Yes, I think it’s time to finish this up, by looking at “The Finished Mystery.” I’m going to give rules of Biblical Exegesis, and explain what Eisogesis is. Then we’re going to look at The Finished Mystery.
Why? Because this very book is the center of the Watchtower claims. And you’re going to see VERY quickly, how the Finished Mystery fails on every level of those claims. How long will we be looking at it? Lets do a week. We’ll see how far we’ll get in a week. I can tell you it won’t be very far. Why? Because you don’t have to go very far to find something embarrassing to the Watchtower Society, or is an example of bad Eisogesis.
Supposedly, when the Lord entered the Holy of Holies, or Brooklyn, whichever comes first, He began an investigative judgment to decide which denomination is correct. After reading the Finished Mystery by Charles Taze Russell, He then pronounced the Watchtower Society “the Faithful slave”. The Watchtower Society then began to proclaim themselves “God’s Chosen organization.”
This brings up all kinds of questions. Number one, it’s not in Scripture. Not even closely. Did the Lord knock on the door of Pastor Russell and let him know this? No investigative judgment is in Scripture, no returning invisibly, no checking to see who is the faithful slave. Nothing about this in Scripture at all. At this point, the Watchtower Society is beginning to resemble Mormonism, with their claims to a prophet, continuing revelation, and extra biblical writings.
So how did the Watchtower Society derive all this? Did the angel Moroni temporarily leave Salt Lake City and detour to Brooklyn to tell the Watchtower? They certainly didn’t get it from the Bible, as I said. And it can’t be the Archangel Michael, as you all think he changed his identity to being Jesus. (which is of course not the Jesus Christ of the Bible. (“A Different Jesus is a different Gospel and a different Gospel cannot save.” – Justin Peters)
So, suddenly we’ve punched big holes in this theory, and we haven’t even BEGUN to examine this!
The only scenario that makes any sense is that of a deluded man, used to making great pronouncements about himself, much in the same way we would see 70 years later from Herbert W. Armstrong. “No one else is preaching these truths!” Well, all the cults claim that. Just once I’d like to see a cult that says, “Not a clue. Don’t know. Mystified. Do you have the answers?”
Well, then I guess they wouldn’t be a cult.
Okay, here’s the rules of Biblical interpretation! Adhering to this is called Exegesis, deriving doctrines from the plain meaning of Scripture. Anything else is Eisogesis, the reading into scripture preconceived notions.
- The Bible means what it says. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3:7 (KJV) What does this verse mean? It means what it says! Ye must be born again! Of course, it helps to know that “Thee” is singular, and “Ye” is plural
- Read it in context. The best way to understand John 3:7 is… to read John Chapter 3.
- The Bible interprets itself. What is “Born Again”? What does it mean? Well, we’re enjoined to be “Comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Cor. 2:13) So, that means read what the Bible has to say in one place with what it says everywhere else! So if you look at “Born again”, you find the answer was already in John 3. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:6 (KJV) So being born again, was already defined in the very verse before the one we read! So… Remember rule 2, read it in context
- The Bible often tells us how it defines a word or term by the first time God uses it. Example is “Tongues.” What does it mean? Well, if we read Genesis, we see at the tower of Babel, that the word “Tongues” meant languages.
- We do not rely on commentaries to tell us what the Bible means. We use the four rules above to tell us what the Bible says. Then we read a commentary to see if it adds any additional insight. If you read a commentary by any man, now matter how gifted or Holy they may seem, and he says any thing that contradicts what the bible says, or attempts to give a meaning to the Bible that does not seem to match the plain sense of what you’re reading… You reject him as a heretic. Bottom line.
Good? Lets examine one VERY questionable habit, which I think my JW friends who’ve been reading all of these posts would agree is wrong. That would be if a Pope or a Bishop takes a Bible verse that seems to mean anything other than what the text says, and give it a “Spiritual” meaning. “Well, Armageddon is really about the eternal struggle between good and evil. You see, Rome tells us..”
The Witness would automatically disagree with this as incorrect. “You’re stretching Holy Scripture to mean something other than what it really means.”
Okay. Let’s look at the writings of Pastor Russell, and two editors who helped compile the Finished Mystery, a manuscript so amazing that the Lord Jesus Christ determined the Watchtower Society to supposedly be the Faithful and discreet slave of the Lord.
“Through St. John the Lord Jesus revealed the fact that the Church would be developed during seven distinct periods, or epochs; and that for each of these epochs He would have a special angel, or messenger, to serve the other members of the Body.” From the preface.
This is part correct, although I know quite a few people who disagree with even the basic premise. B. H. Carroll, for example, insists there is no Biblical precedent for saying these are seven church ages, but rather seven letters to seven churches that could be found in Asia Minor at the time.
However, the last half, the special messenger part… that part is extremely incorrect.
1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; Revelation 2:1 (KJV)
If this is a letter to the church of Ephesus, then it stands to reason that the Angel mentioned in the beginning of each letter is… the pastor of that church. Read each and every letter to each of the seven churches. Who would a letter be addressed to? The person who would read it aloud to the church. Yes, Russell was correct in that Angel means messenger. So who is the messenger of the local church? The church’s pastor. So the philosophy expressed in the Watchtower Society sadly is flawed to begin with.
It follows, then, that the messenger to the last, or Laodicean, epoch would declare the Presence of the Lord and the time of the Harvest of the Gospel Age. The great Master laid special emphasis on the importance of the messenger to the seventh, or Laodicean, period of the Church, saying that such an one would be “a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord would make ruler over all His Household, to give them meat in due season.”
Okay, I… Wait! I thought that from this very book, the Lord declared the Watchtower Society to be the faithful slave! And yet this book makes the claim in the very forward that Charles Taze Russell is the faithful slave!
“It says servant…”
No, the word in greek is doulos (dew-loss), and means… well, the same thing. To say one is one and one is the other would be to make the nonsensical claim that the Watchtower Society is the Doulos, but that Charles Taze Russell is the doulos!
“The four exhibitions of the Lord, given to Elijah, represent, we believe, four manifestation in which the Lord is about to reveal Himself to mankind, the first three of which will prepare men for the final one. In which will come the desired blessing to all the families of the earth. These are:
Wait! That’s utter nonsense!!!
9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? 10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? 14 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 15 And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. 17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. 18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. 1 Kings 19:9-18 (KJV)
This is the chapter in question. Remember our rules? The Bible says what it means, read it in context, the bible defines itself, the Bible tells us the meaning of a word from its first use, and commentaries are to be used only to get additional insight. And we agreed that if the Pope or a Bishop were to give you some spiritualized reading of a verse, then you should dismiss it.
So, read it. Read it in context. What is it talking about? Elijah is downhearted, knowing that he’s achieved a GREAT victory for the Lord, but Ahab and his wife Jezebel seek the life of Elijah. So he goes to the word of the Lord – Jesus Christ, who tells Elijah to go before the LORD. This is yet another proof of the Trinity, by the way.
So a series of four events happen, earthquakes, winds, fire, and a still, small voice.
Surprisingly, the Lord gives Elijah a command, yet another amazing thing to do. A/nd oh, by the way, go find Elishah.
Right? Do you agree?
There’s NOTHING in this about the end times. Nothing about four manifestations of the Lord or His might (almost makes it sound like Russell may have been proposing a quarternary instead of a Trinity).
“Well, if you spiritualize this passage…”
Now, we just agreed that if the Pope did it and it was wrong – then its wrong when the Watchtower Society does it as well.
The mighty winds rending the very rocks. Blowing winds seem to be used in Scripture for wars. The wars, whose dark clouds have threatened the civilized world so ominously for the past thirty years, have been miraculously hindered to give opportunity for ‘sealing’ the Lord’s consecrated people in their foreheads (intellectually) with the Present Truth. We are therefore to expect that when these winds of war shall be let loose, it will mean a cataclysm of warfare which shall divide kingdoms (mountains)
I could be here all day on just these sentences, there’s so many things wrong with them! Really, if the REST of this book are like this, I can stop here!
When the Scriptures talk about winds, they’re talking about winds. Remember rule number one! The Bible says what it means! So, when the winds blew and a storm arose in the sea of Galilee, and the disciples awoke Jesus, are you saying that war arose and the disciples were afraid they’d be killed? Oddly enough, history seems to not have any record of this!
Was the wind that blew and broke the rock really wars, rushing past Elijah? Why then does the Bible describe battle after battle, and refer to war, if it uses a code word for war?
1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; 2 That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. Genesis 14:1-2 (KJV)
So… what does the Bible mean when it says “War”, then? Lemon Meringue pie??? Since we’re reinterpreting the Bible to suit ourselves, let’s choose happy things! And right now a nice cool piece of lemon meringue pie sounds very satisfying to me! Not to mention how silly it would be to see a bunch of happy kings eating pie, chuckling in delight, little bits of crumbs in their beards.
No, the Bible says they went to war. War means war. Wind means wind. rocks mean rocks. I mean business.
You’re distorting the meanings of the Bible, with absolutely NO explanation of how you derived these meanings and symbolic illustrations! Really! Why would the Bible need codes, hidden meanings? Rather, we are told….
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1:19-21 (KJV)
That means that… well, what it says! No prophecy of scripture is of anny private interpretation! God gave us the Bible, literally giving them the words to say. If you don’t believe that, you need to read 2 Peter 1:19-21 again!
As far as the sealing of God’s servants – that has nothing to do with intellectual truths. Notice how Russell inserted a word to twist the Scripture to mean what he wanted! If a Catholic did this, the Witnesses would be in an uproar!
The sealing of God’s servants occurs in the Great Tribulation. That has not started yet. And the seal is a visible sign, something that the Antichrist will be driven to counterfiet by forcing the world to get the number of the beast.
The “stormclouds of war” broke loose just after this – creating a world war. And the war lasted several years, killing millions. And then lo and behold – thirty years later, another war! This too, a world war. Then the asian conflicts (Korea, Vietnam, and Russia against Afghanistan). Then the Middle Eastern wars. So… obviously, this is a false prophecy written here.
An earthquake. Throughout the Scriptures an earthquake seems always to represent revolution; and it is not unreasonable to expect that an era of general warfare would so arouse the lower classes of Europe and so discontent them with their lot (and especially with the conditions which would follow such a war) that revolution would be the next thing in order. (Rev. 16:18.) But, severe though those revolutionary experiences will be to the world, they are not sufficient to prepare men to hear the voice of God. It will require
Okay, this too is another false prophecy. There was no uprising and revolution in Europe like what happened in Bolshevik Russia. Rather, the Russian armies bulldozed their way through Europe, almost unopposed. Why Europe never united to combat Russia and free the occupied territories is beyond me. However.
Earthquakes in the Bible always mean earthquakes. Remember our rules! I know, this is embarassing for you. If you just havevn’t doubted the Watchtower Society yet… better start now. We’re still in the preface to the Finished Mystery, and I’m tearing it to pieces! And easily – this isn’t requiring weeks of study to do this! I’m reading the material I’m pasting and writing my thoughts on it immediately.
There were several revolutions in the Bible.
13 And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom. 14 And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword. 15 And the king’s servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint. 16 And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house. 17 And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off. 2 Samuel 15:13-17 (KJV)
I… don’t see an earthquake in these verses. Hm. Maybe Charles Taze Russell is wrong. Ohm who do I kid? He’s wrong. THere’s nothing in the Bible to connect revolution with earthquakes. We have only Russell’s word for it.
The fire from heaven–an epoch of Divine judgments and chastisements upon a maddened but unconverted world, wild in anarchy, as other Scriptures show us. The results of their wars, revolutions and anarchy, in the failure of their schemes, will have a humbling effect, and will prepare mankind for God’s revelation of Himself in
Wait… I thought you people don’t believe in Hell?
And if, as we believe the Scriptures to teach. Gentile domination was provided for up to October, 1914, it would seem but a reasonable interpretation that Divine power would not be exercised to their dethronement until after the time allotted for their reign had ended— October, 1914.”— THE WATCH TOWER, July 1, 1904, p. 198.
Well, there you go – another false prophecy. So far on the two pages of TFM we’ve just looked at, Russell was wrong three times. Not to mention every time he did these symbiological things!
“Gentile domination” is a misnomer, and highly misleading. The “Times of the Gentiles” could be seen coming to a close as of 1948, with the establishment of the state of israel, or in 1967 with the capturing of Jerusalem – I don’t think we’re truly comfortable in picking one or another. I suggest we wait until after the Rapture and ask the Lord.
However, the complete times of the gentiles end at the Rapture, which hasn’t happened yet. God’s focus turns again to Israel at that time, as we see in REvelations 1-3 “The church… the church…” then suddenly it is “Israel” and “Jerusalem” throughout the rest of the book of Revelation.
In 1879 Charles Taze Russell began the publication of THE WATCH TOWER, of which he was the sole editor as long as he remained on earth. THE WATCH TOWER was, and is, the first and only journal declaring the presence of the Lord Jesus.
I’m not sure what that means. I proclaim the presense of the Lord Jesus every time I step into a pulpit and preach the word. And I’m careful to mention the ressurection – which we believe in and Witnesses don’t – and the coming Rapture. It’s a false argument. This is called “Prestige by false credentials.” I just overcame it by challenging the very premise of it.
Again, Russell insists upon October 1914 – when absoultely nothing happened. That’s caleld a false prophecy, as I’ve already discussed.
By the Lord’s grace he wrote the six volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, which writings, aside from the Bible, have gladdened more hearts and thrilled Christians with greater hope and joyful expectation than have any other writings extant.
No, this again is inaccurate. At no time have the Witnesses outnumbered Christians, correct? So, how could the “Studies in the Scriptures thrill more Christians than have any other writings extant?”
Again, a false argument, called “Suggestion by prestige”. I recommend the curious to Thouless’s “Straight and crooked thinking”.
and that the earthly creature made prominent therein above all others is the messenger of the Laodicean Church— “that wise and faithful servant of the Lord”— CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL.
Wait – again, this book contradicts the stated position of the Watchtower Society, that the Society itself is the “faithful slave!” Which is it, the society, or Russell? It seems they contradict one another!
Come back tomorrow for more!
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered 18 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses 16 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered 15 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses responses so far (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnessese Answered 3 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered 21 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered 1 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered 20 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered 17 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered 22 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)