreading the The Voice of the Prophets related to the return of the Jews to the land of Israel. At this point, one should note that the expression "Die Stimme" (The Voice) is not exclusive to the Jewish journal by that name, but rather it is applied scripturally to the voice of prophecy related to the Jews, in which voice the Jews are depicted as returning to the land of Israel. In his article, "Zionism is God's Call" (written for the Overland Monthly), Russell applied the term, "The Voice--'Die Stimme'",  as meaning "the voice of prophecy". Such an application is not necessarily in reference to the Jewish journal that carries the name "Die Stimme". It certainly does not mean that the Jewish publishers were financing Watch Tower literature.
http://www.mostholyfaith.com/bible/OverlandMonthly/overland.asp?xRef=OV108

Secret Backers?

In 1882, Russell presented the following:
"Z.W.T. TRACT SOCIETY."
This Society was organized less than one year ago, for the object indicated by the name. It is but proper that a statement should now be made at the beginning of the year 1882.
The object of the Society was stated but no requests for help were made. The donations below mentioned, were free-will offerings--some giving until they could feel it. The amounts ranged from one dollar up to thousands.
Total am'ts of cash received, ...$35,391.18
"   expenditures in printing, ...
etc., etc., .............. 35,336.18
...           ----------
Balance in treasury, Jan. ......$    55.00
Bills coming due, about ........    400.00
To all whose donations have been over one hundred dollars, we have made special reports, and to any donor the books are always open for inspection.
We propose continuing this fund, and will endeavor to use it prudently as fast as it is received. In fact as will be noticed in the above report, the expenditure generally exceeds the receipts, but a brother who has already contributed largely, guarantees any debts incurred, to the amount of one thousand dollars in excess of receipts.
It is a principle with us, not to allow the Lord's money to rust.
Should the fund increase sufficiently to permit it, we propose using some portion of it for sending out other laborers.
We never solicit donations. Those who possess this world's goods and are wholly consecrated need only to know how they can use it. Donations to this fund should be specified. Address C. T. Russell, Pittsburgh.
Springmeier quotes part of this as proof that Russell was being funded by alleged "secret backers". Springmeier focused on this statement of Russell:  “…a brother who has already contributed largely guarantees any debts incurred, to the amount of one thousand dollars in excess of receipts.” By means of the context as reported by Springmeier, the reader would be led to believe that these "secret backers" were Jewish leaders who were seeking to take over the world.
Who this brother was is not given, and all Springmeier or anyone else today could do is give speculation as to who this brother was. More than likely, Russell was referring to himself; he had the funds available from the sale of the chain of clothing stores, and could at that time, make such a guarantee. Russell, in modesty, surely would not say "I will guarantee this payment", and thus would rather refer to himself as "a brother", so as to not be bragging of his own contribution. Regardless, this statement, of course, did not mean that there was some "unlimited" fund that was financing Russell or the Watch Tower Society. What Springmeier presents is his imaginative speculation as though it were fact, based on his desire to make Russell appear to be other than what he actually was.
Russell, of course, did not divulge the names of contributors. He later stated: "We do make known the results of our work every year in an annual report, as seems proper, but no names of contributors are given. No one even gets a chance to get his name before the church, or other contributors. Whatever is given is unto the Lord and no attempt is made to flaunt any human donation. We simply use what is voluntarily handed in." (What Pastor Russell Said, Page 128, Question 4)
http://www.mostholyfaith.com/bible/qb/qb.asp?xRef=Q135:2#Q128:4
Thus, all contributors to the Watch Bible and Tract Society were indeed "secret backers". Nothing in any of this means that we should imagine and assume that Russell or the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society was being backed by Jewish leaders who were seeking to take over the world.

Ronald R. Day, Sr. Search data: reslight, rlbible