JULY 15TH STUDY EDITION :"If ever that evil slave..." page 24

by raymond frantz 22 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Vanderhoven7 who is the "Brandon Harper" you referred to who?

    Vanderhoven7 I notice your post (quoting from Brandon Harper??) referred to predictions by the WTS from its very beginning. I also notice from a different post of yours that you read James Penton's books. In M. James Pento's book called Apocalypse Delayed: The History of Jehovah's Witnesses (First Edition) on page 19 in chapter one he said that Russell believed in the dates and the predictions pertaining to them and that John Nelson Barbour had taught him those. Penton also says that Russell at times was impressed by rationalistic ideas of a religious nature.and I strongly believe that Penton is correct about these matters. This and other things in Penton's book convince me that Russell was not evil, despite the numerous accusations made by some people of Russell.

    [Furthermore, Raymond Franz in his Crisis of Conscience book (Fourth Edition) says he believes the governing body members he knew believed in much of what they taught. He also says he believes that they did what they did (including sometimes being controlling and at times lying) because they all really believed that the Watch Tower is God's organization and that it thus needs to be protected.On page 384 Raymond says the following. 'As stated in this book, it is the concept that controls the men, the concept that the Watch Tower organization was divinely chosen by Christ Jesus and constitutes God's "channel of communication" for all his servants on earth, and that their functioning as a governing body is a divine arrangement.' By these things I don't mean that the Watch Tower and the governing body do no evil, but that the governing body and the directors of the Watch Tower (including Rutherford) up through at least the year 2000 were sincere about most of what they taught, including in regards to dates and predictions.]

    Note that page 19 says the following. "Russell, who had formerly rejected Adventist chronology and date-setting, as had George Storrs after 1844, now paid Barbour's expenses to come to Philadelphia to meet him and show 'fully and Scripturally, if he could, that the prophecies indicated 1874 as the date at which the Lord's presence and the "harvest" began.' As the young merchant, then only twenty-four, stated later: 'He came, and the evidence satisfied me.' Once again Russell was impressed by rationalistic ideas.

    Page 19 of Penton's book then says that Russell "gave Barbour money to prepare a book representing their beliefs respecting the end of the age" and that the book spelling out the time features was the Three Worlds and the Harvest of This World. Penton further says that though the book bore both Barbour's name and Russell's name "it was composed entirely by Barbour."

    Page 22 of Penton's book says that "Barbour was greatly impressed by his own system" contained in the Three Worlds book, and then Penton quotes Barbour for documentation. Page 22 also says "Even George Storrs, a man long hostile to such eschatological date-setting, regarded Barbour's chronology as 'the best I have ever seen.' ...Anyone living in late-nineteenth-century America and impressed by so-called mathematical 'proofs' might have regarded Three Worlds as an important prophetic study if he had the tenacity to read it. Referring to Barbour's system, as taken over by Russell virtually without change, Timothy White comments: 'Russell's chronological patterns, prophecies and parallels are enough to stagger the imagination. The dates 1799, 1874, and 1914 each are the result of several entirely independent methods of calculation. The whole system becomes very harmonious and balanced.' 42

    Three Worlds is therefore a very important work. In fact, it contains within it most of the ideas that Russell and those in association with him were to promulgate during the next nearly forty years."

    In my recent study of WTS literature, including literature of Russell, I can now see how Russell could truly strongly believe that the dates he promoted (dates he learned from Barbour, but sometimes with some minor changes) really were (in his mind) God's dates and not man's dates. Even variations of some of the terminology of Rutherford's and Russell's writings (and in writings by later authors of WTS literature) conveying the idea of "proof positive", "certain", "conclusive", "beyond doubt" are found in Barbour's book. For examples, consider some of the following statements from Barbour's book.

    "Here is positive proof that this kingdom of God is not set up, nor given to Christ, until the end of this world, when He comes in the clouds of heaven."

    "That Christ and his saints are eventually to reign on the earth, is placed beyond all doubt by comparing Rev. 20:4, and Rev. 5:10, "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. " And this reigning is positively affirmed to be after the resurrection; and in Dan. 7:13, 14, as if to make it doubly sure, it is shown that the dominion over the nations is not given to Christ until he comes in the clouds of heaven, which we know is at his second advent."

    "The Christian church have been right in believing in the eventual conversion of the world, no doctrine of the Bible is so clear and unmistakable; but they have failed to distinguish between the work of the gospel of the kingdom, and the kingdom itself; the one being a preparatory step to the other."

    "There is much positive Scripture, to be adduced, to prove that there is to be probation in the millennial age, or world to come, for all who have not been brought to the knowledge of the truth in this world, and committed the unpardonable sin."

    '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." '

    "Many arguments are given in this book proving that we are now in the time of harvest; hence, that Christ has come the second time and that he was due, in the autumn of 1874, his appearing in the clouds being yet future. From the seventh month in 1844 to the seventh month in 1874, was thirty years. The first movement brought to view in this parable, and which was to end in disappointment and the tarrying of the bridegroom, ended in 1844. And all the evidences proving that Christ was due in 1874, also prove that this night of tarrying was one of just thirty years. Hence, if this parable is to be accurately applied in every detail, as Christ himself has taught us to apply parables, the midnight cry ("And at midnight there was a cry made"), should have occurred fifteen years after the 1844 disappointment, or in the middle of this night of thirty years. Now, whether it was accidental, or so overruled, this present movement, based on these arguments proving that he was due in 1874, began just at that point of time; that is, fifteen years after 1844. Hence, we have to believe the midnight cry has been given, and that the parable is now nearly complete."

    'The seven prophetic times of the Gentiles, or 25-20 [sic] 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 fulfillment.'

  • Vanderhoven7

    Hi Disillusioned JW,

    Brandon Harper is simply a contributor on another forum. I thought his take was interesting but not necessarily in keeping with my perspective.

    I checked out the Bible Student site you used in your response. It seems to me that they are still promoting Russell and things he promoted i.e. 1874 for the second advent as well as his 6 volume Studies in The Scriptures series, pyramidology etc.

    How does this fit in with your thinking?

    Personally, I believe Jesus set up His kingdom post ascension in AD 33, that the second Advent is still future and that 1874 and 1914 are irrelevant to the gospel and salvation. By the way, next week is ascension week and I am preaching on the significance of the ascension this Sunday.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW
    Hi Vanderhoven7. I became a strong/positive atheist about 12 years ago and thus I disagree with most of the teachings of the Bible Students movement, as well as the WTS/JWs and the all the other Christian religions/churches/denominations/sects/cults. I made the post to show that Russell did not think up the dates and predictions on his own, but obtained them from Barbour. I also made the post to support my conclusion that Russell was sincere in regards to those teachings and not evil, but I don't agree with those teachings of Russell and the Bible Students.

    Since I am now an atheist I no longer believe that Jesus ever was a heavenly Christ and I don't believe that Jesus had a second presence or second coming, though I do know that the NT teaches that Jesus is a heavenly Christ. I believe that If Jesus ever existed as a human, as a historical person, he died and remained dead and will never live again. I now strongly believe (based upon my personal observations and experiences and my knowledge of science) in scientific naturalism, not supernaturalism.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Yes, I was aware that Russell borrowed from Barbour and heralded Christ's 1874 presence till his death in 1916. And I am sure he believed in the chronology he taught. Unlike most, I think he had a relationship with both Father and Son...but I also believe that he, like Harold Camping, died a broken man in his attempts to prove Jesus was mistaken when he said no man knows the timing of the parousia. Sad really.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Vanderhoven7, from what I read of WT literature including literature of Russell, I don't think Russell thought Jesus was mistaken at all when Jesus said no human knows the day or the hour of the timing the parousia, neither the angels nor the Son. The impression that I got was that Russell and the modern day WT organization said that at the time Jesus (who had not yet died and risen to heaven) said no human, angel, nor even the Son knew the timing the Christ's parousia such was true, but that over 1500 years later God revealed to some Christians (and likely to the risen Christ even earlier) the year and possibly the month of the start of the parousia.

    Consider the following. In some of the NT Gospels the disciples of Jesus who first saw the resurrected Jesus did not recognize Jesus after he had recently been resurrected (because their eyes and/or minds were kept from recognizing him, or because his appearance was different [see John 21:12 and Mark 16:12]), but those same accounts say that later their "eyes" were opened or that some other special actions took place, and that as a result they then recognized they were speaking with Jesus Christ. See Luke 24:15-16, 31, John 20:14, 16-18. and John 21:4,7. These verses possibly indicate that God and/Jesus keeps some matters hidden from Christ's disciples for a period of time, but reveals them later. Likewise Paul spoke of a mystery (sacred secret) of God which was later revealed to Christians.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Disillusioned JW As I see it, Jesus encouraged believers to be ready at all times precisely because the timing of the parousia would be unknown. In a time that ye think not, the Son of man cometh. It would be a surprise as was Noah’s flood...as a snare it would come upon the entire earth. In Matthew 24, Jesus says:

    42Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
    43But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
    44Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

    So yes, in my view Miller, Barbour, Russell and Camping were trying to prove Jesus a liar and suffered the consequences.
  • BoogerMan

    The Watchtower justified its new light by saying, "Notice that Jesus introduces the warning with the words "if ever." One scholar says that in the Greek text, this passage "for all practical purposes is a hypothetical condition."

    The 'one scholar' un-credited source is actually The NET BIBLE, (its footnote) published by the evangelical Society of Biblical Literature.

    So the 'new light' or 'food at the proper time' never came from the self-appointed slave. LOL

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Thanks for your comment about Matthew 24. I pending detailed reply to it.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Where I said 'I pending detailed reply to it" I should have said "I intend to reply to it in a pending post".

  • road to nowhere
    road to nowhere

    So......hypothetically the slave is not real, or ( my opinion) the self proclaimed slave is indeed wicked. By being deceiving, greedy, and haughty.

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