Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Russell Quote Reminescent of HWA

While reaching this article noting concerns about the Watchtower Society's 1993 book, Jehovah's Witnesses: Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, I came across this quote from their founder, the false prophet of the 1914 "End of this System of Things" that never was, Charles Taze Russell.

"Many are the inquiries relative to the truths presented in MILLENNIAL DAWN and ZION'S WATCH TOWER...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?...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." [July 15, 1906, Watch Tower, p. 229, as quoted in Jehovah's Witnesses: Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, p. 622, as quoted in Alan Feuerbacher's article.]

This quote reminds me how HWA claimed not to have received any supernatural visions and how he claimed that "the truth" did not emerge all at once. "I had to learn one doctrine, and one truth, at a time." (Chapter 23 of the Autobiography of HWA.)

Also just like C. T. Russell HWA claimed to be the only one through whom God was presently working with.


  1. There is a video that shows how the WCG/HWA history amazingly resembles the Jehovah's Witnesses-


  2. Russell never claimed to be a prophet, and denied being a prophet many times. He never made any prophecy concerning 1914.

    Russell's expectation, however, was that the "time of trouble" was to begin in 1914, not that the "end of this systems of things" would happen at that time.
    Russell's Predictions for 1914

  3. Well Ronald, if Russell was prophesying a time of trouble(ie, the so called "Great Tribulation,")isn't that prophesying?

    It is interesting how the JWs deny(like HWA)their false prophecies if they fail. Thanks for the link, but I have to ask who wrote the prophetic article, "Millions Now Living Will Never Die"? in the Watchtower magazine in the early 1900s.

  4. "Russell never claimed to be a prophet, and denied being a prophet many times."

    Not only is that the EXACT same phrase used in defense of Herbert W Armstrong, but it falls apart for the exact same reason. If the man made statements about the future under the guise of divine inspiration, well, it becomes a matter of fact that he is prophesying and that cannot be undone by the claim that he is not prophesying. What he says doesn't change facts one iota.

    Just like the fact that a man who robs a bank IS a bank robber regardless if how many times he says he is not. Or a government who takes your money for whatever reason IS taxing you, regardless of whether they say they are only fining you, charging you, having someone else charge you, etc.

    Call it "expectations" or whatever term you will, but there is no Biblical role of "expectation" or "expectator". There is prophecy and prophet. IF he claimed God gave him understanding of the future (as the phrase "so passionately convinced that these prophetic dates were given by God" would lead one to believe) THEN those were [false] prophecies AND he was acting as a [false] prophet. No exception.

    There is one way that his words matter, and that is that IF he said he was not prophesying THEN he was lying.

  5. "bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." The Watchtower July 15, 1894 p. 226

  6. "We see no reason in changing the figures [that the time of the end began in 1799, Christ invisibly returned in 1874, and that Armageddon will occur by 1914] - 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." Zion's Watch Tower, July 15, 1894 p. 226, as quoted here Emphasis mine.

    Sounds like a prophet to me. Telling the world what "must" happen, saying it is the word of God, not any man.

    Clearly Russell was a (false) prophet who said things would happen, which did not happen.

  7. Where EXACTLY did "C. T. Russell claim to be the only one through whom God was presently working with"?

  8. This is a quote from cephasministry.com-

    "Russell claimed to be the only one with the truth, and he vigorously condemned all other Christian religions. As a result, ministers of various denominations began exposing Russell's false teachings and questionable character.
    "Rev. J.J.Ross published a pamphlet that exposed Russell's false claims and doctrines. He revealed that Russell 'never attended the higher schools of learning: knows comparatively nothing of philosophy, systematic or historical theology; and is totally ignorant of the [biblical] languages [i.e. Hebrew and Greek]'.(3) Ross concluded that Russell's teaching was 'anti-rational, anti-scientific, anti-Biblical, [and] anti-Christian.' (4) Russell unsuccessfully tried to stop circulation of this damaging information by suing Rev. Ross for defamatory libel."

    If the link that I sent first, it clearly shows that Russel claimed that no one could understand the Bible without his books, and that if they read the Bible without his books, it would only confuse them.

  9. Look, if you would please allow me to take the "but he didn't say he was a prophet" logic to an extreme and I hope it will illustrate the point.

    Let's say one day I stand before Jesus in judgment and He accuses me of sin. Given the same logic, I would merely reply "I never claimed to be a sinner. Show me one place where I claim to be an agent of Satan? Therefore I wasn't a legitimate sinner."

    Now, what do you suppose Jesus would do? Say, "Well, I suppose you're right. Enter into my rest."? Heck no! If it were that simple then we need no Christ at all. But I never claimed to be a sinner, and I denied being a sinner several times. Doesn't matter! My sins are plain before God.

    These are different situations, I freely admit, but it's the exact same logic in both cases, and they fail for the exact same reasons.
    Whether or not I verbally confess, did I sin? Yes. Then I'm guilty. Case closed. Now I depend on Christ's mercy or I'm lost.

    Did Russell presumptuously make several predictions supposedly on the inspiration of God which did not come to pass? Yes. Did he write material supposedly under the influence of God and claim that without them one cannot understand the Bible? Yes. Did he encourage people to follow him based on his predictions and teachings? Yes. Then he is guilty. Case closed. If the blood of all the sacrifices in the entire Old Testament could not remove sin, could his silence excuse him? Not at all. If so, then we need no Christ.

    As it is he depends on Christ's mercy. God have mercy on his soul!

  10. "Where EXACTLY did "C. T. Russell claim to be the only one through whom God was presently working with"?"

    I would like a similar answer.
    Where EXACTLY did Hosea or Daniel or David etc claim to be the only one through whom God was at that time working with?

    Even so, they were prophets. (Whose words came true, I might add.)

    Elijah thought he was, but he was incorrect.

    Balaam went around claiming to be a prophet and even some things he said came to pass, yet he was false.

    John the Baptist verbally denied being Elijah (JOHN 1: 21). Yet he was the Elijah to come (MAT. 11: 14).

  11. If anyone has not read "The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses" by Heather & Gary Botting, it explains the doublethink that compel the JWs to believe in the false prophecies, because they would be disfellowshipped otherwise.

    Even if the prophecy failed(ie, 1925 & 1975), the JW had to profess that the governing board or ruler(ie, Charles T. Russell)was "God's mouthpiece," and so they just moved the dates forward, or altered the doctrine(ie, blood transfusions under the guise of "it has always been that way")

    I believe this is referred to as 'doublethink.' The book compares George Orwell's '1984' language of Ingsoc with the JW jargon.