Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Russell's Alleged "All or Nothing" Statements

The Internet is filled with misinformation, misquotes, quotes out of context, quotes twisted to mean other than what is intended, false accusations, insinuations, and outright falsehoods about Charles Taze Russell. One website that quotes various religious leaders under the heading: ALL OR NOTHING STATEMENTS (from those that have "the truth"). Some other sites have the same material: [1][2][3][4] It becomes clear from many of the quotes given that by saying "all or nothing" the editor of the page means that the one being quoted is supposedly claiming that he or she is to be considered the only channel being used by God to communicate with men; by saying "all or nothing", however, it further implies that one has to listen to Russell or receive nothing. Those who are actually acquainted with Russell's works know that he never made such claims.

Click Here to search Russell's writings for the expression "only channel."
CLICK HERE to see what Russell himself said about the "only authority" in the church.
We first present the caption above the quote:
Charles Taze Russell - Founder of Zion's Watchtower Tract Society (today known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society or Jehovah's Witnesses)
As has been shown many times, Brother Russell was indeed the primary founder of Zion's Watch Tower, but he was never associated with the "Jehovah's Witnesses" organization, nor was he founder of a such an organization. Russell never believed in such an organization all the days of his life. After his death, however, Joseph Rutherford, through deception and legal trickery, did indeed gain control of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and virtually destroyed it as Russell had created it to be, and then used his new WTS as a basis for forming a new organization, and his followers he later called "Jehovah's Witnesses".

After the above caption, we find the following quote from Brother Russell:
"I said that I had been in conference with the Great Master Workman, the Lord himself, and I have secret information through the Holy Spirit and guidance in respect to what the Bible says..."
This is what Brother Russell said as part of a convention discourse in 1913 with the title "The Temple of God".

This sermon may also be found in a book entitled Pastor's Russell's Convention Discourses, page 359. The words are indeed, his words, and he is not misquoted. However, he is quoted out of context, and what Russell stated is misused to make it appear that he was saying something he never intended. We have reproduced this entire sermon on this website so that all may see what Russell was saying in context: The Temple of God The words were said at a convention that was held in a building that belonged to the Freemasons, and  possibly some of the Freemasons may have been in the audience, but not very likely.

Russell's references to the Freemasons does not show that he had any "inside" knowledge of that organization, that was not commonly known otherwise. It was commonly known that the Masons do have their "secret" rituals, etc, that no one else is supposed to know. Let us quote some of what Russell said in context.
So I am glad to address delegates especially here from the Bay cities, and also including some thirty-five states represented in the excursion party. I am very glad to have this particular opportunity of saying a word about some of the things in which we agree with our Masonic friends, because we are speaking in a building dedicated to Masonry, and we also are Masons. I am a Free Mason. I am a free and accepted Mason, if I may carry the matter to its full length, because that is what our Masonic brethren like to tell us, that they are free and accepted Masons. That is their style of putting it. Now I am a free and accepted Mason. I trust we all are. But not just after the style of our Masonic brethren. We have no quarrel with them. I am not going to say a word against Free Masons. In fact, some of my very dear friends are Masons, and I can appreciate that there are certain very precious truths that are held in part by our Masonic friends. I have talked to them at times, and they have said, How do you know about all of these things? We thought nobody knew anything about these things except those who had access to our very highest logic. I said that I had been in conference with the Great Master Workman, the Lord himself, and I have secret information through the Holy Spirit and guidance in respect to what the Bible says, and that contains all the truth, I believe, on every subject. And so if we talk to our Masonic friends about the Temple and its meaning, and about being good Masons, and about the Great Pyramid, which is the very emblem they use, and what the Great Pyramid signifies, our Masonic friends are astonished. One who had been a Mason a long time recently bought a lot of books that had the Great Pyramid discussed, and sent them to I am sure a thousand Masons. He paid for them and sent them out at his own expense. He wanted the Masons to see something about the Great Pyramid. He knew they were greatly interested in that.
Those who know the Bible should know that there is nothing at all wrong in what Brother Russell said, nor was he claiming that he was a member of the Freemasons' organization. Every true Christian of any denomination or outside of all denominations can say the very same thing. In fact, if one claims to receive the secret things of the Bible from any other source than through Jesus, the holy spirit and the Bible, then such is actually not in accord with what Jesus and his apostles taught.* The quote given on the website, however, taken out of context, and placed in the context as it has been done on the website examined, makes it appear that Brother Russell was saying something other than what he intended. Seen in its proper perspective, we can see that there is nothing at all wrong with what Brother Russell stated, and indeed, this same statement could be said by any true Christian.
Russell, however, unlike Rutherford, never claimed to be a central authority for the Bible Students. He certainly never claimed that one had to accept what he believed and taught or else that they would be eternally destroyed in Armageddon. He believed that Armageddon was to chastise the people of the nations, not eternally destroy them.

What about the phrase "all or nothing"? Surely, we can say that Russell did believe "all" the truth revealed is given by the Lord through the holy spirit in the scriptures. Praise Jehovah! (Hallelujah!) ========== 
*See our study on "Understanding Kingdom Mysteries"

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sources For Russell's Imagery Requested

One asked me several requets or questions in the comments related to a video on Youtube entitled: "Occult Theocrasy - Charles Taze Russell A Freemason." For some unknown reason I am not being permitted to respond there, so I am presenting my responses here:

Request:
"Give us the source from which Russel took the Cross and Crown (facts and few words please)"

My response:

I do not have information as to exactly "where" Brother Russell obtained artwork for his imagery, if this is what is being requested. To me, that is not as important as is why he used the imagery. I can only give you one of his statements (there are more) related to the cross and crown imagery:

The cross represents our faith in the death of Christ and our desire to walk in His steps; the crown represents the reward of glory, honor and immortality; and the wreath around the cross and crown represents the Restitution blessings coming to the world of mankind. Harvest Gleanings, Volume 3,, page 721.


Request:
"Give us the source from which Russel took the all seeing eye He used on fotodrama of creation (facts and few words)"

My response:
In his study, "The All-Seeing Eye", which was later retitled, "Divine Omniscience and Almighty Power," Brother Russell presented Psalm 139:7,9 and Psalm 34:15 (from the King James Version).

In his study, "Am I My Brother's Keeper?", Brother Russell stated:

The All-Seeing eye of our Creator keeps watch over the affairs of His creatures today as it kept watch over Abel's interests. God allowed Cain to have his way; allowed him to kill his brother; allowed the righteous to suffer; yet Cain did not escape, but was held accountable for the death of his brother. God's sentence upon him separated him from his brethren until he cried out that his punishment was greater than he could bear. And, similarly, we may be sure that the Cain class of our day will be held accountable for the willful slaying of their brother, especially to the extent that the brother despised may be a child of God. As God declared that the blood of Abel cried to Him from the ground cried for justice so the intimation of the Scriptures is that all injustice of every kind, everywhere, will bring a "just recompense of reward."
http://www.mostholyfaith.com/bible/harvest_gleanings_3/HG303.asp

Request:
"Give us the source from which Russel took the Egipcian Sundisk (from the bible it is not because it has 2 snake heads on it and Russel did not use a new symbol but an existent one)"

Response:
The "Sun of Righteousness" imagery that Russell used did not have 2 snake heads on it, although many claim to "see" such in the curved handles of the upside down arrows pointing to the sun-circle. I have not, however, seen this exact form used by the Egyptians, or anyone else. I do not know that Russell had the artwork especially done, but as yet, I have not found the exact artwork used by anyone else, except those who are duplicating the artwork from Russell's books.

The second sentence of Russell's book, The Divine Plan of the Ages, shows what this imagery meant to Russell:

The period in which sin is permitted has been a dark night to humanity, never to be forgotten; but the glorious day of righteousness and divine favor, to be ushered in by Messiah, who, as the Sun of Righteousness, shall arise and shine fully and clearly into and upon all, bringing healing and blessing, will more than counterbalance the dreadful night of weeping, sighing, pain, sickness and death, in which the groaning creation has been so long. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the MORNING." Psa. 30:5

While Russell did not at this point give the scripture for "Sun of Righteousness", the term is indeed found in the Bible at Malachi 4:2. Even Fritz Springmeier realized this, but he claimed that Malachi had been influenced by the pagans. If this is true, it would mean that Malachi was a false prophet and also that Jesus was a false prophet; indeed, it would mean that entire New Testament is false.

Request:
"Give us the source from Jehovah use by Russel (use Russel words to explain the use of form Jehovah not third party)"

I am not sure what this is requesting. Like myself, Russell was never adamant about using the form "Jehovah". Russell, however, never did much in-depth study on the Holy Name, nor did he put forth a serious effort to restore the Holy Name to the Bible. I do not know of any quote I could give that would be related to the question.

Nevertheless, Russell never made any issue over how one should pronounce the Holy Name, nor do I. For instance, when he presented an article written by Rev. John Urquhart, Scotland, the author used "Yahweh", not "Jehovah", but Russell gave no objection.

On another occason, he presented a discourse by Dr. J. H. Thomas, in which Thomas used the form "Yahweh".


The comment was made:
Keep in mind Russel clearly stated he had many mason friends and that He appreciated their precious truths.

My response:

Actually, what he stated was, "In fact, some of my very dear friends are Masons, and I can appreciate that there are certain very precious truths that are held in part by our Masonic friends." ("Temple of God" sermon)
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/11/temple.html

He could have said the same about his Methodist friends, his Baptist friends, his Presbyterian friends, etc. Indeed, in effect, he did say such in the same sermon:

"As Christian people, Bible Students from all denominations, it would seem that we have something in our faith that is in sympathy and harmony with each denomination, the world over. Do our Presbyterian friends speak of the election? We more. Do our Methodist friends have the doctrine of free grace? We more. Do our Baptist friends understand the importance of baptism, to some extent? We more. Do our friends of the Christian denomination, and our Congregational friends, appreciate the great privileges of individuality in church government? We more."

And then continues with the Masons:

"Do our Masonic friends understand something about the Temple, and being Knights Templars, and so on? We more."

After that he continues:

"Do our Roman Catholic and Church of England friends believe in a Universal church? We more. In other words, it would seem as though the message of God's Word has been more or less subdivided, and each denomination has taken hold of a piece of the truth, and around that bit of truth has gathered a good deal that we think is erroneous."

As many have pointed out, however, Russell seemed confused concerning the relationship of the Knights Templar to Masons. Russell appeared to have thought of the Knights Templar as being a higher order of Mason, and he assumed that all Masons professed to be Christian, and thus he thought of the Masons similar to that of a Christian denomination. The truth he saw in his conversation with the Masons was basically that of the usage of temple as designating the building of character. Russell, however, often used the word "friends" very loosely, as can be seen even in his sermon, "The Temple of God", for he spoke of "Presbyterian friends," "Methodist friends," "Baptist friends," "Congregational friends," and "Roman Catholic and Church of England friends."

Another comment was made:
Russel also told He was learning the hand grips

Before I present a quote from Russell concerning this, I believe it would beneficial that one understand by "this order", Russell was not referring to either the Bible Students association nor was he referring to the Masons. The "order" he was referring to was the church, which he believed was not limited to any denomination, sect, movement, association, etc. With this in mind, I present what Russell stated:

"So, then, I repeat what Jesus said about the terms of membership. I do not know if we are all members of this order or not. You know our order is so secret we cannot know each other always. Is not that wonderful? I find that is so with Masons also. Many Masons shake hands with me and give me what I know is their grip; they don't know me from a Mason. Something I do seems to be the same as Masons do, I don't know what it is; but they often give me all kinds of grips and I give them back, then I tell them I don't know anything about it except just a few grips that have come to me naturally. But the Lord has so arranged this matter that you and I cannot know who are the approved Masons; He alone knows; He alone knows how true and loyal we are at heart. We might put on uniforms and wear feathers – and I think there are many Masons perhaps that go around and parade who do not come up to all the high standards of Masonry either, and some of their Masonic brethren are perhaps ashamed of them. So there are many who come in and have more or less of an outward appearance of being Christians and are not such really at heart. I wonder how many of us here present have taken the first step, the first degree? I wonder how many have gone on to take the second and third degrees? I wonder how many have come into Knighthood – shall I say? – to be Knights Templar? That simply means to be very honorable in connection with this Temple service; as, for instance, to be leaders in the Church. That is getting up to one of the high degrees, to be leaders in the Church of Christ, to be Knights Templar, to be amongst those who are special functionaries in any matter pertaining of the interests of the Temple, and know most about the things of the Temple."

I do not know of any place, however, that Russell ever stated that he had a goal of learning Masonic "grips". He did state that he was, in effect, learning some of them by imitation, but without knowledge of their meaning. But to focus on the grips as such fails to realize the point that Russell was making, and that was that we do not always know who truly is a member of the church, for there are many false Christians who associate with the true Christians, and such false Christians may learn to imitate a true Christian, just as he learned to imitate the grips of the Masons, although he was not a Mason.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Russell & a Video Regarding the Jehovah's Witnesses

A Collection of responses to the Video "A False Religion : Jehovah's Witnesses EXPOSED - 2016 Documentary"


I am not with the Jehovah's Witnesses but much of what is presented in the video is either about Charles Taze Russell, or reflects upon what Charles Taze Russell taught, etc,, so I put a series of comments regarding what is presented in the video in the comments section of the video.  I have tried to collect together links to my earlier comments. Many of them I could not find, so I tried to reconstruct them, although I still may not have found them all.

1. Russell Was Not founder of JWs:
Charles Taze Russell was not the founder of the JWs. The only religion he believed in was that of Christ and the apostles. Russell preached against the kind of authoritarianism that is found in the JW org. He also preached against the kind of Armageddon message that the JWs preach. Russell was not the founder of that which he did not believe in, and which he preached against.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bQxCbH8IE8&lc=z13qsribmvymfzkwb04cgr2qpkvcvd3aznk0k


2. Miller a prophet?
I do not believe that Miller -- who was a Baptist minister -- viewed himself as a prophet, or that the conclusions he reached were "prophecies". I do believe that Brother Mlller had some dates correct, but was wrong in his expectations.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bQxCbH8IE8&lc=z122chgq2uqgth05n04cgr2qpkvcvd3aznk0k

3. Ellen G. White and 1874
I am not with the SDAs, but to my knowledge Ellen White never claimed anything at all regarding 1874. I do not know the details of her visions, but Satan is always ready to distort truth.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bQxCbH8IE8&lc=z13vexqreoeyxtgdl235sppgauauctrww04


4. I don't know if Ellen G. White actually taught that the sins of mankind would be placed on the devil himself; I do know that Russell never taught such an idea.

5. It is totally false that Russell founded the Jehovah's Witnesses organization:
Charles Taze Russell most definitely did not found the Jehovah's Witnesses organization. Anyone who knows what he taught would know that he preached against such authoritarianism, and he did not allow the WTS he created to be used for such purposes. Just before his death, he reinterated this, saying, "Let it be borne in mind that the Society exercises no authority, makes no criticism, but merely gives advice; and that in the interest of the Lord's Cause and the Lord's people." (The Watch Tower, August 15, 1916, page 248.) This, however, began to change shortly after his death as Rutherford deceitfully had new by-laws passed that virtually destroyed the WTS as Russell had created it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bQxCbH8IE8&lc=z12dsf3rdoyetthkq235sppgauauctrww04

6. Russell did not attend any meeting of the SDAs when he was 18:
There is no record at all that Russell ever attended any SDA meeting at all at any time ever in his life.. He did, around 1870, attend a meeting of the Second Adventists. At 18, Russell definitely never encountered the teachings of Ellen G. White. He did later refute her teachings. Russell did associate with a small group of independent Christians (as far as I know, none of whom were associated with the SDA organization) in Allegheny, and as a result of those studies, he did come to realize what the Bible hell is, and what it is not. There is definitely no record that Russell ever accepted and adopted the teachings of Ellen G. White.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bQxCbH8IE8&lc=z121fdhgrqijhft4y04cgr2qpkvcvd3aznk0k

7. Russell was not expecting "the end of the world" in 1914 and plainly said such. Russell, not being a prophet, never gave any prophecy that the world would end in 1914.
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/11/end-1914.html
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/11/prophet.html

8. Russell's teachings definitely are not in accord with "Masonic beliefs". Indeed, anyone familiar with his works would know that the message he spent his adult life preaching is not at all in harmony with the goals of the Masons, and definitely not in harmony with any conspiracy theories often presented about the Masons.

9. The pyramid shown in the video is not "on top of" Russell's grave. That pyramid replica of God's Witness in Egypt was authorized to be constructed about three years after Russell died, in honor of the WTS. Rutherford's pyramid monument, however, has nothing at all to do with the Freemasons.
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/12/p-grave.html

10. The Biblical Cross and Crown on Rutherford's pyramid monument and which appears on Russell's Watch Tower magazine is definitely not "a Masonic sign", although the Knights Templar, who claim to be Christian, do use similar imagery. Oddly, if Pike is correct, in reality, the cross used by any church is a phallic symbol.
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/12/cross-symbol.html

11. Since Russell never said that he was a member of the man-made Freemason organization, it is totally false that he said that he was an member of that organization. Taking Russell's quote (from his sermon, The Temple of God) out of context, and making it appear that he was claiming to be a member of man's Masonic Society, is highly deceptive. Russell was claiming to be a part of the building work of God, not a member of any of man's secret societies. The entire sermon may be found at:
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/11/temple.htmlhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bQxCbH8IE8&lc=z13zez2jsqf1uhkmt235sppgauauctrww04


12. Russell was definitely never a member of the man-made Freemasons organization. His teachings were in direct conflict with what is often claimed to be the goals of the Freemasons.
Russell had no special affiliation with the Freemasons, except that some of the Freemasons became associated with his work. Nevertheless, these Bible Students usually withdrew their membership with the Freemason organization. http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2009/09/russells-comments-on-freemasons.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bQxCbH8IE8&lc=z130ineggzn1ufd4m04cgr2qpkvcvd3aznk0k

13. Satanic Bloodline?
To believe that Russell is of some kind special Satanic bloodline would not harmonize with Jesus' sacrifice and many statements in the Bible. http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/11/bloodline.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bQxCbH8IE8&lc=z12qjxwwzxn5hlg31235sppgauauctrww04

14. Russell's teachings are definitely not in harmony with any of men's efforts to bring about any "New World Order."
It is actually ludicrous to think that Russell spent his whole life preaching against what he is alleged to have been supporting by preaching against what he was actually secretly supporting. Russell did indeed, by what he presented, preach against all of man's efforta to bring about any alleged "new world order", although Russell never used the term, "new world order."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bQxCbH8IE8&lc=z12esdqrgz3wtxrfj235sppgauauctrww04

15. Nothing happend in 1914?
It is not true that "nothing happened' in 1914. Russell died in 1916 still rejoicing that the time of trouble had begun in 1914, as he had been expecting since 1904.
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/10/t-of-t.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bQxCbH8IE8&lc=z12ihb4wxvyru3c4i04cgr2qpkvcvd3aznk0k


16. JWs in general know very little about Russell, and are often misinformed about what he taught as well as why he believed what he believed. This misinformation about Russell often leaves them vunerable to many who claim to know this and that about Russell, based on many assumptions, speculations, distortions, etc., which are most often presented as being fact. As a result many have been misled by the false claims of men such as Fritz Springeier and David Icke, who have themselves grossly misrepresented Russell but in such a deceptive way that what they say "appears" to be fact to those who do not actually know what Russell believed and why he believed what he did.

17. Charles Taze Russell did not believe in any "governing body" and preached against such authoritarianism until the day he died.
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/10/wtorg.html

18. Raymond Franz
I highly recommend Raymond Franz' books, although there are a few things I disagree with. Overall, Franz does agree with Russell and the Bible Students on many things.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bQxCbH8IE8&lc=z13ajpvzimrqwx0vy235sppgauauctrww04


19. The "Armageddon" message that the JWs proclaim is almost the very opposite of the "glad tidings of great joy that will be for all the people" that Russell held be central to Biblical teachings.

20. Russell did not reject the deity of Christ, although he did explain that diety in harmony with Biblical usage of the Hebrew and Greek words for diety.
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2008/03/deity.html

21. Michael the Archangel -- I did my own studies related to the archangel.
http://jesusnotyhwh.blogspot.com/p/michael-archangel.html

22. If Jesus was anything more than just a sinless obedient man then, rather than condemning sin the flesh, Jesus actually justified sin in the flesh. -- Romans 8:3.

23. If Jesus is now still a human being, then no sacrifice has been given for our sins. -- Luke 22:19; John 6:51; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; Hebrews 10:10; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18.
http://ransomforall.blogspot.com/2016/09/whatsacrifice.html

24. Russell did not preach that any organization or denomination is the way of salvation; he preached that Jesus is the only way of salvation from Adamic death, irrespective of what denomination, organization or sect one may otherwise belong to.

25. KJV and trinity
There is nothing in the King James Version about any alleged "Holy Trinity". The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is always presented as being one person, and is never presented as being more than one person. Although the KJV does in some verses render wording to favor the trinity, one still has to imagine that doctrine beyond what is actually stated in the KJV.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bQxCbH8IE8&lc=z13fsxkqqkqxtd1ip04cgr2qpkvcvd3aznk0k

26. Russell not a Freemason
Charles Taze Russell was definitely never a member of the Freemasons. We have a lifetime of his works that overwhelmingly testify that he was not a Mason, and except for what has to imagined, assumed or distorted, no one has presented any evidence at all that Russell (who was never a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses) was a Freemason.
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/12/freemasons.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bQxCbH8IE8&lc=z12gsfzitmfty1f5g04cgr2qpkvcvd3aznk0k