Following their disappointment that Christ did not appear in 1844 as expected various movements emerged from this movement. Shortly afterward many accepted the Seventh Day Sabbath due to the influence from the Seventh Day Baptist Church. Most of those Sabbatarians would later rally behind Ellen White who claimed to have visions from God, and found the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Some of them came to disbelieve that God would communicate through a woman and went to found what would become the Church of God (Seventh Day), the denomination HWA would later join (despite his later denials) and from which produce Armstrongism.
Not every Adventist however accepted the Sabbath. Some non-Sabbatarian Adventists became persuaded that Christ would return in 1874. When this prediction also failed one man who believed this, Nelson Barbour, refused to believe they were wrong and insisted that Christ invisibly returned at that date. This attracted the attention of one Charles Taze Russell, who went and worked with him. After falling out with each other Russell went and started his own organization, The Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, the members of which would become known as the Jehovah's Witnesses from 1931 onwards.
Because of such common ancestry it should be of no surprise that they should share certain similarities. (Common ancestry does not in any way alter the fact that HWA clearly stole many ideas from the Jehovah's Witnesses independently of any ancestral connection his movement had with them.)
Don't these words from the Watchtower Society sound familiar to those of us familiar with Armstrongism?
Consider that "the time is short:" that where we used to give one dollar, or a hundred, or a thousand, we now have the privilege of showing the Lord our appreciation of the truth by using five times as much, both of time and money; the results of which are beyond comparison. ('Old Theology Tracts' in Watchtower, March, 1889. Please note this is from what appears to be a website from a Russellite offshoot of the Watchtower Society.)
The Watchtower Society saying the time is short in 1889, just like HWA did throughout his (so-called) ministry. (At the time the Watchtower taught that the time of the end began in 1799, Jesus Christ invisibly returned in 1874, and Armageddon would come in 1914. Today they say Christ invisibly returned and the time of the end began in 1914 with Armageddon to come soon.)
notwithstanding the opposition of the clergy, who, from their office and profession, should be the very ones to sound the Jubilee trump to our dear brethren and sisters. (Dawn in its Seventieth Thousand, Watchtower, March, 1888.)This is very similar to how Meredith assert that other religionists are often at the forefront of opposition to "the truth."
down through time, biblical and secular history show very clearly that the servants of God were persecuted most of all by people who had religious jealousy. Other religionists would persecute God's servants. The other ministers and the other religionists would always go after the true servants of God. That is the way it has always has been. That is terrible, but that is the way it is. (Meredith, The Gospel of Matthew -- Program 13 Bible Study, on Matthew 12:14.)
Comparing religious leaders with the religious authorities who opposed Jesus is a very effective polemical tool used by religious cults such as the Armstrongites to demonize any opposition by contemporary religious authorities.
Many do not know that the "Baptists," "Disciples," "Congregationalists," and some others, are not organized into one body throughout the world, in the same manner as are Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, and E. Methodists, but each congregation maintains the right to control its own affairs and its own faith independently of other congregations. [This is well, but the same principle should extend to each individual in each congregation. Each should be asked if he accepts the Lord by the only name, Saviour, and the Bible as God's divinely inspired communication to man; and beyond this, each should be left to believe all that he can find in God's revelation, each ready to assist and be assisted by the other, to grow in grace and knowledge and in the love of God.] But those independent congregations, imitating the various sects, have formed "Unions" by which the majority of such churches attempt to fix the faith and affairs of the others, much the same as Conferences do for the Methodists, and the Presbyteries and Synods and General Assemblies of the Presbyterians, and the Convocations Councils and generally the hierarchies of the Protestant Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches. (Chas. H. Spurgeon's Position, Watchtower, February, 1888.)
This is similar to Hoeh's condemnation of Christians organizing themselves together in the 1959 "church history" booklet.
This concerns the founding of the Seventh Day Baptists:
so nearly dead were these congregations that in 1802 MANY began to ORGANIZE THEMSELVES together into a General Conference instead of submitting to the government of God for the carrying out of the gospel. At this serious juncture, MOST of the local churches JOINED THEMSELVES TOGETHER to form the Seventh-day Baptist General Conference and thereby ceased to be the true Church of God.
This concerns the founding of the Seventh Day Adventists.
In the spring, of 1861 another conference was held in an unscriptural effort to reorganize local congregations....Once again men forgot that they can not organize themselves INTO the Church of God. They can only organize themselves OUT OF the Church of God!
These statements against the organizing of Christians together seems very peculiar considering that WCG was also "organized," specifically as a one man dictatorship euphemistically labeled the "government of God."
So once again we must ask ourselves why is Armstrongism supposedly unique?