Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thoughts on August 12, 2008 ministry school

Each week Jehovah's Witnesses assemble for ministry school. This is where various talks are given among many other things in order to prepare JW's for various ministry tasks. The JW that i'm currently involved in a book study with emailed me a portion of the ministry school bulletin, which I believe is part of this month's Kingdom Ministry, and I saw something that I wanted to respond to.

No. 3: Jehovah’s Witnesses Identified by Fruits Produced (rs p. 135 ¶3–p. 137 ¶1)

Matt. 7:15-20: “Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to you in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will recognize them. . . . Every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit . . . Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men.”

What characterizes their way of life? “The works of the flesh are . . . fornication, uncleanness, loose conduct, idolatry, practice of spiritism, enmities, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, contentions, divisions, sects, envies, drunken bouts, revelries, and things like these. . . . Those who practice such things will not inherit God’s kingdom. On the other hand, the fruitage of [God’s] spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.”—Gal. 5:19-23; see also 2 Peter 2:1-3.


Notice the sections that are in bold, which of course, were highlighted by the Watchtower. I find it interesting that in light of the heading below, the "false prophet" section wasn't in bold. Coincidence? Or purposeful in order that JW's reading will skim past the "false prophet" part in order that they not see the reason for mentioning the "rotten fruit" part? In other words, false prophets will produce bad fruit which includes...you guessed it...false prophecies.

If you are a Jehovah's Witness, have you ever asked yourself what a false prophet is? If so, would the Watchtower qualify in that example? If not, why not? As one who is not a JW, why should I not "beware" of the Watchtower if they have produced this "rotten fruit" in the form of false prophecies?

Have not Jehovah’s Witnesses made errors in their teachings?

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not claim to be inspired prophets. They have made mistakes. Like the apostles of Jesus Christ, they have at times had some wrong expectations.—Luke 19:11; Acts 1:6.


Makes the Watchtower sound kinda innocent doesn't it? Let's see if past Watchtower "mistakes" fall into the same category of the apostle's "mistakes." In fact, i'm not even going to answer this. I'll let the quotes speak for themselves:

COMPARE...

"While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately." (Luke 19:11)

"So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom of Israel?" (Acts 1:6)

WITH...

"We see no reason for changing the figures; nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble. We see no reason for changing from our opinion expressed in the View presented in the Watch Tower of Jan. 15, '92. (Watchtower, July 15, 1894, p. 226)

Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews chapter eleven, to the condition of human perfection. (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p. 90)

The Scriptures provide time elements related to Christ’s presence, and Jehovah’s Witnesses have studied these with keen interest. (Luke 21:24; Dan. 4:10-17)


Keen interest? These weren't simply speculations. The Watchtower is self-proclaimed as "God's mouthpiece," "Jehovah's one channel of communication on earth today," etc. And they expressed complete certainty in their prophecies. Thus, by their own admissions, those who disagreed with these topics of so-called "keen interest" would be in disagreement with Jehovah Himself.

Jesus also described a many-featured sign that would tie in with the fulfillment of time prophecies to identify the generation that would live to see the end of Satan’s wicked system of things. (Luke 21:7-36)


Are they referring to "Millions now living will never die?" The whole "generation" issue is so complicated, shady, and quite honestly, messy, that I can't see how they can muster up the nerve to even mention it. Even so, the Watchtower continues to publish magazines affirming their "end is near" hysteria in spite of their history of total failure in this area.

Jehovah’s Witnesses have pointed to evidence in fulfillment of this sign. It is true that the Witnesses have made mistakes in their understanding of what would occur at the end of certain time periods, but they have not made the mistake of losing faith or ceasing to be watchful as to fulfillment of Jehovah’s purposes. They have continued to keep to the fore in their thinking the counsel given by Jesus: “Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.”—Matt. 24:42.


Its too bad that JW's didn't obey Matthew 7:15 in response these "mistakes."

Matters on which corrections of viewpoint have been needed have been relatively minor when compared with the vital Bible truths that they have discerned and publicized.


When you claim to be "God's mouthpiece" and "Jehovah's one channel of communication" on earth today, no dogmatic declaration is a "relatively minor" matter. Why? Because any deviation from these "minor" issues will result in disfellowshipping. Wanna try taking a stand for your disagreement of Christ's invisible presence in 1914? I'd be willing to bet that those who do will be excommunicated from not only the organization, but from their friends and family as well. What's worse, you will have forfeited your hope for eternal life by rejecting an issue of "gospel" importance (yes, the Watchtower declares 1914 as "gospel").

Among these are the following: Jehovah is the only true God. Jesus Christ is not part of a Trinitarian godhead but is the only-begotten Son of God. Redemption from sin is possible only through faith in Christ’s ransom sacrifice. The holy spirit is not a person but is Jehovah’s active force, and its fruitage must be evident in the lives of true worshipers. The human soul is not immortal, as the ancient pagans claimed; it dies, and the hope for future life is in the resurrection. God’s permission of wickedness has been because of the issue of universal sovereignty. God’s Kingdom is the only hope for mankind. Since 1914 we have been living in the last days of the global wicked system of things. Only 144,000 faithful Christians will be kings and priests with Christ in heaven, whereas the rest of obedient mankind will receive eternal life on a paradise earth.


And what guarantee do you have as a JW that these teachings won't be regarded as "truth" in the future? If the Watchtower decides to abandon 1914, will you oppose them at the expense of your being disfellowshipped?

Another factor to consider regarding the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses is this: Have these truly uplifted people morally? Are those who adhere to these teachings outstanding in their communities because of their honesty? Is their family life beneficially influenced by applying these teachings? Jesus said that his disciples would be readily identified because of having love among themselves. (John 13:35) Is this quality outstanding among Jehovah’s Witnesses? We let the facts speak for themselves.


I'm sorry, but I can't see anything but arrogance here. "Look at how good we are!" The facts do speak for themselves, but not in the Watchtower's favor. Though Paul offered stern exhortations to his fellow believers to model Christ's life, he still considered himself "the least of the apostles" and "unworthy" (1 Cor. 15:9), "the least of all saints" (Eph. 3:8), and the "worst of sinners." (Titus 1:15) The Watchtower would be wise in implementing Paul's admissions rather than boasting of all their righteous deeds.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

First, look at next week's schedule. It addresses those who claim JWs are false prophets.

Second, do you yourself know the background of what you claim are prophecies and are you familiar with how the Watchtower first began to make reference to them, dating back to the days of Russell?

Mike-e said...

I don't have next week's schedule as of yet, but I should have it by next week. I'll be looking forward to its explanation of this problem.

The background of the prophecies? To what specifically do you refer?

As far as Russell's claims, I have photocopies going all the way back to the publications mentioning 1874 and such. Is this what you're referring to?

Anonymous said...

You claim that the things related to time, if I am reading you correctly, are prophecies. If you are claiming that and intend to substantiate that claim and further demonstrate that the Watchtower is a false prophet then you will necessarily be able to provide the background of the Watchtower's use of time prophecies to show where they got the use of them from in order to substantiate that it was some type of divine revelation or direction that produced them.

Shawn said...

I'll pick up that gauntlet. I have an extensive library of the Watchtower publications and can substantiate these claims with actual of the Watchtower and books.

Here's the first reference I could find to the date 1914 was prophesied. It's in the book "The Three Worlds" published in 1877.

The seventy years captivity ended in the first year of Cyrus, which was B. C. 536. They therefore
commenced seventy years before, or B. C. 606. Hence, it was in B. C. 606, that God’s kingdom
ended, the diadem was removed, and all the earth given up to the Gentiles. 2520 years from B. C.
606, will end in A. D. 1914, or forty years from 1874; and this forty years upon which we have
now entered is to be such “a time of trouble as never was since there was a nation.” And during
this forty years, the kingdom of God is to be set up, (but not in the flesh, “the natural first and
afterwards the spiritual),” the Jews are to be restored, the Gentile kingdoms broken in pieces “like
a potter’s vessel,” and the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and his
Christ, and the judgment age introduced.
These are some of the events this generation are to witness. But the manner of accomplishing all
these things, as well as the time of their fulfilment, are where the church are to stumble and fall as
did the first house of Israel, “Because they knew not the time of their visitation.”
The very fact that Jerusalem has been trodden down of the Gentiles, nearly all of this 2520 years,
and that the indications are unmistakable that forces are at work to prepare the way for their
restoration, is of itself, a powerful argument in favor of the correctness of the above application.
It may be said, granting that in the main, you are right, still you do not know but you may be a few years, more or less, out in your calculation. Supposing I admit that, is that a
good reason for you to turn your back on the whole thing, and again sink into the world, and
become overcharged with the cares of this life?
But I am not willing to admit that this calculation is even one year out. Not from dogmatism, for I
am ready to admit that my opinion, or my reasoning, may be as faulty as that of many others; and
if, in the present case, there was but this one argument, I should say, it is quite possible errors may
be found arising in some unexpected quarter. But there is such an array of evidence. Many of the
arguments, most of them, indeed, are not based on the year-day theory, and some of them, not
based even on the chronology; and yet there is a harmony existing, between them all. If you had
solved a difficult problem in mathematics, you might very well doubt if you had not possibly made
some error of calculation. But if you had solved that problem in seven different ways, all
independent one of another, and in each and every case reached the same result, you would be a
fool any longer to doubt the accuracy of that result. And this is a fair illustration of the weight of
evidence that can be brought to bear on the truthfulness of our present position.


How is this not a claim of some special knowledge about the future from God? At one point he appears to admit fallibility when he says:

"I am ready to admit that my opinion, or my reasoning, may be as faulty as that of many others; "

but then goes on to say presumptuously:

" and if, in the present case, there was but this one argument, I should say, it is quite possible errors may
be found arising in some unexpected quarter. But there is such an array of evidence. Many of the
arguments, most of them, indeed, are not based on the year-day theory, and some of them, not
based even on the chronology; and yet there is a harmony existing, between them all. If you had
solved a difficult problem in mathematics, you might very well doubt if you had not possibly made
some error of calculation. But if you had solved that problem in seven different ways, all
independent one of another, and in each and every case reached the same result, you would be a
fool any longer to doubt the accuracy of that result."


Then later in the same book, we see an example of interpreting a dream to support this interpretation of scripture. In this case, it was Bro. WM Miller who received this prophetic dream...


The seven prophetic times of
the Gentiles, or 25-20 years, is a long period, and without doubt began where God’s kingdom, in
the line of David, ended, at the beginning of the seventy years captivity, or B. C. 606. And as from
where the harvest of the Jewish age began, to A. D. 70, was forty years so this 2520 years, or the
“times of the Gentiles,” reach from B. C. 606 to A. D. 1914, or forty years beyond 1874. And the
time of trouble, conquest of the nations, and events connected with the day of wrath, have only
ample time, during the balance of this forty years, for their fulfilment.
We publish the following because it has been so perfectly fulfilled. Every position on the
prophecies held by Bro. Miller has been attacked during the “tarrying of the Bridegroom,” and
while the “virgins all slumbered and slept.” And yet every one of those applications have of
necessity again been incorporated in these present arguments, and the casket, enlarged and
rearranged, does indeed “shine brighter than before”:

WM. MILLER’S DREAM.
“I dreamed that God, by an unseen hand, sent me a curiously wrought casket, about ten inches
long by six square, made of ebony and pearls curiously inlaid. To the casket there was a key
attached. I immediately took the key and opened the casket, when, to my wonder and surprise, I
found it filled with all sorts and sizes of jewels, diamonds, precious stones, and gold and silver
coin of every dimension and value, beautifully arranged in their several places in the casket; and
thus arranged, they reflected a light and glory equalled only by the sun.” (These jewels are the
beautiful truths the open casket unfolded to his sight.)
“I thought it was my duty not to enjoy this wonderful sight alone, although my heart was
overjoyed at the brilliancy, beauty and vaiue of its contents. I therefore placed it on a center-table
in my room, and gave out word that all who had a desire might come and see the most glorious and brilliant sight ever seen by man in this life.
“The people began to come in, at first few in humber, but increasing to a crowd. When they first
looked into the casket they would wonder and shout for joy. But when the spectators increased
every one would begin to trouble the jewels, taking them out of the casket and scattering them on
the table.
“I began to think the owner would require the casket and jewels again at my hand; and if I
suffered them to be scattered, I could never place them in their places in the casket again as
before; and felt I should never be able to meet the accountability, for it would be immense. I then
began to plead with the people not to handle them, nor take them out of the casket; but the more I
plead, the more they scattered;—and now they seemed to scatter them all over the room, on the
floor, and on every piece of furniture in the room.
I then saw that among the genuine jewels and coin they had scattered an innumerable quantity of
spurious jewels and counterfeit coin. I was highly incensed at their base conduct and ingratitude,
and reproved and reproached them for it; but the more I reproved the more they scattered the
spurious jewels and false coin among the genuine.
“I then became vexed in my very soul, and began to use physical force to push them out of the
room; but while I was pushing out one, three more would enter, and bring in dirt, and shavings,
and sand, and all manner of rubbish, until they covered every one of the true jewels, diamonds and
coins, which were all excluded from sight. They also tore in pieces my casket, and scattered it
among the rubbish. I thought no man regarded my sorrow or my anger. I became wholly
discouraged and disheartened, and sat down and wept.” (When the 1844 time passed, how
perfectly was this fulfilled.)
“While I was thus weeping and mourning for my great loss and accountability, I remembered
God, and earnestly prayed that he would send me help.
“Immediately the door opened, and a man entered the room, when the people all left it; and he,
having a dirt-brush in his hand, opened the windows, and began to brush the dust and rubbish
from the room. “I cried to him to forbear, for there were some precious jewels scattered among
the rubbish. “He told me to ‘fear not,’ for he would “take care of them.” “Then while he brushed
the dust and rubbish, false jewels and counterfeit coin, all rose and went out of the window like a cloud, and the wind carried them away. In the bustle, I closed my eyes for a moment; when I
opened them, the rubbish was all gone. The precious jewels, the diamonds, the gold and silver
coins lay scattered in profusion all over the room.
“He then placed on the table a casket, much larger and more beautiful than the former, and
gathered up the jewels, the diamonds, the coins, by the handful, and cast them into the casket, till
not one was left, although some of the diamonds were not bigger than the point of a pin.
“He then called upon me to ‘come and see.’
“I looked into the casket, but my eyes were dazzled with the sight. They shone with ten times
their former glory. I thought they had been scoured in the sand by the feet of those wicked
persons who had scattered and trod them in the dust. They were arranged in beautiful order in the
casket, every one in its place, without any visible pains of the man who cast them in. I shouted
with very joy, and that shout awoke me"


Then in "Studies in the Scriptures vol.4", Russel responds to Matt 24:26:

“When ye shall see all these things,” and since “the sign of the Son of Man in
heaven,” and the budding fig tree, and the gathering of “the elect” are counted among the signs,
it would not be inconsistent to reckon the “generation” from 1878 to 1914—36 1/2 years—about
the average of human life today.
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man; no not the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but my
Father only.” (Matt. 24:36, Sinaitic MS. Compare Mark 13:32,33.)

“Take ye heed, watch and
pray, for ye know not when the time is.”


To many these words seem to imply much more than they express: they think of them as though
they put a lock upon and made useless all the prophecies of the Bible—as though our Lord had
said, “No man shall ever know,” whereas he merely said, “No man [now] knoweth,” referring
only to the persons who heard him—to whom the exact times and seasons were not due to be
revealed. Who can doubt that the “angels of heaven” and “the Son” now know, fully and clearly,
matters which have progressed so nearly to fulfilment? And if they are not now hindered from
knowing by the statement of this verse, neither now are God’s saints hindered or restrained by
this verse from seeking an understanding of all truth “written aforetime for our learning.” Indeed,
it was in great measure because it was not the Father’s will that his people then, nor down to the
time the “seals” were broken should know the date, that our Lord delineated the course of
events, and assured them that if they would watch and pray and thus continue faithful, they, at
the proper time, would not be left in darkness, but would see and know.


So apparently, the Father has revealed to Bro. Russel when that time is. ( or wasn't as is the case )

I'm going to call this part one and post what I have, but it does go back to the early predictions made by C.T. Russel.

Mike-e said...

Shawn, thank you so much for posting this!

Anonymous, now that you have information regarding the history behind these dates, why don't you think these count as false prophecies? What do you think about Deut. 18:20-22? Matt. 7:15?

Anonymous said...

Mike-e,

Russell did not come up with his dates, that is why. He inherited them from his early associates before ever publishing the Watchtower.

I believe the July 1906 WT spoke on this too.

That is why.

Mike-e said...

Anonymous, while it is true that these ideas didn't originate with Russell, that doesn't make him not responsible for the statements that he made. These statements were made in Watchtower publications. Therefore, I don't see any reason not to hold them responsible.

It would be like me claiming the following:

"Benny Hinn prophecied in the name of God that all homosexuals will be destroyed in 1995. I believe that Benny Hinn was right and declare along with him in the name of God that all homosexuals will be destroyed in 1995."

Although the prophecy wouldn't have originated with me, I am just as guilty as Benny Hinn in claiming such a thing in the name of God.

Similarly, the Watchtower claimed that these were "God's dates, not ours." As "Jehovah's channel of communication," how can I not hold them accountable for their statements?

Can you provide quotes in the relevant sections of the July 1906 WT so I can see what you're referring to?

Anonymous said...

Mike-e,

If you take the time to actually read ALL of what was said, they were considered "God's dates" because they were based on interpretations of the Bible wherein specific time periods were mentioned that were interpreted to mean something. To say they are "God's dates" is no different than from somebody to say "God's word teaches us," and in both cases people are often wrong. There is no inspired prophecy claimed or suggested, but there was too much dogmatism on the matter of interpretation of those numbers.

As for the quote I do not have time to look it up right now, but Carl Jonnson I recall quotes it in part in his book on chronology.

Mike-e said...

so...as long as you claim that your prophecy is "biblical" then you are off the hook with texts like Deut. 18:20-22 and Matt. 7:15? I hope i'm not beating a dead horse here, but i'm not sure I see the logic behind your reasoning. I hold the same standard to those in my camp as I do the Watchtower and I just don't see how these claims fall outside the biblical standards of false prophecy. Harold Camping is a great example of this. Look him up. His prophecies were very "biblical," but they never came to pass. Funny thing is, I once considered him my brother in Christ.

Anonymous said...

You are just as much off the hook as you are for those who misinterpret Revelation. You are reading from the Bible and making an interpretation. It is either one that is right or one that is wrong.

In this case they were interpreting texts related to time and making interpretations of those texts. To be a false prophet you must actually make your own prophecy, not merely misinterpret.

Mike-e said...

Can you please show me where Deut. 18:20-22, Matt. 7:15, etc. makes this kind of distinction?

Anonymous said...

Can you please show me where those texts are addressing interpretation of the Bible?

Shawn said...

anonymous - those texts in Deut. and Matt do not mention misinterpretation of scriptures... because they don't have to. Deut. 18:20-22 is very clear on this matter. In verse 22 we read from the NWT "when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him.’"

With that verse in mind, let's review what was published in The Three Worlds, noting that this has nothing to do with 'inheriting' interpretation from some other Second Adventist, Steve... I mean 'anonymous'.

"We publish the following because it has been so perfectly fulfilled. Every position on the
prophecies held by Bro. Miller has been attacked during the “tarrying of the Bridegroom,” and
while the “virgins all slumbered and slept.” And yet every one of those applications have of
necessity again been incorporated in these present arguments, and the casket, enlarged and
rearranged, does indeed “shine brighter than before”"

Notice that it calls W.M. Miller's dream a prophecy. This dream of caskets and jewels was nothing more than a delusion of Miller's unconscious mind. The events predicted did not come to pass and by applying Deut. 18:22, we should not be afraid of the Watchtower society and their groundless claims.

Your assertion that Mike needs to read ALL of what was said is completely unnecessary. The fact of the matter is... The Watchtower society has issued false prophecies numerous times. Why read everything they've ever published if their key predictions were based on nothing but pipe-dreams and pyramidology?

Anonymous said...

Well other than the fact that 3W was published before the Watchtower (which itself makes that irrelevant, beyond the fact that the claim is that the WT is making prophecies not ones other than it), I do not read that as you do at all.

It does not speak of "Bro. Miller's prophecies" but prophecies "help by" him. The difference relates to his interpretation of prophecies that led him to dates, which too was based if I recall correctly on the interpretation of chronology and not inspiration.

Shawn said...

Actually, the statement "We publish the following because it has been so perfectly fulfilled." marks the dream as a prophesy. Dream are not fulfilled, prophesies are ( or are not in this case ).

Your argument that this publication doesn't count because it was published before The Watchtower Society was a legal entity is typical JW dodging, but the argument is just silly. Russel never deviated from his message that Armageddon would arrive in or around 1914.

Here's the passage I think you were referring to in the July '06 Watchtower...

"I will not go back to tell how the light began to break
through the clouds of prejudice and superstition which en-
veloped the world under Papacy’s rule in the dark ages.
The A Reformation movement,- or rather movements, from
then until now, have each done their share in bringing light
out of darkness. Let me here confine myself to the con-
sideration of the harvest truths set forth in MILLENNIAL DAWN
and ZION’S WATCH TOWER.
Let me begin the narrative at the year 1868, when the
Editor, having been a consecrated child of God for some
years, and a member of the Congregational church and of
the Y. M. C. A., began to be shaken in faith regarding many
long-accepted doctrines. Brought up a Presbyterian, and
indoctrinated from the Catechism, and being naturally of
an inquiring mind, I fell a ready prey to the logic of in-
fidelity as soon as I began to think for myself. But that
which-at first threatened to be the utter shipwreck of faith
in God and the Bible, was, under God’s providence, overruled
for good, and merely wrecked my confidence in human creeds
and systems of misinterpretation of the Bible.
Gradually I was led to see that though each of the creeds
contained some elements of truth, they-were, on the whole,
misleading and contradictory of God’s Word. Among other
theories, ‘I stumbled upon Adventism. Seemingly by acci-
dent, one evening I dropped into a dusty, dingy hall, where
I had heard religious services were held, to see if the hand-
ful who met there had anything more sensible to offer than
the creeds of the great churches. There, for the first time, I heard something of the views of Second Adventists, the
preacher being Mr. Jonas Wendell, long since deceased.
Thus, I confess indebtedness to Adventists as well as to
other denominations. ‘Though his Scripture exposition was
not entirely clear, and though it was very far from what
we now rejoice in, it was sufficient., under God, to re-estab-
lish my wavering faith in the divine inspiration of the
Bible, and to show that the records of the apostles and
prophets are indissolubly linked. What I heard sent me to
my Bible to study with more zeal and care than ever he-
fore, and I shall ever thank the Lord for that leading; for
though Adventism helped me to no single truth, it did help
me greatly in the unlearning of errors, and thus prepared
me for the Truth. "


So there you have it from the horse's mouth. Notice how Russel says that Adventism was just the beginning. The next paragraph tells us what was revealed to Russel.

"I soon began to see that we were living somewhere near
the close of-the Gospel age, and near the time when the
Lord had declared that the wise, watching ones of his chil-
dren should come to a clear knowledge of his plan. At this
time, myself and a few other truth-seekers in Pittsburgh
and Allegheny formed a class for Bible study, and from
1870 to 1875 was a time of constant growth in grace and
knowledge and love of God and his Word. We came to see
something of the love of God, how it had made provision
for all mankind, how all must be awakened from the tomb
in order that God’s loving plan might be testified to them,
and how all who exercise faith in Christ’s redemptive work
and render obedience in harmony with the knowledge of
God’s will they will then receive, shall then (through Christ's
merit) be brought back into full harmony with God, and
be granted everlasting life. This we saw to be the Restitu-
tion work foretold in Acts 3:21. But though seeing that the
church was called to joint-heirship with the Lord in the
Millennial kingdom, up to that time we had failed to see
clearly the great distinction between the reward of the
church now on trial and the reward of the faithful of the
world after its trial, at the close of the Millennial age-
that the reward of the former is to be the glory of the
spiritual, divine nature, while that of the latter is to be
the glory of restitution-restoration to the perfection of
human nature once enjoyed in Eden by their progenitor and
head, Adam. "



Russel 'corrected' what was taught by the Second Adventists. So far from just recycling some form of Adventism, Russel was claiming that new light had been revealed to him... which brings us back to the core issue - Is the Watchtower Society a false prophet? ( and just for all those all-to-clever semantic parsers out there, I use the term Watchtower Society as those at the helm of this religious movement which would become Jehovah's Witnesses )

Earlier in the same article, Russel addresses the issue of divine inspiration in a passage rich with Orwellian double-speak.


"A SKETCH OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF PRESENT TRUTH
Many are the inquiries relative to the truths presented
in MILLENNIAL DAWN and ZION’S WATCH TOWER. as to
whence they came and how they developed to their present
symmetrical and beautiful proportions - Were they the results of visions? Did God in any supernatural way grant
the solution of these hitherto mysteries of his plan? Are
the writers more than ordinary beings? Do they claim any
supernatural wisdom or power? or how comes this revela-
tion of God’s truth?
No. dear friends. I claim nothing of superiority, nor
supernatural power, dignity or authority; nor do I aspire
to exalt myself in the estimation of my brethren of the
household of faith, except in the sense’ that the Master
urged it, saying, “Let him who would be great among you
be your servant.” (Matt. 20:27.) And my position among
men of the world and of the nominal church is certainly
far from exalted. being “everywhere spoken against.” I
am fully contented, however, to wait for exaltation until
the Lord’s due time. (1 Pet. 5:6.) In the Apostle’s words
I therefore answer, “Why look ye upon us, as though by
our power we had done these things? We also are men of
like passions with yourselves”-of like infirmities and frail-
ties, earnestly striving, by overcoming many besetments,
discouragements,. etc., to press along the line toward the
mark of the prize of our high calling, and claiming only,
as a faithful student of the Word of God, to be an index
finger, as I have previously expressed it, to help you to trace
for yourselves, on the sacred page, the wonderful plan of
God-no less wonderful to me, I assure you, than to you,
dearly beloved sharers of my faith and joy.
No, the truths I present, as God’s mouthpiece, were not
revealed in visions or dreams, nor by God’s audible voice,
nor all at once, but gradually, especially since 1870, and
particularly since 1880. Neither is this clear unfolding of
truth due to any human ingenuity or acuteness of per-
ception, but to the simple fact that God’s due time has
come; and if I did not speak, and no other agent could be
found, the very stones would cry out. "


Let's parse this little delusional nugget. First, he says "I claim nothing of superiority, nor supernatural power, dignity or authority; nor do I aspire to exalt myself in the estimation of my brethren of the household of faith Then in the same breath he says "except in the sense’ that the Master
urged it, saying, “Let him who would be great among you
be your servant.” (Matt. 20:27.) And my position among
men of the world and of the nominal church is certainly
far from exalted. being “everywhere spoken against.” I
am fully contented, however, to wait for exaltation until
the Lord’s due time. (1 Pet. 5:6.)


So by being "everywhere spoken against", he has become 'the least among YOU'. How subtlety arrogant, but let's move on.

"to press along the line toward the
mark of the prize of our high calling, and claiming only,
as a faithful student of the Word of God, to be an index
finger, as I have previously expressed it, to help you to trace for yourselves, on the sacred page, the wonderful plan of
God"


So now we see that Russel thinks we need him to be 'an index finger' to help us understand the scriptures. This is a deeply ingrained part of JW doctrine - that we need this 'faithful and discreet slave' to let us know what God wants us to do. Don't believe me? Just read on to...

"No, the truths I present, as God’s mouthpiece, were not
revealed in visions or dreams, nor by God’s audible voice,
nor all at once, but gradually, especially since 1870, and
particularly since 1880. Neither is this clear unfolding of
truth due to any human ingenuity or acuteness of per-
ception, but to the simple fact that God’s due time has
come; and if I did not speak, and no other agent could be
found, the very stones would cry out."


Here Russel comes right out and says that he is 'God's mouthpiece' as well as 'God's agent'! Notice too that he says that this unfolding is not due to any human ingenuity or acuteness of perception. So... if it's not coming from humans, where is the reader to assume this 'truth' is coming from? Well, he tells us that too, but now shifts himself out of the picture for a phrase and says that "the simple fact that God’s due time has come" and then goes on to name himself as that agent that bears this truth.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines the word 'prophet' as follows:

prophet

SYLLABICATION: proph·et

NOUN: 1. A person who speaks by divine inspiration or as the interpreter through whom the will of a god is expressed. 2. A person gifted with profound moral insight and exceptional powers of expression. 3. A predictor; a soothsayer. 4. The chief spokesperson of a movement or cause.

Russel fits every one of these definitions! He claimed to be God's agent bearing new 'truths'. He claimed to interpret scripture as 'an index finger' to help all of us in darkness to understand what the bible is really saying. He certainly considered himself a moral person and he was exceptional in his powers of expression writing thousands of pages of his interpretations of scripture. He predicted that the end of all human government would take place in 1914 and he was the chief spokesperson for the religious movement he invented.

The book of Deuteronomy defines a false prophet as follows:

"when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak."

When Armageddon didn't happen in 1914, Russel and those of the 'faithful and discreet slave' class became false prophets. If it only happened once one might chalk that up to human frailty, but the recorded facts are that this group made false predictions over and over and continue to unfold 'new light' to this day all the while, claiming to be God's spirit-directed earthly organization.

They can't have it both ways. No one can claim to be 'God's mouthpiece', 'God's agent' or 'God's spirit-directed organization', then when their interpretations of prophesy turn out to be garbage, claim to be merely over-eager.

jimfisher007 said...

It is ironic to say that the Watchtower are false prophets since we all who believe in Christ believe we need Holy Spirt to do Jehovah's Will.

If that's the case then John calvin could be considered to be a false prophet because he changed many of his teachings over the course of his life and so has Calvinism.

Joh calvin himself stated:
"God by a sudden conversion subdued and brought my mind to a teachable frame.... Having thus received some taste and knowledge of true godliness I was immediately inflamed with so intense a desire to make progress therein, that although I did not altogether leave off [legal] studies, I yet pursued them with less ardor." - John Calvin, Commentary on Psalms – Volume 1, Author’s Preface. Christian Classics Ethereal Library, retrieved November 19, 2007.

The most lasting controversy of Calvin's life involves his role in the execution of Michael Servetus, the Spanish physician and theologian.

Shawn said...

Sorry jimfisher007, but there is a huge difference between John Calvin's intense desire and the Watchtower Society printing things like "these are not our dates, but God's"

If in fact, Calvin set a date for the end of this system of things even once and it did not come to pass then he would be a false prophet. The Watchtower Society has done and continues to either specifically mark a particular date or implicate one in order to get the rank and file JWs out knocking on doors.

Mike-e said...

Jim, can you point to me a place in the Scriptures where "changing your view on something" is synonymous with proclaiming a false prophecy?

Even if Calvin was solely responsible for Servetus' death and gave 30 false prophecies (he certainly didn't), how would that affect a protestant like myself who holds to sola scriptura? I don't follow John Calvin or any organization. The reason being, I don't claim that any organization is "God's channel of communication, God's mouthpiece, etc." Yes, I do believe many of the things John Calvin taught, but don't agree with everything he did. And if it weren't for the reformers like Calvin, there would certainly be no Watchtower today. We would still be under the bondage of the Catholic church. Thankfully, men like Calvin and Luthar held to the Scriptures as their highest authority and left us with a great example to follow as far as following God rather than men in spite of the consequences.

jimfisher007 said...

Some people here sound disgruntled, and pious.

Quote: ""these are not our dates, but God's"

My point was that John Calvin made mistakes to and that he thought he was being lead by God's Spirit when doing so. Does not make him a false prophet. That's not the point I was trying to make. Sorry if I offended anyone.

In-fact your right. I am thankful to God for such men who boldly taught what hey thought was the truth from how they viewed scriptures back then.

The Reformation—A Return to True Worship?

Like weeds flourishing in among strangled wheat, the Church of Rome, under its papal ruler, dominated worldly affairs for centuries. (Matt. 13:24-30, 37-43) As it became more and more a part of the world, the church grew further and further away from first-century Christianity. Through the centuries “heretical” sects called for reforms within the church, but the church continued to abuse power and amass wealth. Then, in the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation, a religious revolt, burst forth in all its fury.

Reformers such as Martin Luther (1483-1546), Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531), and John Calvin (1509-64) attacked the church on various issues: Luther on the sale of indulgences, Zwingli on clerical celibacy and Mariolatry, and Calvin on the need for the church to return to the original principles of Christianity. What did such efforts accomplish?

To be sure, the Reformation accomplished some good things, most notably the translation of the Bible into languages of the common people. The free spirit of the Reformation led to more objective Bible research and an increased understanding of Bible languages. The Reformation did not, however, mark a return to true worship and doctrine. Why not?

The effects of the apostasy had penetrated deep, to the very foundations of Christendom. Thus, although various Protestant groups broke free from the papal authority of Rome, they carried over some of the basic flaws of the Roman Catholic Church, features that resulted from the abandonment of true Christianity. For example, although the governing of the Protestant churches varied somewhat, the basic division of the church into a dominating clergy class and a subjugated laity was retained. Also retained were unscriptural doctrines such as the Trinity, the immortal soul, and eternal torment after death. And like the Roman Church, the Protestant churches continued to be part of the world, being closely involved with the political systems and the elite ruling classes.

Meanwhile, what about Christian expectation—watching for Jesus’ presence and the coming of his Kingdom? For centuries after the Reformation, the churches—both Catholic and Protestant—were deeply committed to secular power and tended to push off expectations of the coming of Christ’s Kingdom.

Stirrings of Watchfulness

In the 19th century, though, the religious climate led to stirrings of Christian watchfulness. As a result of Bible research on the part of some clergymen and Bible scholars, such teachings as the immortal soul, eternal torment after death, predestination, and the Trinity were restudied. In addition, some students of the Bible were closely examining Bible prophecies pertaining to the last days. Consequently, various groups of persons began thinking seriously about the Lord’s promised return.—Matt. 24:3.

In the United States, William Miller predicted the return of Christ in visible form in 1843 or 1844. The German theologian J. A. Bengel set the date for 1836; the Irvingites in England looked first to 1835, then 1838, 1864, and 1866. There was a Mennonite group in Russia that looked first to 1889, then to 1891.

Such efforts to keep on the watch served to awaken many to the prospect of our Lord’s return. However, these efforts at Christian watchfulness ended up in disappointment. Why? For the most part, because they relied too much on men and not enough on the Scriptures. After a few decades, most of those groups faded out of existence.

Meanwhile, during this period other developments had an impact on human hopes and expectations.

An Age of “Enlightenment” and Industrialization

In 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published The Communist Manifesto. Instead of advocating religion, which Marx called “the opium of the people,” they advocated atheism. While ostensibly against all religion, they actually fostered the religion, or worship, of the State and its leaders.

About a decade later, in 1859, Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species was published; it deeply influenced the scientific and religious thinking of the time. The theories of evolution led to a challenging of the truthfulness of the Bible’s account of creation and of the introduction of sin through the disobedience of the first human pair. (Gen., chaps. 1-3) As a result, faith of many in the Bible was undermined.

Meanwhile, the industrial revolution was under way and gaining momentum. Emphasis switched from agriculture to industry and machine manufacture. The development of the steam locomotive (early 19th century) was leading to expansion of countrywide railroads. The latter half of the 19th century saw the invention of the telephone (1876), the phonograph (1877), the electric light (1878-79), as well as use of the Linotype in producing lines of type for printing (1884).

Mankind was entering a period of the greatest development of rapid transportation and communication in history. Although these benefits would be used to advance commercial and political ends, they would also be available to the religious field. The stage was thus set for a modest initiative by a small group of Bible students that would have worldwide effects.

Proclaiming the Lord’s Return (1870-1914)

“The following history is given not merely because I have been urged to give a review of God’s leadings in the path of light, but specially because I believe it to be needful that the truth be modestly told, that misapprehensions and prejudicial misstatements may be disarmed, and that our readers may see how hitherto the Lord has helped and guided.”

FOLLOWING those words Charles Taze Russell proceeded to outline the developments that led to his publishing Millennial Dawn (later called Studies in the Scriptures) and Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence (now known as The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom). This history is of special interest to Jehovah’s Witnesses. Why? Because their present understanding of Bible truths and their activities can be traced back to the 1870’s and the work of C. T. Russell and his associates, and from there to the Bible and early Christianity.

Who was Charles Taze Russell? Does the history of his work give evidence of the Lord’s help and guidance?

A Search for Truth

C. T. Russell was born in the United States, in Allegheny (now part of Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania, on February 16, 1852. He was the second son of Joseph L. and Ann Eliza (Birney) Russell, who were Presbyterians of Scottish-Irish descent. Charles’ mother died when he was only nine years old, but from an early age, Charles was influenced by both of his religiously-minded parents. As a later associate of C. T. Russell put it, “they trained the small twig; and it grew in the direction of the Lord.” Although brought up as a Presbyterian, Charles eventually joined the Congregational Church because he preferred its views.

Young Charles was evidently quite a businessman. At just 11 years of age, he became a partner with his father in a thriving men’s clothing store. Charles enlarged the business, eventually operating a number of different stores himself. Although things went well for him in business, spiritually he was very troubled. Why was this?

Charles’ parents sincerely believed the creeds of Christendom’s churches and brought him up to accept them too. Young Charles was thus taught that God is love, yet that he had created men inherently immortal and had provided a fiery place in which he would eternally torment all except those who had been predestined to be saved. Such an idea repulsed the honest heart of teenage Charles. He reasoned: “A God that would use his power to create human beings whom he foreknew and predestinated should be eternally tormented, could be neither wise, just nor loving. His standard would be lower than that of many men.”

But young Russell was no atheist; he simply could not accept the commonly understood teachings of the churches. He explained: “Gradually I was led to see that though each of the creeds contained some elements of truth, they were, on the whole, misleading and contradictory of God’s Word.” Indeed, in the creeds of the churches, “elements of truth” were buried under a morass of pagan teachings that had infiltrated tainted Christianity during the centuries-long apostasy. Turning away from church creeds and searching for truth, Russell examined some leading Oriental religions, only to find these unsatisfying.

Reestablished in Faith

The twig, though, had been trained by God-fearing parents; it was inclined “in the direction of the Lord.” While he was still searching for truth, one evening in 1869, something happened that reestablished Charles’ wavering faith. Walking along near the Russells’ store on Federal Street, he heard religious singing coming from a basement hall. In his own words, this is what took place:

“Seemingly by accident, one evening I dropped into a dusty, dingy hall, where I had heard religious services were held, to see if the handful who met there had anything more sensible to offer than the creeds of the great churches. There, for the first time, I heard something of the views of Second Adventists [Advent Christian Church], the preacher being Mr. Jonas Wendell . . . Thus, I confess indebtedness to Adventists as well as to other denominations. Though his Scripture exposition was not entirely clear, . . . it was sufficient, under God, to re-establish my wavering faith in the divine inspiration of the Bible, and to show that the records of the apostles and prophets are indissolubly linked. What I heard sent me to my Bible to study with more zeal and care than ever before, and I shall ever thank the Lord for that leading; for though Adventism helped me to no single truth, it did help me greatly in the unlearning of errors, and thus prepared me for the Truth.”

That meeting renewed young Russell’s determination to search for Scriptural truth. It sent him back to his Bible with more eagerness than ever before. Russell soon came to believe that the time was near for those who served the Lord to come to a clear knowledge of His purpose. So, in 1870, fired by enthusiasm, he and a few acquaintances in Pittsburgh and nearby Allegheny got together and formed a class for Bible study. According to a later associate of Russell, the small Bible class was conducted in this manner: “Someone would raise a question. They would discuss it. They would look up all related scriptures on the point and then, when they were satisfied on the harmony of these texts, they would finally state their conclusion and make a record of it.” As Russell later acknowledged, the period “from 1870 to 1875 was a time of constant growth in grace and knowledge and love of God and his Word.”

As they researched the Scriptures, a number of things became clearer to these sincere truth seekers. They saw the Scriptural truths pertaining to the mortality of the human soul and that immortality was a gift to be attained by those who became joint heirs with Christ in his heavenly Kingdom. (Ezek. 18:20; Rom. 2:6, 7) They began to grasp the doctrine of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the opportunity that this provision made possible for humankind. (Matt. 20:28) They came to recognize that although Jesus first came to the earth as a man in the flesh, at his return he would be invisibly present as a spirit person. (John 14:19) They further learned that the object of Jesus’ return was, not to destroy everyone, but to bless the obedient families of the earth. (Gal. 3:8) Russell wrote: “We felt greatly grieved at the error of Second Adventists, who were expecting Christ in the flesh, and teaching that the world and all in it except Second Adventists would be burned up.”

The Scriptural truths that became clear to this little Bible class were certainly a departure from the pagan doctrines that had filtered into Christianity during the centuries-long apostasy. But did Russell and his spiritually-minded associates gain these truths from the Bible unaided by others?

Influence of Others

Russell referred quite openly to the assistance in Bible study he had received from others. Not only did he acknowledge his indebtedness to Second Adventist Jonas Wendell but he also spoke with affection about two other individuals who had aided him in Bible study. Russell said of these two men: “The study of the Word of God with these dear brethren led, step by step, into greener pastures.” One, George W. Stetson, was an earnest student of the Bible and pastor of the Advent Christian Church in Edinboro, Pennsylvania.

The other, George Storrs, was publisher of the magazine Bible Examiner, in Brooklyn, New York. Storrs, who was born on December 13, 1796, was initially stimulated to examine what the Bible says about the condition of the dead as a result of reading something published (though at the time anonymously) by a careful student of the Bible, Henry Grew, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Storrs became a zealous advocate of what was called conditional immortality—the teaching that the soul is mortal and that immortality is a gift to be attained by faithful Christians. He also reasoned that since the wicked do not have immortality, there is no eternal torment. Storrs traveled extensively, lecturing on the subject of no immortality for the wicked. Among his published works was the Six Sermons, which eventually attained a distribution of 200,000 copies. Without a doubt, Storrs’ strong Bible-based views on the mortality of the soul as well as the atonement and restitution (restoration of what was lost due to Adamic sin; Acts 3:21) had a strong, positive influence on young Charles T. Russell.

Yet, another man who had a profound effect on Russell’s life also caused his loyalty to Scriptural truth to be put to the test.

Time Prophecies and the Presence of the Lord

One morning in January 1876, 23-year-old Russell received a copy of a religious periodical called Herald of the Morning. From the picture on the cover, he could see that it was identified with Adventism. The editor, Nelson H. Barbour, of Rochester, New York, believed that the object of Christ’s return was not to destroy the families of the earth but to bless them and that his coming would be not in the flesh but as a spirit. Why, this was in agreement with what Russell and his associates in Allegheny had believed for some time! Curiously, though, Barbour believed from Biblical time-prophecies that Christ was already present (invisibly) and that the harvest work of gathering “the wheat” (true Christians making up the Kingdom class) was already due.—Matt., chap. 13.

Russell had shied away from Biblical time prophecies. Now, however, he wondered: “Could it be that the time prophecies which I had so long despised, because of their misuse by Adventists, were really meant to indicate when the Lord would be invisibly present to set up his Kingdom?” With his insatiable thirst for Scriptural truth, Russell had to learn more. So he arranged to meet with Barbour in Philadelphia. This meeting confirmed their agreement on a number of Bible teachings and provided an opportunity for them to exchange views. “When we first met,” Russell later stated, “he had much to learn from me on the fulness of restitution based upon the sufficiency of the ransom given for all, as I had much to learn from him concerning time.” Barbour succeeded in convincing Russell that Christ’s invisible presence had begun in 1874.

“Resolved Upon a Vigorous Campaign for the Truth”

C. T. Russell was a man of positive convictions. Convinced that Christ’s invisible presence had begun, he was determined to proclaim it to others. He later said: “The knowledge of the fact that we were already in the harvest period gave to me an impetus to spread the Truth such as I never had before. I therefore at once resolved upon a vigorous campaign for the Truth.” Russell now decided to curtail his business interests so as to devote himself to preaching.

To counteract wrong views regarding the Lord’s return, Russell wrote the pamphlet The Object and Manner of Our Lord’s Return. It was published in 1877. That same year Barbour and Russell jointly published Three Worlds, and the Harvest of This World. This 196-page book discussed the subjects of restitution and Biblical time prophecies. Though each subject had been treated by others before, in Russell’s view this book was “the first to combine the idea of restitution with time-prophecy.” It presented the view that Jesus Christ’s invisible presence dated from the autumn of 1874.

As Russell traveled and preached, it became evident to him that something more was needed to keep the seeds of truth he was sowing alive and watered. The answer? “A monthly journal,” said Russell. So he and Barbour decided to revive publication of the Herald, which had been suspended because of canceled subscriptions and exhausted funds. Russell contributed his own funds to revive the journal, becoming one of its coeditors.

All went well for a while—until 1878, that is.

Russell Breaks With Barbour

In the August 1878 issue of Herald of the Morning, there appeared an article by Barbour that denied the substitutionary value of Christ’s death. Russell, who was nearly 30 years younger than Barbour, could see that this was, in fact, denying the essential part of the ransom doctrine. So in the very next issue (September 1878), Russell, in an article entitled “The Atonement,” upheld the ransom and contradicted Barbour’s statements. The controversy continued in the pages of the journal for the next few months. Finally, Russell decided to withdraw from fellowship with Mr. Barbour and discontinued further financial support to the Herald.

C. T. Russell, though, felt that to withdraw from the Herald was not enough; the ransom doctrine must be defended and Christ’s presence must be proclaimed. Hence, in July 1879, Russell began publishing Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. Russell was the editor and publisher, with five others originally listed as contributors to its columns. The first issue had a printing of 6,000 copies. By 1914 the printing of each issue was about 50,000 copies.

“Not as New, Not as Our Own, But as the Lord’s”

C. T. Russell used the Watch Tower and other publications to uphold Bible truths and to refute false religious teachings and human philosophies that contradicted the Bible. He did not, however, claim to discover new truths.

From the latter part of the 18th century, many ministers and Bible scholars had been exposing the false teachings of the immortality of the soul and eternal punishment for the wicked. This exposé had been thoroughly reported in the book Bible Vs. Tradition, by Aaron Ellis, originally published in England and then in the United States in 1853 by George Storrs. But no one at that time did more than C. T. Russell and his associates to make this truth known.

What about other Bible doctrines that were discussed in the Watch Tower and other publications? Did Russell take full credit for uncovering these gems of truth? Explained Russell: “We found that for centuries various sects and parties had split up the Bible doctrines amongst them, blending them with more or less of human speculation and error . . . We found the important doctrine of justification by faith and not by works had been clearly enunciated by Luther and more recently by many Christians; that divine justice and power and wisdom were carefully guarded tho not clearly discerned by Presbyterians; that Methodists appreciated and extolled the love and sympathy of God; that Adventists held the precious doctrine of the Lord’s return; that Baptists amongst other points held the doctrine of baptism symbolically correctly, even tho they had lost sight of the real baptism; that some Universalists had long held vaguely some thoughts respecting ‘restitution.’ And so, nearly all denominations gave evidence that their founders had been feeling after truth: but quite evidently the great Adversary had fought against them and had wrongly divided the Word of God which he could not wholly destroy.”

Concerning the chronology he often presented, Russell stated: “When we say ‘our’ chronology we merely mean the one we use, the Bible chronology, which belongs to all of God’s people who approve it. As a matter of fact it was used in practically the form we present it long before our day, just as various prophecies we use were used to a different purpose by Adventists, and just as various doctrines we hold and which seem so new and fresh and different were held in some form long ago: for instance—Election, Free Grace, Restitution, Justification, Sanctification, Glorification, Resurrection.”

Then how did Russell perceive the role that he and his associates played in publishing Scriptural truth? He explained: “Our work . . . has been to bring together these long scattered fragments of truth and present them to the Lord’s people—not as new, not as our own, but as the Lord’s. . . . We must disclaim any credit even for the finding and rearrangement of the jewels of truth.” He further stated: “The work in which the Lord has been pleased to use our humble talents has been less a work of origination than of reconstruction, adjustment, harmonization.”

Russell thus was quite modest about his accomplishments. Nevertheless, the “scattered fragments of truth” that he brought together and presented to the Lord’s people were free of the God-dishonoring pagan doctrines of the Trinity and immortality of the soul, which had become entrenched in the churches of Christendom as a result of the great apostasy. Like no one at that time, Russell and his associates proclaimed worldwide the meaning of the Lord’s return and of the divine purpose and what it involved."

All Russell was trying to do with his writing was humbly no giving Glory to God for what he wrote, as we all should.

Jim

jimfisher007 said...

Mike.e:

You wrote:
"Jim, can you point to me a place in the Scriptures where "changing your view on something" is synonymous with proclaiming a false prophecy?

Even if Calvin was solely responsible for Servetus' death and gave 30 false prophecies (he certainly didn't),..."

I was just quoting from a history book, not the Watchtower.

Jim