Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Some Criticisms of Russell Addressed

The claim is being made that the truth is that Russell used photos taken directly from freemason books. The freemason book of magic, ect.

Those Bible Students who worked on the Photo Drama of Creation evidently sought to find public domain pictures that could be used in the making of the Photo Drama, and many sources were used. It is possible that some pictures from the Freemasons who believe in the Bible may have been used in this connection, although we have found no direct evidence of such. The reality is that such a claim appears to be made based solely on conjecture.

While we are not certain what "book" is being referred to as the Freemason "book of magic," there is definitely no reason to believe that Russell took photos from any book of magic.

We have been asked to carefully watch this video and all the photos in it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unO6ECmytPU

The video linked to is marked unavailable/private. We are not allowed to watch it. We suspect that it is the same video that we watched some time ago which actually embeds images into the Photo-Drama that were actually not used in the original Photo Drama, thus making it appear that Russell actually used exact images as are used by the Masons. Indeed, we also suspect that this is the reason that the video was made private. If this is the same video, we exposed this in the comments, although we suspect that our comments were removed.

Here are some links to the actual Photo-Drama of Creation:
https://www.youtube.com/user/photodramaofcreation
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4EF9A90C39410158
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4g_ipuuJZk

Otherwise, we would need to know exactly what photos in the actual Photo-Drama we are supposed to note, and what publication of the Masons such were taken from.

The claim is made that Jesus did not dress up like the politicians and establishment of this world. He critisized them for it.

No scripture is given, and we are not sure what is being referred to as being Jesus' criticism of how the politicians of the world dressed. Nor is it stated how this is supposed to relate to Russell.

We believe, however, that Jesus dressed in the common style of the day.

Evidently, however, the remark is made as a criticism of the way Brother Russell dressed, although it is not stated as to what is being objected to regarding the way Brother Russell dressed. We do not think Russell dressed any different from many ministers of various denominations of his time. However, he certainly did not dress with the distinctive clerical garb that is the custom of clerics in many denominations. Russell, like Jesus, did not promote a clergy/laity distinction.

Jesus did make some criticism of the scribes, not especially of their clothing itself, but of their attitude related to their clothing consisting of long robes. -- Mark 12:38; Luke 20:46.

There is little evidence in the Bible in the Bible of how Jesus dressed, but it does not appear that he dressed any different from what was the custom of that time and region. That Jesus did not deem it wrong to wear long robes can be seen from the description given to Jesus in Revelation 1:13.

The claim is made that Christ did not teach doctrines not found in the Word of God.

Yes, this is true. Evidently, however, the implication of the claim is that Russell did teach doctrines not found in the Bible.

Jesus, of course, having been given a body of flesh from God Himself (Hebrews 10:5), did not have the sinful flesh of men who are condemned in Adam (Romans 5:12-19; 8:3), and absolutely everything he did and said is truth. The "one God" who is the Heavenly Father anointed and sent Jesus (Isaiah 61:1; John 17:1,3), prepared a body of flesh for Jesus (Hebrews 10:5), and made Jesus a little lower than the angels so that Jesus could offer that body of flesh with its blood to Jehovah his God for our sins.  (Matthew 26:26-28; Luke 22:19; Romans 3:25; Colossians 1:14; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 2:9; 9:14; 10:10; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5) Jesus was the prophet like Moses, who spoke the words of Jehovah is God with error or mistake. -- Deuteronomy 18:15-19;

Russell, however, never claimed to have such perfection of truth. Indeed, he consistently denied such, and admitted the possibility of error in some things. He did make mistakes, but he certainly endeavored to not teach as doctrine what is not found in the Word of God. Thus he rejected such extra-Biblical doctrines as the trinity, inherent immortal human soul/spirit, conscious eternal suffering, etc.

The claim is made that Christ did not rent an office to practice his Christianity in. 

Again, the implication evidently is that Russell did rent an office to practice his Christianity in. While we don't know that Russell ever rented an office to practice Christianity, we also don't know of any scripture that says one should not rent an office as part of his service to Christ.

Russell, did, however, have an office which he used as a study. I suppose Russell could have fulfilled his consecration to follow Christ without such an office, but the office he had was simply a tool that he used in his consecration to Christ.

On the other hand, nearly every pastor of every church of every denomination has an office which he uses for his work. If Russell is to be condemned for having an office, what about these?

Related to the above, Jesus statement, "Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head" is quoted (Matthew 8:20; Luke 9:58), with the claim that the disciple is NOT greater than his master (Matthew 10:24; Luke 6:40), and it is claimed that everyone that is perfect shall be as his master! And then it is stated: "Russell was not!"

This seems to be misusing the scriptures to say that unless one has nowhere to lay his head, then that person is not a disciple of Christ! The only logical conclusion from what is stated is that anyone who has a bed or some place in which to sleep must not be a disciples of Christ!! Did all the early Christians in the first century not have a place to lay their head? Did none of them own houses with a place to lay their heads?

Russell, of course, never claimed to be perfect in his flesh. He definitely never claimed that he was perfect so that he could never make a mistake.

The claim is being made that Jesus never said he was part of a devil worshiping cult knowing his followers would "understand!!!

Again, the implication evidently is that Russell did say he was part of devil worshiping cult, knowing that his followers would understand. Russell never claimed such a ridiculous thought, nor was Russell part of any devil worshiping cult. The only "cult" that Russell advocated was that of belonging only to Christ, and that one should follow Christ. Applying the above to what Russell did say would, in effect, mean that anyone who states that he belongs to Christ is part of a devil worshiping cult. Unlike the Jehovah's Witnesses' leadership, Russell did not promote the Bible Students as being "the true religion." He never spoke of the Bible Students as being a religion at all. He did speak of "the true church," which he described as follows:
(1913) The one true Church, dear friends, is the church of the Bible. There never has been but that one true Church. All others are false, and if I built up another church I would be building up another false one. That is not our proposition at all. The I.B.S.A. holds out the proposition which the Bible stands for, namely, that all people who are trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ, and consecrated to follow in his steps, are of the church of the living God whose names are written in heaven. The I.B.S.A. recognizes no other church. It does not say that only those in the I.B.S.A. constitute the church. It recognizes that all true Christians in the various churches should be awake, and we are trying to awaken them to the truth. The I.B.S.A. recognizes that these true Christian people are in danger of falling into infidelity, unless they get the true light of God's Word, and so is trying to bring all Christian people to study the Bible, and thus into complete union as the church of Christ. -- What Pastor Russell Said, page 348.
http://mostholyfaith.com/Beta/bible/QB/qb.asp?xRef=Q348:3#Q348:3
In his book, The New Creation, Russell wrote:
    No earthly organization can grant a passport to heavenly glory. The most bigoted sectarian (aside from the Romanist) will not claim, even, that membership in his sect will secure heavenly glory. All are forced to admit that the true Church is the one whose record is kept in heaven, and not on earth. They deceive the people by claiming that it is needful to come to Christ through them – needful to become members of some sectarian body in order to become members of "the body of Christ," the true Church. On the contrary, the Lord, while he has not refused any who came to him through sectarianism, and has turned no true seeker away empty, tells us that we need no such hindrances, but could much better have come to him direct. He cries, "Come unto me"; "take my yoke upon you, and learn of me"; "my yoke is easy and my burden is light, and ye shall find rest to your souls." Would that we had given heed to his voice sooner. We would have avoided many of the heavy burdens of sectism, many of its bogs of despair, many of its doubting castles, its vanity fairs, its lions of worldly-mindedness, etc.
    Surely all know that whenever they join any of these human organizations, accepting its Confession of Faith as theirs, they bind themselves to believe neither more nor less than that creed expresses on the subject. If, in spite of the bondage thus voluntarily yielded to, they should think for themselves, and receive light from other sources, in advance of the light enjoyed by the sect they have joined, they must either prove untrue to the sect and to their covenant with it, to believe nothing contrary to its Confession, or else they must honestly cast aside and repudiate the Confession which they have outgrown, and come out of such a sect. To do this requires grace and costs some effort, disrupting, as it often does, pleasant associations, and exposing the honest truth-seeker to the silly charges of being a "traitor" to his sect, a "turncoat," one "not established," etc. When one joins a sect, his mind is supposed to be given up entirely to that sect, and henceforth not his own. The sect undertakes to decide for him what is truth and what is error; and he, to be a true, staunch, faithful member, must accept the decisions of his sect, future as well as past, on all religious matters, ignoring his own individual thought, and avoiding personal investigation, lest he grow in knowledge, and be lost as a member of such sect. This slavery of conscience to a sect and creed is often stated in so many words, when such a one declares that he "belongs" to such a sect.
    These shackles of sectarianism, so far from being rightly esteemed as shackles and bonds, are esteemed and worn as ornaments, as badges of respect and marks of character. So far has the delusion gone, that many of God's children would be ashamed to be known to be without some such chains – light or heavy in weight, long or short in the personal liberty granted. They are ashamed to say that they are not in bondage to any sect or creed, but "belong" to Christ only.
-- The New Creation, pages 185-187.

It is claimed that Christ did not speak of a "new order" as Freemasons do!

Again, the implication appears to be that Russell did speak of a "new order" as the Freemasons do! Actually, Brother Russell did not speak of a "new order" as Freemasons do, nor as many ascribe conspiracy ideas to the Freemasons and a "new order"! Jesus did speak of the "age to come," often rendered as "world to come." (Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30) That age to come will certainly be a new order, a new heavens and new earth (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-5), but not after the manner taught by the Freemasons. Russell did, at times, refer to the age to come as being a new order, but not in the sense that the Freemasons are spoken of as referring to a new order. Most Freemasons have no genuine idea of the new order as promised in the Bible. Russell rarely used the expression "new order" without adding "of things," that is "new order of things." The word "order", however, is based mostly on forms of the Biblical Greek word often transliterated as KOSMOS, as well as forms of the word often transliterated as AION, both of which are often rendered as "world".

https://www.studylight.org/lexicons/greek/2889.html
One of the meanings of KOSMOS is "order"
https://www.studylight.org/lexicons/greek/165.html

It is claimed that in fact Russell said he would not dare speak a word against these devil worshipers and that some of his very dear friends are freemasons.

Again, this misquotes and misrepresents two things Russell stated by taking them out of context, and by putting them together with added words to make it appear that Russell condoned freemasonry and worship of the devil. He definitely did not condone man's Freemason Society, and plainly stated such. Russell definitely did not condone worship of the devil or any actions of others related to worship of the devil.

Russell did seem to be under the impression that all the Freemasons professed to be Christian, and thus he seemed to classify them as a Christian sect. As he believed that all sectarianism will be destroyed and not allowed to continue to exist in the Kingdom, he also believed that the Freemasons organization would cease to exist, and not be allowed to continue into the age to come. Believing that the Freemasons professed to be Christian, Russell did not describe them as "devil worshipers." In the broad sense, anyone who has not been regenerated by the blood of Christ could be referred to as a worshiper of the devil, and even those regenerated could fall into various acts that could be referred to as worshiping the devil. In that more than likely most Freemasons had not been regenerated as a child of God, one could say in a broad sense that those unregenerated Freemasons were devil worshipers, although Russell never spoke of such.

Russell stated (we do not necessarily agree with all his applications of scripture):
You will notice that we never have anything to say against any of these. We have not said an unkind word about Freemasonry, and you never read anything unkind that we have ever said about it, and I do not wish to say anything unkind about Presbyterianism, or Methodism. I think that many of the dear friends in these denominations are good people, and I appreciate their characters. What I talk about sometimes is Presbyterian doctrine, and they talk about it, too. And I have read things they have said about Presbyterian doctrines far harder than anything I have ever said. I sometimes quote in the Watch Tower some things Presbyterians say about their own doctrine, and I occasionally quote in the Watch Tower something the Methodists say about their doctrine, because they say it stronger than I should wish to say it.
***
The Lord did not send me to preach against Masonry or Odd Fellowship, nor against Presbyterianism or Methodism. Our opportunity is to tell the truth, to preach the true gospel of Christ, and the Lord says that this message is to have its effects on the different hearts. Now, if you find yourself in any kind of a bundle, you know that is not the program so far as the wheat is concerned. The wheat is to he gathered into the garner; it is not to be put into bundles in the present life.

At that particular time and place, Russell was not saying anything against the Freemasons, or against Presbyerianism or Methodism, etc., but elsewhere he did say:
We note also that the Order of Free Masons, if judged by its past history, has some secret object or scheme, more than fraternity and financial aid in time of sickness or death. And, so far as we can judge, there is a certain amount of profane worship or mummery connected with the rites of this order and some others, which the members do not comprehend, but which, in many cases, serves to satisfy the cravings of the natural mind for worship, and thus hinders it from seeking the worship of God in spirit and in truth--through Christ, the only appointed Mediator and Grand Master.
In proportion as such societies consume valuable time in foolish, senseless rites and ceremonies, and in substituting the worship of their officers, and the use of words and symbols which have no meaning to them, for the worship of God, in his appointed way -- through Christ, and according to knowledge and the spirit of a sound mind -- in that proportion these societies are grievous evils, regardless of the financial gains or losses connected with membership in them.
***
Such societies, on selfish business principles, are foreign to the spirit of God's Church. In it, those who have this world's goods should be ready to assist the needy of the Lord's family, hoping for nothing again. And all who are members of the true Church whose names are written in heaven, all who have the spirit of the Head, will be willing and anxious to do good unto all men as they have opportunity, especially to the household of faith, who are not leaning upon earthly Societies, but who, instead of spending "dues" in that way, are using their means to serve the Lord, his truth and his people.

For links to some of research related Russell and the Freemasons:
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/p/russell-and-freemasons.html

Brother Russell seemed to think all the Freemasons claimed to be Christian, and thus classified them as a whole as bundle of tares - which he believed to be false Christians, and that the Freemasons, as an organization, was a symbolic bundle of symbolic tares that was to be destroyed in the symbolic fiery furnace of the time of trouble. Since Freemasonry does not profess to be Christian, classifying it as a bundle of tares does not actually fit, although the application could -- in a sense -- apply to the Knights Templar, who do profess to be Christian. We do believe that the Freemason organization as a whole may be included as a "rock", as spoken of in Revelation 6:16. That organization will definitely not be allowed to continue to exist into the Kingdom Age, and any held captive in that organization will be set free to come to a knowledge of the truth.

For some of Russell's comments on the Freemasons:
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2009/09/russells-comments-on-freemasons.html

Russell did speak of some of his friends who are Freemasons; as stated before, however, he evidently believed that all Masons professed to be Christian. Nevertheless, Russell, however, often used the term "dear friends" many without meaning that he considered such "friends" to be spiritually close to him. Russell also spoke of his dear friends who are Methodists, Baptists, and of other denominations and organizations. His usage of such language definitely does not mean that he condoned the practices or teachings of any of those organizations.

Russell, however, believed that most who professed to be Christian that are in the various denominations are actually represented by the tares in the parable of the wheat and tares, false Christians, but, he did not claim that absolutely all in the denominations are represented as tares.

It is claimed that Jesus would never choose the meeting place of admitted Satanist to meet with his disciples.

Evidently it is being thought that Russell did choose the meeting place of admitted Satanists to meet with fellow believers. Strictly speaking, anyone who does not belong the Christ is still part of Satan's seed, and thus could be referred to as a Satanist. Most Freemasons, at least in Russell's day, however, did profess to belong to Christ, although most of them were probably not actually consecrated to Christ.

The whole world is being mislead by Satan. (Revelation 12:9) The whole world lies in the power of the evil one. (1 John 5:19) There is no place on earth as such that one can say absolutely is free of Satan's influence. Basically, the whole world is full of liars who, in effect, worship Lucifer (Satan). We are already in, so to speak, a den of demon worshipers by simply being born into this world.

Those who have been regenerated in Christ, however, are not perfect in the flesh, and thus, in the flesh, such may also be found to be subject to telling lies - whether due to weakness of the flesh, or through ignorance, and to such a degree, could be unknowingly serving Lucifer in those specific acts. Such of the flesh, however, is separate from the new creature, which is totally sinless in Christ.

The children of God in a world that has Satan as its prince/god (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:3,4) still has to deal with those of the the world, regardless of what those of the world may believe or practice. (1 Corinthians 5:9,10) If in a land that is full of Buddhists, if the children of God wish to rent a room for a meeting, they will probably have to rent from Buddhists who may have Buddhist symbolism in that room. If in India, they may have to rent from Hindus, etc. Russell and the Bible Students have rented rooms, probably from the cheapest of acceptable options, which included rooms owned by Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and many other denominational churches, the US Armory, Elks lodges, Odd-Fellow Lodges, schools, universities, etc., as well as Masonic lodges, with no thought at all of agreement with the teachings or practices of any of these groups or organizations. The freedom from God is knowledge that whatever religious idolatrous practices and beliefs held by the owners of such building can have no hold upon those who are set free by Christ. And yet there is always the tendency of the flesh to set up bondage to this or that man, or group of men, which is, as the apostle Paul explained, carnal reasoning. -- 1 Corinthians 3:1-4.

Jesus, however, spoke of the Scribes and Pharisees as being children of Satan, and doing the works of Satan. (John 8:41-44) Most of the synagogues of that day were owned by such Scribes and Pharisees. Did Jesus refuse to make use of those synagogues? -- Matthew 4:23; 12:9; 13:54; Mark 1:21; 3:1; 6:2; etc.

It is claimed that we and the JWs have invented our own religion, and do not follow Christ.

We cannot judge each individual among the JWs as nor following Christ. Nevertheless, unlike the JWs, our only endeavor is to follow Christ as best as we are able. It is indeed old, going back to Christ and the apostles, and definitely based on the Bible itself, not the Masons. Rutherford, however, did indeed invent his own religion, which he named "Jehovah's Witnesses."

While we do not believe that Russell's statements of belief that there is to be a world revolution leading to anarchy is to be actual doctrine, the Bible prophecies do indicate such; this belief, however, is not based on anything taught by the Masons, although the Masons may have a share in such revolutions. We do believe that all sectarianism, however is wrong in God eyes, even the sectarianism that may have crept into the Bible Students movement. Such sectarianism will be destroyed and all held as captives of such will be freed.

It is evidently claimed that we believe that Jerusalem below is the New Jerusalem.

We are not sure where this is coming from. We ourselves have certainly never made such a statement. We do believe the heavenly New Jerusalem will make use of Jerusalem below, especially after Satan has been cast into the abyss, in order to enlighten the world concerning the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and concerning the Messiah sent by God. The Jerusalem below must, however, accept their Messiah before this can take place.

Russell certainly did not believe the the Jerusalem below is the New Jerusalem, nor do we know of any of the Bible Students who believe such.

Some statements of Brother Russell regarding the "New Jerusalem":

The period of the reign of Sin and Death is represented as the time when God "remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger" (Lam. 2:1); but following the beginning of the Millennium, the people are prophetically called upon to – "Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool, for he is worthy." (Psa. 99:5) And this thought, that the establishment of the New Jerusalem, the Church of God glorified, as the new government in the earth, will mean the beginning of the restoration of divine favor to Jehovah's footstool, is clearly set forth through the Prophet Zechariah (14:4,5). -- The Battle of Armageddon, page 649.

It is well also to distinguish clearly between the New Jerusalem, the heavenly or spiritual city of which the apostles are the twelve foundations, and the old Jerusalem which is to be rebuilt upon her old heaps. The old Jerusalem's promised restoration implies not merely the reconstruction of the buildings, etc., but specially the reorganization of Israel's government; for a city in prophecy is always the symbol or representation of a government. Hence the promised reconstruction of Jerusalem upon her old foundations implies a national reorganization of Israel upon a basis similar to that which it formerly had, as a people over whom Jehovah's Anointed held the authority. The New Jerusalem represents the Gospel Church in glory and Kingdom power, spiritual, and invisible to men, yet all-powerful. Its descent to earth (Rev. 21:2) marks the fulfilment of that petition of our Lord's prayer which says, "Thy Kingdom come"; and its "coming" will be gradual, and not sudden. It is already "coming down," coming into control, and as a result we see the preliminary steps leading to the re-establishment of the old Jerusalem; and ultimately the result mentioned in our Lord's prayer will be realized – God's will will be done on earth as in heaven. The New Jerusalem and the New Heavens are synonymous, signifying the new spiritual ruling power. -- Thy Kingdom Come, page 258.

QUESTION--Will the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2) be a literal city of gold and gems, and will it come floating down through the sky and locate somewhere on the earth? If so, how, when, and where?

ANSWER--We are aware that quite a number seem to hold the thought of an actual city, with all of its walls, buildings, towers and turrets, coming down from above and locating in the land of Palestine. Those who have this thought should try to bear in mind that much of the Bible is written in highly symbolic or figurative language. The dimensions of this city are given in furlongs in this same chapter. If we reduce these to miles, we have for the dimensions fifteen hundred miles in length and breadth and height. A city of this magnitude could scarcely be placed in the small land of Palestine, which measures less than two hundred miles in its greatest length. By noting the expressions of the 9th verse, it will become apparent to all that not a literal city is referred to, but a symbolic one is meant. The angel showed St. John "The Bride, the Lamb's wife," in symbol, as a beautiful city. Surely no one would so far ignore the faculties of intelligence and reason as to say that the Bride of Christ is to be a literal city. This Bride is the same one represented as saying, in almost the closing words of the Bible, "Come and partake of the waters of life freely." The Bride is the Church class composed of the faithful followers of Christ, of whom the Apostle Paul speaks, saying: "I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:2). --What Pastor Russell Said, page 789.




Thursday, November 21, 2019

Numerology and Russell

The word "numerology" is often defined as:

the study of numbers, as the figures designating the year of one's birth, to determine their supposed influence on one's life, future, etc.

Or:

The study of the occult significance of numbers.

As commonly used, it is associated with spiritism, demonism, witchcraft, etc.

Russell never spoke of "numerology" (belief in the divine or mystical relationship between a number and one or more coinciding events), nor does his works show any belief in such. In the broad sense, the word "occult" etymologically simply means "secret". The Bible is certainly full of secrets, mysteries, unknown to the world, but made known (in varying degrees) to those who have God's spirit. The word "occult" today, however, most often refers to heathen or demonic spiritistic practices; Russell certainly did not believe in "the occult" as that word is usually used. Indeed, he preached against such practices, and showed how such practices are not in harmony with the Bible.

Likewise, the word "numerology" etymologically simply means "study of numbers." Russell did believe that numbers in the Bible often are symbolic, which is usually termed "Biblical numerics". This is different, however, than what is often conveyed by the word "numerology." Russell was not the first to believe that numbers in the Bible often carry symbolic significance. Nevertheless, if the word "numerology" is used to reflect the study of Biblical numerics, it would not mean that such has any reference to any kind of heathen or demonic occultism. Russell, however, never spoke of numerology, but he did speak of Biblical numerics.

Nor did Russell's study of God's Witness in Egypt have anything to do with heathen occultism, heathen numerology, spiritism, astrology, etc. Indeed, Russell's studies would lead one away from such heathen practices.



Sunday, October 6, 2019

Occult Theocrasy and Russell

General Observations of Miller's Claims Regarding Russell and the Bible Students.

(The terms "we", "our", etc., are used editorially of the owner of this site)

Edith Starr Miller (aka Lady Queenborough), in her volumes entitled Occult Theocrasy, either through ignorance or on purpose, distorted some of what Russell taught to make it appear that Russell was in league with some alleged Satanic plot of the Masons. Without any proof whatsoever Miller asserts Russell to have been a Mason.

As far as we have been able to determine, she is the first to ever have made such an assertion. We have found no evidence that anyone ever claimed that Russell was a member of the Freemasons while he was alive, nor that he was in support of some kind of Satanic occult practices.

We have not found anything that indicates that there were very many who gave serious attention to Miller's distortions and misrepresentations until several, such as Fritz Springmeier and David Icke, began their conspiracy theory campaigns, based on elaborate schemes of distortions and misrepresentations of Russell.

Miller's claim that was Russell was part of a conspiracy of Masons' alleged occult plan to rule the world. In fact, Miller totally misrepresented Russell and what Russell taught in order to make it appear that Russell was indeed some kind of Satanic occultist, a Mason, etc. Indeed, the whole idea that Russell was in some way in support of any imperfect or sinful men ruling the world is totally contrary the central message that Russell spent almost his entire life, energy and fortune in preaching and defending. Those truly familiar with Russell's works would know this, but most of the JWs and ex-JWs are actually familiar with Russell's works, and could thus be easily deceived by such tactics being used by these people who distort what he said or did in order to misrepresent him.

Much of what Miller wrote concerning the Bible Students appears to confuse the teachings of Joseph Rutherford with that of the Bible Students; actually, the central message preached by the Bible Students is almost the very opposite of that preached by Joseph Rutherford. By 1928, the vast majority of the Bible Students around the world had rejected Rutherford's gospel related his alleged "Jehovah's visible organization" dogma. Rutherford named his new group, "Jehovah's Witnesses" in 1931, in order to distinguish his "organization" from the Bible Students.

"Russellites"

In the second volume, page 539, of Miller's alleged "research", she starts a chapter entitled,"Russellites or International Bible Students. In reality, anyone who is a "Russellite" would be in contradiction to what Russell taught, and thus in a self-contradiction of beliefs. Russell preached against anyone being a Russellite, believing that one should only follow Christ.

Russell's Comments on Russellites and Russellism
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2009/09/russellites.html

Attracting the Lower Middle Class

"The International Bible Student Movement was founded by Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916) with the object chiefly of attracting the lower middle class intelligentsia of Christian communities such as certain clerical workers, teachers, servants and persons not accessible to direct forms of propaganda. In America the movement has had great influence among the negro element."

This is obviously Miller's own opinion; We do not, however, believe that Russell started the Watch Tower with any motive to attract any particular class, although he did admit that his works were designed for educated Christians and non-Christians who could read and write. While the Bible Students have had some influence among the black people in America, not a great many blacks in the Americas have taken an interest in this message. However, Russell's writings against many popular religious views being held among white Christians concerning black people -- such as the false idea that black people are beasts -- may have had an unknown amount of influence related to the treatment of black people. We will also say that the Bible Students movement has had a great influence on many blacks in Africa, but this is not due to any object designed of the movement itself.

For what Russell wrote concerning the black people, see:
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/12/racist.html

Forms of Propaganda

We are not sure what is meant by Miller's statement regarding "persons not accessible to direct forms of propaganda." Anyone have any suggestions?

Arbitrary Conclusions

Miller states:

"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."

We can hardly call the extensive scriptural study of Russell's conclusions as being "arbitrary". Our own belief is that the Biblical evidence to us is great, if not overwhelming, that the Gentile Times did end in 1914. Like Brother Russell, however, we are not dogmatic about this, and certainly do not reject a fellow believer in Christ for not accepting this conclusion.

For various views and conclusions among the Bible Students regarding chronology and time prophecies, one may see:
http://rlbibleresources.blogspot.com/2016/12/chronology.html

Proclaiming Conclusions as Final

Charles Taze Russell definitely never claimed that his conclusions were final; indeed, he over and over stated the possibility that he could be wrong, especially as related to Bible chronology and Bible time prophecies. He believed that the Bible was right, whether his conclusions regarding the Bible were correct or not. He never assumed authority over fellow believers so as to claim that all had to accept his conclusions. I would say that most Bible Students today follow this same line of reasoning, although there have been some among the Bible Students who have displayed similar sectarian reasoning as Rutherford did.

Documentation may be found among the various material on the links provided at:
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/12/authoritylinks.html

However, Miller may have been referring to Rutherford's conclusions, or she may have been confusing Rutherford with Russell. Rutherford was indeed dogmatic, demanding that all had to accept his conclusions, or possibly go into the second death. Rutherford, in effect, separated his group from the Bible Students movement and led his followers away from the Bible Students.

Jews Must Henceforth Reign Supreme

We do not know of any of the Bible Students that teach that "the Jews must henceforth reign supreme over the world." We did some digital searches through using the Bible Students Library software but could find nothing that says anything like this. We did find some statements concerning love reigning supreme and that presently evil reigns supreme, etc., but nothing related to the Jews reigning supreme. We searched for "over the world" and got zero results in all that is contained in the library, version 3.
https://herald-magazine.com/bible-student-library/

Brother Russell, before 1914 had arrived, did believe that Jesus would begin the earthly phase of the kingdom in Jerusalem in 1914 or shortly after. Obviously, Jesus still has not set up the earthly phase of kingdom. We ourselves do not see that this can happen until after Jesus throws Satan into the abyss so that the gentiles (nations) will no longer be under his deceptions.

Miller, however, appears to be leaving the impression that the Bible Students are saying that the Jews must rule the earth without Christ. Russell himself did not believe such. Only Christ will have supreme rule over the world. He believed that any human rulership of the age to come must be under the righteous control of Jesus, to whom the Father has given all authority to judge.


The book claims that Russell "elaborates an occult dogma alleged to be based on biblical precedents."

The word "occult" can take on different shades of meaning. Russell did not believe in any form of occult magic, astrology, spiritism, etc., nor did he believe in any system claiming use or knowledge of secret or supernatural powers or agencies that are not of God, and or the Bible. Russell was definitely actually non-dogmatic about his beliefs beyond the fundamental Biblical beliefs. The only "occult" or secret dogma that Russell advocated was that God sent Jesus, and that Jesus died for the world of mankind, and that God raised Jesus on the third day.

Russell did speak of the church spoken of in the Bible as being a "secret society." In doing this, he was not saying that the Bible Students are part of any of man's secret societies.
http://mostholyfaith.com/Beta/bible/CRS/1906.asp#CR9:1

The books appears to distort Russell's undogmatic views of Revelation as being in some way proof that he was connected to the Masons and/or the Occult.

Practically all of the Protestant reformers connected Papacy with Babylon the Great. If one uses this this claim that Russell was in some way connected with the Masons or the Occult, then, if one is consistent, the same would apply to nearly all of the Protestant reformers who have done the same. Russell, however, did not just point to the Papacy, but to all sectarianism, as being Babylon. He condemned such sectarianism as being unscriptural, but this does not mean that he was condemning the people of any those sectarian systems to some kind of eternal punishment (as did Rutherford). Russell did believe that such sectarianism will not be allowed in the age to come, and thus that the destruction of Babylon (sectarianism) would eventually free all from such sectarian bondage, and thus that Christianity would eventually prove to be victorious. The Dawn printed a booklet that may be helpful along this line, entitled, "God and Reason":
http://www.dawnbible.com/booklets/reason.htm

Miller claims that Russell "predicts that, under the visible rulership of the Ancient Worthies (The Jewish Sanhedrin), those Gentiles who still believe in Christ will acknowledge his reign as an invisible one while submitting as Christians to all the hardships these Jewish lords might choose to put upon them."

We have found no place where Brother Russell ever spoke of the ancient worthies as being the "Jewish Sanhedrin." Miller may have really believed this false assumption of Russell, although we have no idea where she would get such an idea, except that she would be writing under the influence of Satan, who is the father of lies. (John 8:44) This idea is evidently designed to create a false impression that Russell promoted the idea that the world was to ruled by evil Jewish men. Miller leaves out the Russell believed that the world is to be ruled by Jesus and those who are joint-heirs with Jesus in the heavenly phase of the Kingdom, and that this is all in accord with God the heavenly father's purpose to bless all families of the earth. Such a rulership would not in way be evil, but according to God's righteous standards. Russell believed that, due to the righteous rulership of Jesus and the joint-heirs, that the faithful ones of old, such as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, etc., will be raised and these will become princes (rulers) under the Heavenly rulership (Jesus and the joint-heirs). It was these that he referred to as the "ancient worthies." They will not rule apart from the righteous and just rulership of Jesus, all to the glory of the God and Father of Jesus, and the entire arranges of that kingdom is for the blessing of all families of the earth!!!!!!! And what a blessing that will be for all mankind, for Satan will no longer be around to promote his evil deceptions. -- Revelation 20:3.

Thus, Brother Russell gave a tremendously wonderful hope for mankind beyond the time of trouble in his message that all families of the earth will be blessed through Jesus and the glorified church. The book, "The Finished Mystery", was not written by Russell, and does not always reflect what Russell taught and believed, and cannot be trusted to truthfully reflect what he taught.

Miller's lack of proper research is shown in her statement: "The present head of this movement is John Rutherford." John Rutherford was not associated with the Jehovah's Witnesses organization; he definitely was not the head of that "movement" (actually organization), nor was the head of the Bible Students movement. John Rutherford (father of Adam Rutherford) may have been associated with the Bible Students, but definitely he was not the head of the Bible Students movement. We suspect that Miller was confusing John Rutherford with Joseph Rutherford, who created the Jehovah's Witnesses organization.

(More may be added later, God willing.


Monday, August 19, 2019

Cure for Appendicitis

It is being claimed that Russell taught that appendicitis is caused by biting worms in the colon. The obvious reason for this claim is to make it appear that Russell was some kind of quack who should not be taken seriously. Russell, himself, however never claimed to have any special knowledge of appendicitis or any other disease. 

As far as appendicitis pain, there was an article in the Watch Tower of January 1, 1912, page 26, entitled "Cure for Appendicitis". We don't know that Russell himself wrote it; it was probably given to him from one of his associates, possibly a doctor, and he simply had it printed in the magazine. It is probable that in 1912,  much of the work at the Watch Tower Society was handled by others, although Russell sought to approve everything that appeared in the Watch Tower, he himself stated, "We try to be careful about every word that goes into the Watch Tower, but we do not claim to be infallible; we are doing the best we can." -- What Pastor Russell Said, page 57.

 The article does not state that appendicitis itself is caused by "biting worms", but rather that the pain from appendicitis is caused by "biting worms". We cannot say exactly what is meant by "biting worms" in the article, but bacteria itself could be described as "worms", and we suppose the infections caused by bacteria could be described as from biting worms.

Nevertheless, there is research that speaks of parasitic pinworms that have been found in the appendix with appendicitis. Sanotin was indeed used even by some doctors in the days of Russell to bring relief to patients suffering from appendicitis pain, as it does expel such parasites, thus bringing relief to the patient suffering from pain caused by those worms.

Regardless, the short article was simply a suggestion; it was not presented as being dogma, infallible, without error, etc. Nor did the article represent an authoritarian organization such as Rutherford created after Russell died. If it had appeared in one of the home advice magazines of that day, more than likely no one today would be writing evil of those authors. But because it was printed by the magazine that Russell edited, it is being presented as though it was some kind of official doctrine that was being promulgated by someone. Russell, however, never assumed any such authority, not for himself, nor for the Watch Tower Society of his day.

We should also note that the information was passed gratis; Russell was not getting rich in having this information published.

The article may be found online at:
http://mostholyfaith.com/Beta/bible/Reprints/Z1912JAN.asp#Z26:13

A Dog's Head

The claim is being made that Russell said that if a dog's head was shaped like a man's, that he would think like a man. This is obviously stated in an effort to deride Russell and influence people to think Russell was some kind of nut.

According to one:
[Russell] taught in the Watch­towers of March 15, l913 and January 15th, l912, that one's desire to worship God was due to the shape of one’s brain. He also felt that if a dog's head was shaped like a man's, the dog would think as a man! Phrenology is not Christianity, yet he attempted to fuse the two beliefs.
One can find similar thoughts in Billy Crone's book, Jehovah's Witnesses & the False Teachings of the Watchtower Society, page 12. Russell, however, was never a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Russell was not teaching anything to the effect that Phrenology was essential doctrine or dogma that anyone had accept. However, we are not here discussing Phrenology. We will say that Phrenology is definitely not, of itself, "pagan," Some label it "pseudoscience," but giving it this label does not actually mean that the underlining theories are wrong. For more regarding Brother Russell and Phrenology see:

Russell and Phrenology

Russell never said exactly that if a dog's head "was shaped" like man's, that the dog could think like a man. This seems to convey something I am sure Russell never intended. Rather Russell actually stated:
The difference between Adam and the other creatures was not in the breath, or spirit of lives. Man had the same kind of spirit of life. The difference was that man had a finer organism. How do we know? Stand a man alongside of a dog. Look at their heads. The one slopes back; there is no place for the intellectual qualities at all, or at least a very small place for the thinking apparatus man has. He has more brain than the dog. If we could make a dog with the same head as a man, he would think the same as a man. But God did not endow the dog, or any other brute, with the same capacity as man. He was in God's likeness, because he gave him the superior mental powers. -- What Pastor Russell Said, page 667.
Then entire answer may be found at:
http://mostholyfaith.com/Beta/bible/QB/qb.asp?xRef=Q666:5#Q666:5

We see nothing wrong with what Brother Russell stated; if a dog was given the same head as man, which would include the same kind of brain that a man has, yes the dog could indeed think like man. But as Brother Russell was pointing out, that was not what God intended. 

The criticism of Russell appears to be twisting what Russell stated in order to place Brother Russell in a bad light. 

We should note also that what Russell stated above concerning a dog's head has nothing at all to do with Phrenology. 

Nevertheless, Brother Russell was not perfect, and never claimed to be perfect, and, unlike the leadership of the Jehovah Witnesses, he did not claim that one had to accept his thoughts in order to be a Christian or to be saved. It should not really be of concern as to whether Russell made some errors in some things. It is those who oppose Brother Russell who appear to demand that he had to be perfect, or else, according the way many appear to reason, he must have been some kind of evil man.



Saturday, July 20, 2019

Brother Russell's Histories

We are presenting below links to various places where Brother Russell gave some history regarding himself and the Bible Students. We do not necessarily agree with all conclusions presented.








Some historical information provided by others:

Another Rich Young Man

Margaret Russell Land Testimony

Russell Family Tree

The Bible Student Movement

If anyone has any other links to suggest, please present such in the comments below.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Did Russell use an Evil Spirit to Endorse His Studies?

A claim is being made that Brother Russell used a quote from "an evil, spirit power" to endorse his series "Millennial Dawn" in the May 1, 1912 Watchtower. It is reported that the demon said, "Yes; the DAWNS are correct, not only in doctrine, but in chronology as well."

Actually, the material presented was not written by Russell, but it is a letter written by Harry W. Davidge to Russell. The point was not to endorse Russell's works with a quote from a spirit, but rather to show the deceptive methods that these spirits are using, hence is under the title: "ALMOST LED ASTRAY BY SATAN'S DEVICES".

Some quote the letter as proof that the demons "endorsed Russell's theology." This is usually in the context of endeavoring to prove that Russell was an occultist, or that Russell's theology was of the demons. In reality, while the demon appeared to endorse Russell's theology, the demon actually only pretended to do so in order to deceive. Brother Davidge brought this out, when he wrote in that same letter: "It further confessed to me that the spirits who operate the board have no other mission than to hinder all of the Lord's people. It further stated that they took "special delight in buffeting, hindering and endeavoring to ensnare Brother Russell and his colaborers at the Bethel Home." The demon therefore expressed the idea that the DAWNS (Studies in the Scriptures) are correct only in an effort to gain confidence with the purpose of endeavoring to get Brother Davidge to forsake the truths he was learning.

Indeed, since Russell's theology condemned the use of or communicating with such spirits, the whole idea is self-contradictory.

The apostle Paul had a similar situation, as we read:

Acts 16:16-18 - It happened, as we were going to prayer, that a certain girl having a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by fortune telling. [17] The same, following after Paul and us, cried out, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation!" [18] This she did for many days. But Paul, becoming distressed, turned and said to the spirit, "I charge you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!" It came out that very hour. -- World English.

The words spoken by the demon were definitely words of truth. One could conclude that the demon was endorsing the work of Paul and Silas, but was this demon really doing so? Evidently not, otherwise, Paul would not have commanded the demon to leave the girl. Likewise, the demon that communicated with Brother Davidge was not actually endorsing the Studies in the Scriptures, nor the chronology presented therein.

Brother Russell wrote of this:
St. Paul and Silas had an experience with an obsessed young woman who practiced soothsaying, fortune-telling, by the power of the evil spirit which obsessed her. As the evil spirits recognized Jesus and cried, "We know Thee, who Thou art, Jesus," so this spirit knew the Apostles and, through the young woman's lips, cried after them, "These be the servants of the Most High God, which show to us the way to obtain eternal life" (Acts 16:16-18).
Neither Jesus nor the Apostles were willing to accept demon testimony and commanded the evil spirits to come out of their victims.  -- "Thousands of Demons Infest Earth's Atmosphere." The National Labor Tribune, February 12, 1911, as reprinted in Harvest Gleanings, Volume III, page 467.



Friday, May 24, 2019

Two Pillars

It is often claimed that Russell made use of Masonic symbolism of "two columns" or "two pillars." It is evidently true that some Masons have made use of such symbolism.

We know that the Bible mentions "two pillars" several times. We have not found any evidence that Brother Russell himself ever used any special artwork related to "two pillars". In Biblical times, many edifices had a porch supported by two pillars, and the Bible mentions such related to the House of Jehovah that Solomon built, and possibly also of the palace that was the seat of Jehovah's throne upon which Solomon sat. -- 1 Kings 7:15,20,41; 2 Kings 25:16; 2 Chronicles 3:15; 4:12; Jeremiahs 52:20.

We know some have presented photos of some advertisements related to the showing of "The Photo Drama of Creation" that contains two pillars or columns, although the artwork is not the same as that used in the symbolism of the Masons. These advertisements appear to have been designed after Russell died, but we don't see anything in the use of imagery of two Biblical pillars that would mean that one should imagine that any such Biblical usage is of the Masons. Often, however, although there is nothing actually in the advertisement that identifies anything as being Masonic, some have asserted it to be a fact that the two columns are Masonic. Actually, the idea that the two columns that are used in the Photo-Drama advertisement constitute a Masonic symbol has to be supplied out of the imagination of whoever wishes to see them as "Masonic symbols".

Some claim that one pillar in the above-mentioned advertisement represents Jachin, while the other represents Boaz. The scriptures do not actually say anything about any symbolic representation related to these two pillars. If the two pillars in the Photo-Drama advertisement actually were meant to represent Boaz and Jachin of 1 Kings 7:21 and 2 Chronicles 3:17, then this is indeed a Biblical, not a "Masonic" symbolization, not unless one should also believe that the Bible is a "Masonic" book.

John Gill tells us that the name Jachin (1 Kings 7:21) "signifies 'he will establish', i.e. the house to which here was an entrance, so long as the pure worship of God should continue in it." He tells us that Boaz "signifies 'in him', or 'it is strength', namely, in the Lord that dwelt there." Matthew Henry, of course, believed in the trinity, and the alleged "two natures" of Jesus as being that God Almighty and also a man at the same time; thus, he makes such application of these pillars to such. Obviously, the pillars to have symbolic significance for the church, but the Bible itself does not tell us what this is, thus, any conclusions anyone gives should not be considered scriptural doctrine, especially not dogma.

John Gill, however, suggests that Christ's "royal dignity, signified by the crowns of chapiters on them, decorated as they were whose legs are as pillars of marble, in whom are righteousness and strength, which is no small encouragement to those who are entering into the church of God the temple was a type of; who should they fear, being feeble and weak, that they should totter and fall, here stands Jachin, to let them know the Lord will establish and settle them; or that they should never hold out to the end; here is Boaz to direct them to Christ, in whom their strength lies, see (Song of Solomon 4:15) (Isaiah 45:24). Allusion is had to these. (Revelation 3:12).

Matthew Henry tells us of 1 Kings 7:21:
Two brazen pillars, which were set up in the porch of the temple (v. 21), whether under the cover of the porch or in the open air is not certain; it was between the temple and the court of the priests. These pillars were neither to hang gates upon nor to rest any building upon, but purely for ornament and significancy. (1.) What an ornament they were we may gather from the account here given of the curious work that was about them, chequer-work, chain-work, net-work, lily-work, and pomegranates in rows, and all of bright brass, and framed no doubt according to the best rules of proportion, to please the eye. (2.) Their significancy is intimated in the names given them (v. 21): Jachin —he will establish; and Boaz —in him is strength. Some think they were intended for memorials of the pillar of cloud and fire which led Israel through the wilderness: I rather think them designed for memorandums to the priests and others that came to worship at God’s door, [1.] To depend upon God only, and not upon any sufficiency of their own, for strength and establishment in all their religious exercises. When we come to wait upon God, and find our hearts wandering and unfixed, then by faith let us fetch in help from heaven: Jachin —God will fix this roving mind. It is a good thing that the heart be established with grace. We find ourselves weak and unable for holy duties, but this is our encouragement: Boaz —in him is our strength, who works in us both to will and to do. I will go in the strength of the Lord God. Spiritual strength and stability are to be had at the door of God’s temple, where we must wait for the gifts of grace in the use of the means of grace. [2.] It was a memorandum to them of the strength and establishment of the temple of God among them. Let them keep close to God and duty, and they should never lose their dignities and privileges, but the grant should be confirmed and perpetuated to them. The gospel church is what God will establish, what he will strengthen, and what the gates of hell can never prevail against. But, with respect to this temple, when it was destroyed particular notice was taken of the destroying of these pillars (2 Ki. 25:13, 2 Ki. 25:17 ), which had been the tokens of its establishment, and would have been so if they had not forsaken God.
Brother Russell would probably not agree with all details of these Christian authors, but if he held any significance to these columns at all, he would more than likely be more inclined to agree with with some of the significance as spoken of these authors, rather than going beyond any scriptural significance, or to Masonic symbolism.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

A Truth Presented by Satan - Did Russell Condone Using the Occult?

Many take a quote from Russell's short article, "What is Truth?" and use it to claim that Russell accepted Satan's lies as being truth, and/or that he was supporting the occult, spiritism, etc. Did Russell say that he would accept Satan's lies? Did he say anything that means that he condoned the occult? If one reads actually reads what he said, it becomes apparent that he was not saying such.

One who misrepresents Russell regarding this is John Ankerberg. We are addressing some of the things stated in the article, "The Pagan Roots of Jehovah's Witnesses."

The article presents Russell as the founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses. This is false, and we have discussed this elsewhere. Russell was never a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses. See Russell and JWs

The article quotes an inaccurate statement from The Watchtower of July 15, l950, page 212. The author of what is stated there evidently did not do much research, and misrepresented Russell as "hungrily ... investigating the heathen religions in search of the truth on God’s purpose and man’s destiny." Russell did report of how he, believing that the Bible taught that most of the people who have ever lived are now in eternal flames of torment, did turn to various eastern religions to see if they offered anything better. Russell never said that he "hungrily" did this; his report simply shows that he found nothing satisfactory in that search.

Based on an inaccurate statement presented as being from a 1950 Watchtower, the article states concerning Russell:
He knew so little of the Christian faith and what the Bible taught that an “infidel” drove him into skepticism. Not only that, he filled his mind with pagan, occult beliefs before returning as an obviously last choice to the Bible.
The wording again misrepresents Russell, and what actually happened. Russell actually rejected the pagan/occults beliefs as being unreasonable, so he did not fill his mind with pagan, occult beliefs. Before he discussed matters with the infidel, he actually thought that what man's creeds and dogma taught was what the Bible taught. He, like many others, was well acquainted with the Bible, but had been, in effect, trained to view the Bible through the lens of man's dogma. When he, in he was about 16 years old, encountered an infidel who actually upset Russell's belief in what he at that time thought was the actual teaching of the Bible.

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

And he said:

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

Rather than filling his mind with pagan, occult beliefs, he sound nothing satisfactory in those beliefs.

The following is stated concerning Charles Taze Russell

Truth: “A truth presented by Satan himself is just as true as a truth stated by God. . . . Accept truth wherever you find it, no matter what it contradicts” (WT 7/1879, pp. 8-9).

This quotation is from Russell, and there is nothing at all wrong with what Russell stated. It does not mean that Russell used Satan as a basis for truth, or that he sought truth from Satan. We find this quote being spread by many on various sites, in forums, in videos, etc., evidently with the object of making it appear that Brother Russell was supporting forms of Satanism, occultism, spiritism, etc. However, the quote is taken out of context with the evidently design to mislead people regarding what Russell actually saying. Some appear to quote this with the idea that Russell was willing to accept the lies of Satan, although what he stated actually says the opposite. Let us look at the quote in context:
This question is one which every sincere Christian should ask and seek to answer. We should learn to love and value truth for its own sake; to respect and honor it by owning and acknowledging it wherever we find it and by whomsoever presented. A truth presented by Satan himself is just as true as a truth stated by God.
Perhaps no class of people are more apt to overlook this fact than the Christian. How often do they in controversy overlook and ignore truth presented by their opponents. This is particularly the case when arguing with an infidel. They feel at perfect liberty to dispute everything he says on religious subjects. This is not the correct principle. Many infidels are honest–as anxious to speak and believe the truth as are Christians–and if in converse with them we ignore truths which they may advance, we not only fail to convince them of our truths, but put an end to all hope of reaching them; for our failure to admit the evident truth which they advance begets in them contempt for the one who is not honest enough to admit one truth because he does not see how it can be reconciled to another. Accept truth wherever you find it, no matter what it contradicts, and rely for ability to afterwards harmonize it with others upon “The Spirit of truth, which shall guide you into all truth,” as Jesus promised.|

 Thus, if one approaches this with an honest heart, one will realize what Russell was saying. We should remember that the word Satan means "adversary", especially as being in opposition to Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the Messiah sent by Jehovah, but Satan is also the adversary of the child of God. (1 Peter 5:8) Russell was likening the infidels who are being used by Satan to oppose the truths of the Bible as though they were Satan; Jesus did something similar when he called the apostle Peter “Satan”. (Matthew 16:23; Mark 8:33) Peter, of course, was not literally Satan, but he was imitating Satan by speaking an untruth, and attempting to persuade Jesus to take a course contrary that which Jesus knew God wanted him to take. Likewise, the infidels who reject the creative account of the Bible may present a lot of truths in what they say, although they may misrepresent those truths to promote what is not true.

Likewise, if Satan, or his demons speak a truth, it is still true regardless of their purposes for stating the truth. Otherwise, the stated truth would a lie simply because of who stated it, which is self-contradictory. If something is actually "true", it cannot at the same time actually be a "lie".

Nevertheless, the implication of putting the quote from Russell on the site appears to be to imply that  absolutely everything Satan says is a lie, and that thus, Satan cannot speak one sentence without everything in that sentence being a lie. In the context of what Russell was saying, it would mean that every word and every sentence spoken by any infidel, even if it is true, has to be a lie because of who said it. Such an idea, if extended to the demons over whom Satan is prince, then the demons lied when they called Jesus: “the son of God,” and “Son of the Most High.” (Matthew 8:29; Mark 3:11; Luke 1:32; 4:41; 8:48) Thus, if they cannot tell the truth at all, then we should believe that it is a lie to say that Jesus is the “Son of God,” or that Jesus is the “Son of the Most High.”

In Job 1:7, we read:

Job 1:7 - And Jehovah said to Satan, From where have you come? And Satan answered Jehovah and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
 -- Green's Literal Translation. 

Did Satan lie to Jehovah by saying that he had been going back and forth in the earth, etc.? We have no reason to think that he did so.

But someone may ask: Didn’t Jesus say concerning Satan that “there is no truth in him?” — John 8:44, Word English.

We believe the better rendering would be, in reference to “the truth” that Jesus had just spoken of: “the truth is not in him.” (John 8:44) We don’t believe that it was Jesus' intent to say that Satan can never tell a truth, anymore than he meant that those Jewish leaders to whom he spoke could never tell a truth. However, many times when Satan tells us a truth, it is framed in a setting of a lie, as in Genesis 3:5. By such methods he misrepresents the truth that he states with a lie.

Nevertheless, the quote from Russell, taken out of context, has been spread to many sites, publications, videos, and often quoted in a context to make it appear that Russell accepted occultism, Satanism, astrology, demonism, spiritism, and many other things. The obvious motive is to misrepresent Russell by leaving the impression that Russell believed that what Satan says is “the truth,” which is again far from Russell’s intent in his statement. Russell’s works attest of his view concerning Satan, that he was a liar, and the father of the lie, as Jesus said. 

For links regarding:

Russell and the Occult - The studies linked include many of Russell's own writings concerning Satan and the occult.

Russell, Blacks and Discrimination

This is in response to an article entitled, “Jehovah’s Witnesses, Blacks and Discrimination“, written by Jerry Bergman, Ph. D. We are not with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, so our response is not to defend the JWs or their organization, but rather we are responding regarding statements made concerning Charles Taze Russell. Russell, himself, was never a member of the JW organization, but many view things he wrote and stated as though he were laying down dogma as does the JW leadership.

Bergmen presents several quotes from the Golden Age. The Golden Age magazine was not printed in Russell’s day, but we mention this because of the way that quotes that magazine; many may associate what is stated there with Russell, although Russell had no control over what was printed in that magazine.. A sentence is quoted from the October 15, 1919 Golden Age and is offered as proof of discrimination. In the context, however, the author of the article was simply pointing out some of the arguments being presented for the case of national prohibition. After that, the article presents some of the arguments of related the negative consequences of national prohibition. The one sentence, however, is quoted out of context and placed in the context of “racial discrimination”, although I highly doubt the author had any intent of racial discrimination.

Bermgen states:
Another article refers to Orientals as “coolies” who were “cutthroats and murderers” (Golden Age, March 10, 1926, p. 374).
What was stated in context:
The story is told of Dr. Clark that while a missionary in India he listened to a song from a band of coolies who had been cutthroats and murderers, but had become converted. The chief one had once been captured and sold as a slave. No master could keep him, he was so wicked. A missionary bought him with the hope of saving him. Here the coolie heard that the blood saves!
“Could it cleanse a murderer?”
“Yes.”
“One who killed five ment?”
“Yes; all sin!”
“One who killed ten, twenty, thirty?”
“Yes, all manner of sin.”
“I am that man.”
His life was transformed. Verily, can man do this, and can God not? (Jeremiah 18:4-6)
The story is evidently being retold from some other source, although the source is not stated, and we have not been able to find the source. At any rate, as respects the word “coolies”, the article simply reflects the common usage of that time. The word simply referred, not to all Orientals, but rather to unskilled Orientals. The term, like the term “darkie” as used by Stephen Foster, could be used in endearing manner, or it could be used as expressing a source of cheap labor. The former usage is, not, of itself, racism, any more than if one had said “Chinese”, “Japanese”, or “Khmer”. Nevertheless, it could also be used as derogatory term, but it should be obvious that this was not the intent in the article.

Bergmen further makes it appear that the author was claiming that all Orientals were “cutthroats and murderers”, which is definitely a deceitful method of quoting out of context, since it is apparent from the context that the author was referring to just this one “band”, not all Orientals. We do not know if Bergmen, himself, is the source of the material he is presenting, or if he is just repeating what he has read from someone else. Nevertheless, who ever came up with the quotes out of context had to know that they were misrepresenting what was actually stated.

Biological Inferiority of the Black Race

Bergman claims that the Watchtower “for decades officially taught the doctrine of biological inferiority of the black race.” We have found no evidence anywhere Brother Russell’s writings that he ever thought such a thing, It is further claimed: "Formal segregation of blacks was once rigidly enforced in their organization, both during the rule of their first president, C.T. Russell (1852- 1916) and their second, Joseph F. Rutherford (1869-1942) and even until the late 1950's." Russell never claimed authority to rigidly or otherwise enforce such an idea. Russell preached against authoritarianism. The norms in the US at that time, however, was totally different than it is today. In many places in the United States at that time it was against the law for whites and "colored" to congregate together.

Getting to quotes from Brother Russell, Bergmen presents some selective quoting from The Watch Tower, April 1,1914, page 110:
Recognizing that it meant either the success or the failure of the…[Photo] Drama as respects the whites, we have been compelled to assign the colored friends to the gallery… Some were offended at this arrangement. We have received numerous letters from the colored friends, some claiming that it is not right to make a difference, others indignantly and bitterly denouncing [us] as enemies of the colored people. Some … told us that they believe it would be duty to stand up for equal rights and always to help the oppressed…. We again suggested that if a suitable place could be found in which the Drama could be presented for the benefit of the colored people alone, we would be glad to make such arrangements, or to cooperate with any others in doing so.
Bergmen then states:
The administration then concluded that the Watchtower interests were to be put ahead of efforts to achieve racial justice and human rights, a policy that continues today.
Brother Russell, like Jesus and the apostles in the Bible, did not believe that the Christian's mission is to reform Satan's world. The point was not to put "Watchtower interests" first, but the presentation of God's wonderful message from the Bible, the good news of great joy that shall be for all people presented in the Photo Drama. This message is centered in Christ, who died to reconcile the world to God. -- Romans 5:6,8,12-19; 2 Corinthians 5:18,19; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; 1 John 2:2; 4:10,14.

Bergmen then presents some more selective quotes:
Our explanations were … it is a question of putting either the interests of God’s cause first, or else the interests of the race first. We believed it our duty to put God first and the truth first–at any cost to others or to ourself! We explained that we thought that all the colored brethren should know… that we love to serve them in any way possible and to give them the very best we have to give of the Gospel message; and that it is only a question of whether our giving to them in one way would entirely deprive us of giving the truth to others (Watchtower, April 1, 1914:110).
Bergmen’s method of quoting and his comments make it appear that as a result of the incident at the Photo-Drama showing, that Brother Russell decided a new policy for the WTS. In reality, Russell was, in effect, reiterating the policy, based on the New Testament, from the beginning of not getting involved in the world’s politics and social issues. However, the kind of selective quoting presented by Bergmen is very misleading, for it leaves out various parts and often combines one thought as being associated with something that was not originally intended.

We will present the entire article below.

THE COLOR LINE FOUND NECESSARY
   WE might have anticipated that many colored people would be deeply interested in THE PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION. But it did not impress itself upon us until gradually their number increased to about twenty-five per cent. of the whole audience. Of course, we were glad to see them, glad that they were interested in the DRAMA. We had the same feeling respecting them as others; but it was quickly discerned that it was not a case of feeling, but that, whereas the colored people of New York City are about five per cent. of the population, in our audiences they are about twenty-five per cent. and the number increasing. What shall we do? As the attendance of the colored people would increase, proportionately the number of the whites would decrease; for explain it how we will, a majority of whites prefer not to intermingle closely with other races.
  Recognizing that it meant either the success or the failure of the enterprise of the DRAMA as respects the whites, we have been compelled to assign the colored friends to the gallery, which, however, is just as good for seeing and hearing as any other part of The Temple. Some were offended at this arrangement.
    We have received numerous letters from the colored friends, some claiming that it is not right to make a difference, others indignantly and bitterly denouncing us as enemies of the colored people. Some, confident that Brother Russell had never sanctioned such a discrimination, told that they believe it would be duty to stand up for equal rights and always to help the oppressed, etc. We were obliged to explain the facts, assuring all of our loving interest in the colored people, and of our desire to do them good, and not injury. We again suggested that if a suitable place could be found in which the DRAMA could be presented for the benefit of the colored people alone, we would be glad to make such arrangements, or to co-operate with any others in doing so.
   Our explanations were apparently entirely satisfactory to all of the fully consecrated. To these we explained that it is a question of putting either the interests of God’s Cause first, or else the interests of the race first. We believed it our duty to put God first and the Truth first– at any cost to others or to ourself! We explained that we thought that all the colored brethren should know our attitude toward them–they should know that we love to serve them in any way possible and to give them the very best we have to give of the Gospel Message; and that it is only a question of whether our giving to them in one way would deprive us of giving the Truth to others.
    Some who were still tenacious and quarrelsome we merely reminded of our Lord’s declaration that in inviting visitors into the house it is the place of the host to say where they shall sit, and then we showed them the parable of the man who chose the chief seat of honor and was given a lower one.
   In answer to the query as to how our course of conduct squared with the Golden Rule, we replied that it squares exactly. We would wish others to put God first. If our personal interests are or ever have been in conflict with the real and apparently best interests of the Lord’s Cause, it is a part of our consecration vow to ignore our interests in favor of the interests of the Lord’s Cause. This is what we mean by the declaration that we are dead to self and alive to our God as New Creatures.
   We reminded one dear sister that the Lord enjoins humility, and assures us that unless we humble ourselves we shall not be exalted. If nature favors the colored brethren and sisters in the exercise of humility it is that much to their advantage, if they are rightly exercised by it. A little while, and our humility will work out for our good. A little while, and those who shall have been faithful to their Covenant of Sacrifice will be granted new bodies, spiritual, beyond the veil, where color and sex distinctions will be no more. A little while, and the Millennial Kingdom will be inaugurated, which will bring Restitution to all mankind–restitution to the perfection of mind and body, feature and color, to the grand original standard, which God declared “very good,” and which was lost for a time through sin, but which is soon to be restored by the powerful Kingdom of Messiah.



(We may add more to this later, if time permits, God willing.) 


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The World Magazine and the Alleged 28 Year Old Prophecy


There is is a reference that is often cited by Jehovah's Witnesses that appeared in the the August 30, 1914 issue of "The World Magazine." The article headline is "End of All Kingdoms in 1914". It mentions an alleged 25 year "prophecy" of "Millennial Dawners" as being fulfilled with the outbreak of war. A quote from the article is: "The terrific war outbreak in Europe has fulfilled an extraordinary prophecy."

Some have claimed that Brother Russell himself was the author of that article, or that it was written by one of his associates, although they use the word "followers." 


To anyone truly familiar with Russell's works, it is very apparent that Brother Russell did not write the article. We are not sure that Russell was ever aware of that article; he never mentioned that article at all. We are sure that he definitely would not approve of many things stated in that article.

We did a digital search through the Bible Students Library collection (which includes all of Russell's known works -- including his sermons -- and much more, including a tremendous amount of works written by other Bible Students as well as authors not associated with the Bible Students) for the phrase "The terrific war outbreak". That phrase does not exist anywhere at all in Russell's works or sermons. We broadened the search to “terrific war” and still could find this phrase in any of Russell’s works. In the whole collection the first phrase only appears in two documents, both written in the last 20 or 30 years. It appears that in general, Bible Student authors for decades after 1914 either did not know of that article, or they chose to ignore that article. (The JW authors, however, have many times reprinted excerpts from that article). Regardless, as far as we can tell, neither Russell nor the Bible Students that rejected Rutherford's "Jehovah's visible organization" ever  mentioned the article referred to from "The World" magazine, except in two later publications, both of which were written sometime after 1990.

One of these publications is online at:

The other publication is Soldiers of the Cross, which contains a history of the Bible Students. This used to be online, but at present we are not able to find it online.

The first presents a quote in passing, but it does not give any correction to the use of the word “prophecy”. The second presents a large quote, but also does not give any corrections. We don’t think the authors meant to leave the impression that Russell was a prophet, but we will say that there were Bible Student authors even while Russell was alive who referred to Russell as a prophet, despite the fact that Russell never claimed to be a prophet, and he consistently denied being a prophet. Thus, there may be some Bible Students even today who claim that Russell was a prophet. Of course, Brother Russell (unlike Rutherford and JW leadership) assumed no special authority or control over fellow-believers in his day, and he definitely had no control of how others not associated with the Bible Students referred to him or his expectations. 

As to the "end of all kingdoms in 1914," Russell, in his earlier expectations, was indeed expecting that by 1914 all the Gentile kingdoms would no longer exist, and that peace would come to the world in 1914 or shortly thereafter. This expectation, however, was not a prophecy, but he first wrote of this, not 25 years before 1914, but about 38 years before 1914. Before 1904, Russell had adopted Barbour's view that Armageddon (the time of trouble) had begun in 1874 and it would end in 1914.

The problem is that ten years BEFORE 1914, Russell rejected the idea that the time of trouble had begun in 1914. From 1904 on up to 1914, Russell was no longer expecting the end of Gentile Kingdoms in 1914, but rather he was expecting the Gentile kingdoms would enter into the "time of trouble." in 1904, Russell came to realize that the time of trouble does not end, but that it BEGINS at the end of the times of the Gentiles. See: Beginning of the Time of Trouble – Quotes From Russell

We will say even after 1904, Russell did appear to hold it a possibility that the kingdoms could be gone by 1914 or 1915. More correctly, however, one could say that he was expecting that the time for the end of all kingdoms was to begin in 1914, and that at some unknown time after 1914, all of man’s kingdoms would no longer exist, and then peace would come to all nations under God’s kingdom. Nevertheless, while Brother Russell stated he did not know how long the time of trouble was to last after 1914, he did not expect the time of trouble to last for more than a year. Brother Russell stated:

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.
"Times of the Gentiles", The National Labor Tribune, July 11, 1909.

The actual subtitle of the article that appeared in The World Magazine reads: 
"Millennial Dawners’ 25 Year Prophecy"

Neither Russell nor the Bible Students would generally refer to the Bible Students as “Millennial Dawners”. This is a label that was and still is often used by those who oppose Russell and the work of the Bible Students. 

The alleged “25 Year Prophecy” is evidently pointing to the year 1889 when the book “The Time is At Hand” was first released. The fact is, however, that Russell and many other Bible Students had already been pointing to 1914 as the end of the times of the Gentiles before that book was published. Russell himself had first pointed to the year 1914 as being the end of the times of the Gentiles in 1876. Russell, however, in his own writings said it was not a prophecy. 

Nevertheless, as best as we can determine, the first to point to 1914 as a possible end of the Gentile Times was was Edward B. Elliott, in his 1844 edition of *Horae Apocalypticae*, Volume 3, page 1429.

Regardless, Russell did not present his conclusions in the book “The Time is At Hand” as being prophecies, as we have already shown elsewhere.

Russell, of course, had no control over what was published in "The World". As best as we can determine, he may have died in 1916 without even having seen that article. If he did know about, it never mentioned it, possibly because it does not properly represent what he believed.

We have not been able to obtain a copy of the full article from “The World”. All have we have are excerpts from or partial scans of the article. Without the whole article, we cannot be sure what all it says.

Nevertheless, the article refers to Brother Russell with the title “Rev.” This Brother Russell would definitely never do. Brother Russell wrote:
In view of these considerations we see how just and wise is the divine rule for abasing the proud and exalting the humble, and how sound our Lord's counsel to his disciples, to cultivate the spirit of humility and to avoid even the appearance of pride. Observing the growth and manifestation of this spirit among the Pharisees, who did all their works to be seen of men, who loved the uppermost rooms at feasts and the chief seats in the synagogues, and to be called of men Rabbi, Rabbi, he said, "But be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren" -- or, in the language of to-day, Be not ye called Reverend Doctors of Divinity, and let there be no distinctions of clergy and laity; for one is your truly reverend Lord and instructor, even Christ, and all ye are brethren. -- Watch Tower, January 1, 1893, page 6.
In speaking of Charles Spurgeon, Brother Russell stated:
His humility as a minister of Christ has shown itself by his refusal to apply to himself the title of Reverend, and his failure to seek and obtain the further title of Doctor of Divinity, both of which are so "highly esteemed among men," but ill-fitted and disapproved in the sight of our truly Reverend Lord, who declares to all saints – "All ye are brethren," and "One is your Master." -- Watch Tower, April 1880, page 5.
See also the following:

The World Magazine article speaks of “Russell’s ‘International Bible Students.’” Again, this is definitely something Brother Russell would not have stated. He would never speak of the Bible Student as belonging to himself.

The article speaks of the publications of the Bible Students as “propaganda.” Russell would never use that word, not of his own writings, nor of the writings or works of other Bible Students.

The article connects the expectations of the Bible Students with "the end of the world" in 1914. Russell was not expecting the end of the world in 1914, and plainly stated such. The idea is evidently related to the statement,
"Look out for 1914!" has been the cry of the hundreds of traveling evangelists who, representing this strange creed, have gone up and down the country.
We did a digital search for "Look out for" in the Bible Students Library, and not one result was found. There may have been some individual Bible Students who were saying "Look out for 1914!", but Brother Russell's message was not of such nature that would created the a "cry" such as "Look out for 1914!" Unlike the JWs, he was not expecting all unregenerated unbelievers to be eternally destroyed, but he was expecting the time of trouble to begin in 1914, to be followed sometime after 1914 by the Kingdom blessing of all nations.