Continuing from where we left off yesterday – we’re only on page 6, and I’m only doing 5 more of these.
This book is chiefly a compilation of things which he wrote and which have been brought together in harmonious style by property applying the symbols which he explained to the Church.
The flaw in this sentence is the assumption that the plain words of the Bible are symbols. We had 5 rules of Bible interpretation yesterday, and I explained the difference between Biblical Exegesis and Eisogesis – to wit, the reading out of the Bible proper doctrine, and the reading into the Bible preconceived doctrines.
This explains Russell’s misunderstanding of the Bible, the assumption that every verse was a code, to be unlocked by a wise man. One of the tenets of the Christian faith is that anyone who is saved can understand the Bible by simply opening it and reading it. If we assume that it is a code, then we are doomed to the slavery of any self-styled prophet who claims to alone hold the key.
The Bible specifically says this is not the case in 2 Peter 1:20 – 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 2 Peter 1:20 (KJV). The Lord Jesus Christ repeatedly castigated His hearers by asking, “Have ye not read…?” This tells us that EVERYONE can understand the Bible. Indeed, the Lord Jesus Christ will require every human being to make an account for whether or not they understood the Bible. Those that accept the Lord will be spared, well, because obviously they understood and obeyed! The rest will have to explain why they did not accept Him. The next even in their lives after that judgment will be terrible, as they will be consigned to a horrible fate.
By his last Will and Testament Pastor Russell designated George H. Fisher, of Scranton, Pa., as one whom he would approve as a member of the Editorial Staff of THE WATCH TOWER— the most important journal published on earth.
Would… anyone care to explain why Joseph Rutherford then saw fit to assume control over the organization then???
Again, notice the use of the dishonest argument “Suggestion by Prestige”. Repeated uses of this are described as “Hypnosis” by Thouless in his book “Straight And Crooked Thinking“. It would seem that The Watchtower Society has used three times on a single page repeated Suggestion by Prestige, or similar prestige arguments. Repeated affirmations of this create a suggestibility in the reader. Please note I have attempted to refrain from such arguments on this blog! I want you to decide for yourself, without any linguistic tricks, whether or not you believe the Watchtower Society. And I’m going to tell you – you have doubts about it, worries, fears, that you’re refusing to acknowledge, because you don’t want to be a heretic, an apostate. Well, the truth is, you’re willingly denying the Bible by being a Witness, and that makes you an apostate. Your best decision is to do the scary thing – and leave. Leave now.
This Manual was published by this Society, and has proven a great blessing to the Household of Faith.
Again, we have a false argument here. This is implying that if you’re not a member of the Society, you’re not of the household of faith! Who is the household of faith?
10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10 (KJV)
Ah! It would be those that Galatians talks about. Galatians makes a distinction between those saved by faith, and those who incorrectly believe in salvation by works. I did a post on the Book of Galatians about a week or so ago, where I analyzed it verse by verse, refuting the Watchtower Society’s doctrine of salvation by Works. So, the Watchtower Society is those who believe in Salvation by Works – the opposite of the household of faith!
and that when they see that the unrighteous, wicked systems of Babylon are now crumbling under the mighty hand of God— which bespeaks the early deliverance of the last members of the Body from this vale of tears into the glorious light and liberty of the saints— that then they will be greatly comforted;
Strangely enough, like the other five prophecies uttered so far in this volume, this one has… not come to pass. The phrase “are now crumbling” implies a NOW event. As this book was published in 1917 (wow, you’d think they’d have remembered to take out the failed prophecies of 1914!), the “now crumbling” should have been completed by… let’s be generous to the concept of NOW and assume thirty years…
Yet, the Roman Catholic Church and other false religions still flourish, and Baptist Churches still meet on Sundays and Wednesdays! So, I’m going to chalk this phrase up as another false prophecy. Remember, the biblical definition is ONE false prophecy makes you a false prophecy, and we’ve had four or five in the first seven pages of this book!
Some will murmur and find fault with this book; some will grow angry, and some will join the persecutors. But, we believe, every saint whose heart is filled with love for God and for His people will rejoice and give praise to the Lord for this further evidence of His blessed favor.
Subtle brainwashing technique here. If you’ve been feeling like, “Uh… I’m seeing problems here, just like this Dean heretic does…” this sentence is timed to make you shamed. You swallow, look down for a minute, and continue reading. Or not, because the Watchtower Society strongly discourages the reading and study of all older Watchtower Society materials. The ones that are on display at the Kingdom Hall… try taking one down and reading it! See how long it is before someone stops you.
The implication is, if you’re feeling doubts, or questioning what you’re reading here, then you’re not one of those “whose heart is filled with love for God and His people”. And you don’t want anyone to find out!
Wouldn’t it be a HUGE RELIEF to stop hiding, and LEAVE???
Interestingly enough, as we move on, page 11 gives a list of “Babylonish” materials that were consulted to prove the case of the Watchtower Society. This betrays an unconscious knowledge by appealing to authority that the Watchtower Society knows its arguments are cultish and false – else why would they continually turn to quoting (and most often misquoting) “Babylonish” experts like Mantay?
“The declaration that ‘the Son can do nothing of Himself,’ if it were not backed up as it is by a score of other testimonies from the same interested and inspired Teacher, is a contradiction to the common thought of Trinitarians, that the Son is the Father.
Okay, again a false argument is used. This is the deliberate misstatement of an argument. Christians do not say the Son is the Father – that is modalism, a heresy. We say the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Why? Because that’s what the Bible says, and I’ve proved it over and over again.
Our Lord Jesus has promised us that, as the Elder Brother (of the Gospel House of Sons), whatsoever the Father shall make known to Him He in turn will make known to us.
Huh??? The Gospel House of Sons??? What in the name of peanut butter is THAT??? For a Society that prides itself on not believing in anything that cannot be found specifically named in the Bible, you people sure have a lot of things you believe in that are not named in the Bible! Paradise Earth, Anointed and Other Sheep, and now Gospel House of Sons. Okay, open your CD-Roms and type in the phrase “Gospel House of sons” in quotes. Look at how many times that phrase appears in the Bible.
That should be a “zero”.
Which must shortly come to pass .— Which began at once, in St. John’s day, and will continue until the completion of all that he foresaw.
Um… no. This is the claim used by Preterists, that everything done in the Bible occurred by 70 AD. Sadly, they have to deny history and spiritualize the arguments, such as assuming that the book of Revelation was written in 70 AD.
The verse says
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Revelation 1:1 (KJV)
These things are IN THE FUTURE, is what this verse says. “They must come to pass.” When? “Shortly.” Well, remember here, we have defined time limits, given to us in both Revelation and in Daniel. The time limit of the Tribulation, from start to finish, is seven years. If year number 8 has gone by, then it isn’t the tribulation!
Yes, I know, I’m raising my voice. I’m trying to make a point. Because The Finished Mystery is about to make a claim that the Tribulation started in AD 96, and… we’re still in the middle of it. Which according to the Bible is impossible. Even taking Russell’s “Day-year” teaching, we have a serious issue, as the duration of something happening DURING the tribulation is 1,260 days. According to Russell’s system, that would be 1,260 years – placing the END of the Tribulation at the year 1356.
By my watch, it’s 2013 right now, which must mean the tribulation would be LONG OVER, Armageddon is long over, and we’re in the middle of the millennium. Except the Millennium by Russell’s system would be 360,000 years right? Well, if a “prophetic day” is one year long, and there’s 360 days in a Hebrew year (that’s off by the way, but we’ve dealt with that already), then the prophetic years of the millennium would be 360,000 years!
Now, even the most diehard Witness will disagree with what’s written there. So, obviously, there’s serious flaws with Russell’s system.
There’s a misleading and incorrect footnote, by the way, about Greek manuscripts on pages 12 & 13. I’ve already dealt with these elsewhere.
And signified it .— “Our Lord’s revelation, which God gave Him after He had passed into glory, He sent and signified [signified told in signs, symbols, etc.] to His Church.”
Again, the Watchtower Society is placing inordinate emphasis upon coding, symbols and etc. We’ve already dealt with this. Let’s just examine Russell’s logic. How did he, a man who never completed school, never learned Greek or Hebrew, somehow was the ONLY ONE to unlock this coding?
Here’s the truth: William Miller, who believed in the Rapture, wanted to find out when it would be. Like many misled Christians, he assumed the coding would be found somewhere in the Bible. He examined Daniel, and found prophetic weeks of years. He then assumed the existence of “prophetic days” (which do not exist, by the way) and calculated his date of the Rapture. It turned out Miller was wrong, so he did it again, advertised it, raised a lot of hopes nad ruined a lot of lives. He then at least had the integrity to say “I was wrong.” and stopped.
The “Second Adventists” took in Charles Russell, and guided him at first. Russell began producing materials with them, and eventually broke with Barbour over interpretations of the symbols. You see, they continued into this symbology. And The Second Adventist organization quickly changed into the Seventh Day Adventists. While Watchtower Apologists are quick to attack over any suggestion that Russell was an Adventist, it’s very hard to discount his involvement with them. I mean, you can still find materials that were published for the Adventists with the name “Charles Taze Russell” on them.
Russell had absorbed some of this symbological talk, and he began to attempt to be a Rehoboam. “If they found symbols in a few passages, I will find them in EVERY passage!”
For the time is at hand .— The fulfilments began at once, in St. John’s own day.
No. Already dealt with.
I’m going to have to skip on to the next chapter, as I don’t plan on doing an exhaustive study of this book at this time (perhaps later, after my forehead has healed from the number of times I’ve slapped it in disbelief over the nonsense I’ve read in only 16 pages!) and move on to the next chapter.
If the trinity of the creeds was questioned, hands were lifted in horror, and the questioner was told that the subject was a mystery, which could not possibly understand, but to doubt which would mean his damnation! The mysterious proposition was sometimes stated to be 3 x 1 is 1; but others stated it differently, 1 x 3 is 1. No wonder if some of the more intelligent specimens or our race declared themselves incapable of understanding such mathematics, and too honest to confess and profess what they could not believe!” Pg. 37
Argument from false analogy. There is also (again) a suggestion of prestige argument, which I have identified before as being a form of hypnosis when used repeatedly. Russell is fixed upon this point. As an Arianist, he believes that the Lord Jesus is a man, or an Angel (he states both repeatedly). I’ve dealt with repeatedly and at length on the Trinity and upon the deity of Jesus Christ. Sadly, there is no evidence Russell ever repented of this before his death, so I doubt I’ll be meeting a sheepish Russell in heaven. However, I do promise all Witnesses reading this that I WILL ASK for him when I do get to heaven! We’ll see if I’m the sheepish one! However, I’m strongly inclined to doubt it, as the Bible states specifically in John 8:24 that unless you believe the Lord Jesus Christ is God, you will die in your sins.
And as I’ve stated elsewhere, there’s a difference between mathematics and the understanding of God. The concept of God is huge. To understand the concept of God you’d have to BE God! How can God BE EVERYWHERE at once? know everything? Be at the beginning of time, right now, and in the future at the same time? Explain all this to me, and I’ll explain the Trinity to you. Is there anything in Scripture we just don’t understand? Yes. Does that mean we are wrong because we don’t understand? No. And I’ve got a better grasp on it than Mr. Russell, because I’ve got almost four years of seminary and have spent a GREAT DEAL OF TIME studying this issue.
From the witness by Arius in 325 to the witness by the next special messenger of the Church was the long period of 835 years; and during all that time the Papacy was slowly rising, pushing itself higher and higher.
Arius was a heretic, denying Christ. I wouldn’t call that a witness. However, Russell’s contention here contradicts the Scripture. It says specifically, 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18 (KJV)
In other words, the churches of the Lord cannot disappear for 835 years. The Lord said the gates of Hell would not prevail against the church. Russell is saying the opposite, the gates of hell prevailed against the Churches for over 8 centuries. If I have to choose, I’ll believe the Bible.
He (Balaam) desired to curse God’s true people, because of the money there was in it, and finally seduced them by fornication (symbolical of union of church and state).
The fornication that Balaam seduced Israel to was literal fornication with the women of the surrounding peoples, whom Israel was ordered not to intermarry with. There was nothing there about “State churches”. Do I agree with State Churches? Oh, no. not at all. Pastor Russell is correct here in his denunciation of them. You’ll notice that no country has a state religion that says “Baptist”, but rather Roman Catholic, or Catholic-lite, such as Lutheran or Reformed.
It is interesting to me that Russell turns to the Baptists on pages 45 as a source of his supposed “true witness” by citing Waldenses, and Petrobrussians – both originally early Baptist groups. Peter and Waldo both left the Catholic church and joined already existing groups of anabaptists, where they both rose to pastoral positions.
However, I renew my objection that Russell is at times wildly allegorizing parts of Scripture, sometimes attributing three separate allegorical meanings to a single verse! This is not biblical exegesis, but eisogesis.
He (Charles Taze Russell) has privately admitted his belief that he was chosen for his great work from before his birth.
How did he know? Was there a toe tag telling him that? “Read upon delivery.” or is it rather the claim of a possibly sociopathic man, using morphine regularly to regulate his frequent migraine headaches and his constant stomach pains?
I was led gradually 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 accident, one evening I dropped into a dusty, dingy hall in Allegheny, Pa., where I had heard that 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 Adventism, by Jonas Wendell, long since deceased. Thus I confess indebtedness to Adventists as well as to other Bible students.
From his own mouth. Thanks. You can all stop the nasty arguments now.
“When in 1872 I came to examine the subject of Restitution from the standpoint of the Ransom price given by our Lord Jesus for Adam, and consequently for all lost in Adam, it settled the matter of Restitution completely, and gave me the fullest assurance that ALL must come forth from their graves and be brought to a clear knowledge of the Truth and to a full opportunity to gain everlasting life through Christ.”
This is the false doctrine that Satan is the Lord of this world, and that Jesus Christ had to pay a ransom to Satan to free men’s souls. As a result, Russell embraced Universalism, the belief all would be saved. The illogic of such a liberal position is that one is confronted with evil, and the grudging admission that some would not be saved. There is now a conflict in the belief, and so once again the Watchtower Society would borrow from Adventism the doctrine of annhilationism, that is, one would cease to be if they were evil. This of course is long since been dealt with early on in this series, with examination of many verses on Hell and Salvation.
We progressed from our first crude and indefinite ideas of Restitution to clearer understanding of the details; but God’s due time for clear light had not yet come.
No, this is not how it works. If Russell truly were an anointed leader, the messenger of God, he would have known what the doctrines were. This strikes me as an admission of guilt that Russell was inventing his own doctrines, trying to eliminate contradictions as best he could, and searching for the scriptures to back up his claims. Otherwise, if he were simply studying the Bible and writing down what it taught, then it would have taken perhaps two to four years, and doctrines would not have been requiring “light”.
Here’s how it works. Take the Bible, and for reasons you’ll read in many other places on this blog I recommend ONLY the King James, and begin reading it. Make lots of notes. This is of course allowed. Read the Bible and only the Bible, writing down notes on things you notice. Places, names, who is the passage talking to, who is saying it, when was it, what is the context, come up with a 14 word summary of the passage. If you read four chapters or so a day, it’ll take one year. At the end of it, you’ll know pure doctrine. Remember the five rules! You have to compare what Scripture says on a topic with every where else it speaks on that topic! topical Bibles are a handy tool for this.
How do I know this is allowed? Why, because isn’t this what Pastor Russell says he did? Surely the Watchtower Society would commend you for the same thing, right? No. They won’t, and you know it. Then obviously this means they’ve got something to hide.
It seems that not long after their 1874 disappointment, a reader of The Herald of the Morning, who had a copy of the Emphatic Diaglott, noticed something in it which he thought peculiar— that in Matthew 24:27, 37, 39, the Greek word parousia, which in our Common Version is rendered ‘coming,’ is in the Diaglott translated ‘presence’— evidently the correct translation of the Greek.
It’s not. παρουσία means a coming. The word it comes from is a presence Pareimi, from Para (around, about, near) and Eimi (I, myself). πάρειμι means to be neaer, not παρουσία. Parousia is a different tense.
It is also used in
17 I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. 1 Corinthians 16:17 (KJV)
19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 1 Thessalonians 2:19 (KJV)
Which would mean that the Lord’s presence would be indicated in ad 52, when Thessalonians was written. This then obviates any investigative judgment that the Watchtower Society could lay claim to.
This was the clue; and following it, they had been led through prophetic time toward proper views regarding the object and manner of our Lord’s Return, and then to the examination of the time when the things indicated in God’s Word as related to Christ’s parousia should take place.
So, by relying on a mistranslation of a greek word, which none of them knew or had studied, they based their entire faltering doctrinal system upon.
By these works scholarly information respecting the original text of the Bible is obtainable. I have all four of these works (Youngs, Strongs, Englishmans concordance and LIddel’s Greek) and have used them faithfully. Very few college professors, even, would risk to give a critical translation of any text of Scripture without consulting these very works of reference, which are standard.
notice Russell’s admission he never learned Greek or Hebrew. He however is missing a point. I’ve had a year of Greek and a year of Hebrew. I get much better and more accurate results now using Strongs than I did five years ago. Why? I know what i’m looking at, I have grounding in the languages, and I can avoid embarrassing mistakes. I still sometimes look something up in Strongs, and it can lead me in the wrong direction without a knowledge of Greek. Now that I have it, I can recognize what all those english terms are trying to do. Para is about, near. How can you be about and near at the same time? They are descriptive words, to give an understanding of how the root words fit together. It is not a “pick one or the other” choice.
Pastor Russell could have used those resources to have started a study of learning Greek, but chose not to. Instead, he did amateurish research, getting incorrect conclusions, leading literally thousands astray.
Come out of her while there’s still time.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered 22 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses responses so far (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses 16 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered 20 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered 21 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered 18 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnessese Answered 3 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered 15 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered 14 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)