Friday, October 30, 2020

Response to "JW Freemasonry Proven" Video

I am responding to a video on Youtube given the title, "JW Freemasonry proven in less than 2 minutes." Some gave a link to this video as proof that Russell was a member of the Freemasons. I am not with the JWs, but much in the video is related to Charles Taze Russell, who was never a member of the JWs. Believing Brother Russell to be a fellow servant of the Lord Jesus, I present this review of a video on youtube, which video may be found at:
https://youtu.be/ZrGvAbyToyc

After watching the video, I found nothing at all presented in the video that offers any actual "proof" that Russell was ever a member of the Freemasons' organization, or that he was in support of such an organization. Anyone truly familiar with Russell's work would know that he spent nearly his entire life presenting a message contrary to such an organization. What this video does is create a false mental link between various Biblical illustrations and similar illustrations used by the Masons of the Knights Templar. This is designed to leave the false mental assumption that this is proof that Russell was a member of the Freemasons.

The Biblical cross and crown symbol that is on the Watch Tower is simply that, a Biblical illustration of taking up one's cross in order to obtain the crown. Similar cross and crown symbolism has been used for centuries by the various churches, long before Russell or the Knights Templar used it.

I could not find any place that Russell ever used any "HOC SIGNO VINCES" emblem as presented in the video, nor was the cross and crown symbolism Russell used the same as in the insignia, nor is it the same as that presented in the picture taken from the Masonic temple in Philadelphia.

For links to some of my related research:
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/p/cross-and-crown.html

The Biblical "armor of God" illustration that appeared on Russell's Watch Tower is simply that: a Biblcal illustration. There is no reason at all to think that this Biblical symbolism is from the Masons.
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/2014/12/symbols-masons.html

The video shows a picture of the pyramid monument that Rutherford authorized, several years after Russell died, to be built in the Rosemont Cemetery. It shows this monument with the the Masonic Center in the background. Evidently this is done with the desire to deceitfully leave a mental impression that is some way this monument is to be associated with that Center which is across the street from the Rosemont Cemetery. Of course, the reality is that Rutherford's replica of the God's Witness in Egypt has nothing at all do with the Masons, or with the Masonic Center, which center did not even exist when the replica of God's Witness was constructed in the Rosemont Cemetery. The Masons purchased the land adjacent to the cemetery in the 1990s and the construction of the Masonic Center was completed in the mid-1990s. This was several decades after Russell had died, and after Rutherford had the pyramid monument constructed in the cemetery. Despite what one may wish like to imagine and assume, there is no link at all between Rutherford's pyramid monument and that of the Masons.

For links to some of my related research:
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/p/great-pyramid.html

The video then presents a copy of the "The Finished Mystery" book, which, by the way, was not written by Russell, with the "sun of righteousness" symbol on it. It then leaves the impression that this symbol is the same as that of Egyptian sun-god symbols, and evidently this is supposed to be proof that Russell was a member of the Freemason. There are similarities, and although the Egyptian usage actually perverted the symbolism for idolatrous practices (Isaiah 19:14), in the Bible it is Jehovah Himself who uses such symbolism of the promised Messiah. (Malachi 4:2) Fritz Springmeier seemed to think that Malachi wrote what he did under the influence of heathenism. If so, that would mean that Jehovah never said what Malachi recorded and thus that Malachi was a false prophet (Deuteronomy 18:20,22), and since the New Testament supports Malachi as a prophet, it would mean that the entire New Testament is false.

For links to some more of my related research:
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/p/sun.html

The video presents a overhead picture of one of the convention centers constructed by the Jehovah's Witnesses, which, when viewed from a high angle, resembles the pyramid with its eye as found on the US dollar. It is imagined and assumed that such is of the Masons (although it is not), and that the JWs purposely constructed this center to copy what is evidently being promoted a Masonic symbol. I am not with the JWs, and I don't defend their organization, but to me, it simply appears that they constructed the center in the shape of the lot which they had purchased, and that the stage by coincidence appears to be similar to an eye when viewed from high above. At any rate, it still has to be imagined and assumed that this constructed because the JWs are Masons, or run by the Masons, etc.

We are then shown a cover of Fritz Springmeier's highly deceptive book, "The Watchtower and the Masons." Springmeier is very skillful at twisting everything to make it appear to agree with his conspiracy theories. The reality is that if Russell was a member of the Knights Templar, then he had to accept and openly confirm traditional trinity doctrine of man's creeds. Since the very basis of the atonement in the Bible that Russell spent nearly is entire life preaching and defending, is not in agreement with those creeds, if Russell was a member of the Knights Templar, this would mean, in effect, that Russell spent nearly his entire life sabotaging what he is alleged to have been supporting by such sabotage. 

For links to some of my related research:
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/p/fritz-springmeier.html

We are then shown a picture of Tony Morris wearing a ring. I am not with the JWs, so I had to look up who Tony Morris is. Evidently, he is a member of the JW "Governing Body." Although I certainly cannot make out what is on the ring, it is evidently being promoted as being a Masonic ring. There are pictures presented on the left side of the screen that leave the impression that this is the kind of ring being worn by Tony Morris. I can say that I have found no evidence that Russell ever used such a God symbolism as appears on the rings to left, which symbol is used by the Masons. I am not with the JWs, but I do believe it is possible that there may be Masons among them, although I highly doubt there may be many. It could be that Morris may be a member of the Masons, but I highly doubt it.

Evidently the viewer is being led to believe that the Great Pyramid and its passages are of the Masons. This, of course, is totally silly. The Great Pyramid in Egypt exised long before man's Freemasonry organization was created, despite the claims of some otherwise. I believe the evidence is overwhelming that this pyramid is indeed God's Witness in Egypt as spoken of in the Bible.

I have links to various Biblical studies of God's Witness in Egypt at:
http://gpwit.blogspot.com/p/on-this-site.html

The video evidently tries to make the Biblical Hebrew tetragrammaton of God's Holy Name is some vague manner to be associated with the Freemasons. While some Freemasons appear to highly esteem the Holy Name, most of the Freemasons evidently do not; they appear to use the traditional "Lord", "the Lord", and "God" as found in most translations. At any rate, God's Holy Name in the Bible is not of the Freemasons, regardless of how or in what way the Freemasons may use, misuse, or misrepresent that name.

I have links to some of my own research related to God's Holy Name at:
https://nameofyah.blogspot.com/p/on-this-site.html

Again, we are presented with a picture of the square and compass "G" symbol with a picture of Russell to the left and a picture of a cover of Russell's Watch Tower to right. Evidently, this is done with the purpose of associating that symbol with Russell and his Watch Tower, although, to the best of my knowledge, Russell never used that symbol.

Russell, however, was never a member of the Jehovah's Witnesse organization. He preached against such an organization, against such authoritarianism as found in that organization, and against the message preached by that organization.

For links for some of my related research:
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/p/authority.html
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/p/jws.html












Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Armageddon will be in 1914 or 1915?


The following is presented on the CARM site:
Armageddon is in 1915

" . . . the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878[3], and that the "battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1915, with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced." (The Time is at Hand, 1881, emphasis added. The date was changed to 1914 in a later edition.)

Armageddon is in 1914

 " . . . the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878[3], and that the "battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1914, with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced," (The Time is at Hand, 1889,...).

Much of the page has to do with the JWs and how they constantly change their teachings and thus is not actually related to Charles Taze Russell (who was never a member of the JWs) or the Bible Students. It is not our purpose here to defend the JW organization, but we do defend Brother Russell regarding any false or misrepresenting statements made about him.

However, since there was no edition of The Time Is At Hand until 1889, there is evidently something wrong with the above. Obviously, the author has gotten the editions confused.

The first quote actually appears to be from the 1911 edition, in which the date 1914 was changed to 1915 in some places. There were changes on page 101 that were made in the 1911 edition that Brother Russell evidently never authorized, as can be seen from many of his other statements at that time.

Nevertheless, page 101 in the 1899 edition reflects Russell’s view before 1904. The original on page 101 reads:
That the “battle of the great day of God Almighty ” (Rev. 16: 14.), which will end in A. D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership, is already commenced.”
This was changed in the 1911 edition to:
That the “battle of the great day of God Almighty” (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1915, with the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership, is already commenced.
Anyone familiar with Russell's statements elsewhere in the Watch Tower, sermons, etc, at that time, would know that Brother Russell no longer believed that the "battle of the great day of God Almighty" had already commenced in 1874, as he did before 1904. Brother Russell never fully updated his Studies to reflect his change of viewpoint in 1904. From his writings in the Watch Tower and elsewhere, we can see that from 1904 onward Russell was not expecting Armageddon (the time of trouble) to commence until October of 1914.

There were several instances in which 1914 was changed to 1915 in the 1911 editions that Russell apparently never authorized. Russell usually reported changes made in the pages of the Watch Tower. He never reported any change to page 101 of The Time Is At hand.

Today, most editions of the The Time Is At Hand retains the 1915 error on page 101. The only edition we know that has made changes to reflect Russell's change of viewpoint is that of Paul S. L. Johnson. Johnson's 1937 edition reads:

Johnson’s 1937 edition therefore reads:
that the “battle of the great day of God Almighty” (Rev 16:14) will begin in A.D. 1914, and that it will end in the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership.
We have more related to this at:
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/11/jworg.html
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/2017/01/changesstudies.html

In 1915, however, Russell evidently separated the actual battle of the great day from being the entire "time of trouble," and began to realize that the battle is the final phase of the time of trouble. Nevertheless, he died in 1916, still holding to the belief that the time of trouble had begun in 1914.

Unlike the JW leadership, however, Russell did not assume authority so as to demand that all Bible Students had to accept his conclusions. Russell's Watch Tower did not act as a central governing authority while Russell was alive.


Monday, March 16, 2020

No Salvation Until Russell?

The question has arisen in a Facebook group concerning Russell that left the impression that Russell in some way had taught that salvation was through him or through the Watch Tower Society. This evidently projects the JW teaching of coming to the organization for salvation back to Russell. One, evidently based on this assumption, asked if this would mean that no one was saved between the first century until Russell.

Our reply:

Russell believed that, due to the ransom sacrifice of Jesus, Adam and absolutely all of Adam's descendants are saved from the condemnation in Adam.
www.agsconsulting.com/htdbv5/r603.htm
www.agsconsulting.com/htdbv5/r255.htm
www.htdbv8.com/Volume1/V1_06.htm
www.htdbv8.com/Volume1/V1_09.htm
www.htdbv8.com/Volume5/V5_01.htm

Russell himself never taught that anyone had to come to him, or to the Watch Tower Society, for salvation. His belief was that salvation is only through Jesus, not through joining a denomination, a sect, or some organization such as the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Unlike the JWs, Russell was a non-sectarian who believed that the true church is made up of people of all denominations that profess to be Christian. Russell preached against the idea that anyone (including himself) should assume divine authority over fellow Christians.

Related:
Russell Regarding Authority and Organization:
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/p/authority.html

Russell and Jehovah's Witnesses
https://rlctr.blogspot.com/p/jws.html