Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York.; International Bible Students Association. : Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York: International Bible Students Association, © Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. Date/Time, Dimensions, User, Comment. current, , 1 May , 0 × 0 ( MB), Ethan (talk | contribs), This file was originally published by. jehovah's witnesses proclaimers of god's kingdom--pdf! At JW conventions in the United Sates, where the book was first released, it was made Download instructions: Click the download link by the red arrow at the.
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i am interested in the book by the watchtower society titled "jehovah's witnesses - -proclaimers of god's kingdom" in pdf. is there anybody that Click the words: ( Click here to start download from sendspace) in the blue box. JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES—PROCLAIMERS OF GOD'S KINGDOM (Book). (See also Watch Tower Publications). appreciation for: yb95 9; w94 5/1 Here you will find links to published books by Jehovah's Witnesses. These books Simply click on a link to view or download a publication. Note 1: Although.
Christian churches. This Greekphilosopher's conception o f the divine trinity. A Interestingly, Dr. Neander observes: The false comparison of the Christianpriesthoodwith theJewishfurtheredagain the rise of episcopacy above the office of presbyten. Such changes marked a defection from the Scriptural method of governing the congregations in apostolic days. Organizational changes, though, were not the only consequences of the apostasy. Pagan Teachings Infiltrate Christ's pure teachings are a matter of record-they are preserved in the Holy Scriptures.
For example, Jesus clearly taught that Jehovah is "the only true Godn and that the human soul is mortal. How could such a dung happen? A key factor was the subtle influence of Greek philosophy. Explains The New Encyclpdia Britannica: As a result of this uni ch as the Trinity and the istianity. The Greeks cultures, for there is evidence of such d Babylonian religions. Kingdom Hope Fades Jesus' disciples were well aware that they had to keep on the watch for Jesus' promised "presencen and the coming of his Kmgdom.
In time, it was appreciated that this Kingdom will rule over the earth for a thousand years and transform it into a paradise. One factor was the spiritual contamination caused by the Greek doctrine of the immortality of the soul. As it took hold among Christians, the millennia1 hope was graduallyabandoned. Not only did apostates transfer millennial blessings from earth to heaven but they shifiled the Kingdom fivm heaven to earth.
They thus transferred Paradise from earth to heaven, which; they believed, the saved soul attains at death. There was, then, no need to watch for Christ's presence and the coming of his Kingdom, since at death they all hoped to join Christ in heaven. The formation of the Catholic Church as a hierarchical institution is directly connected with the declining of the imminent expectation.
So not only were millennial blessings transferred from earth to heaven but the W d o m was shifted from heaven to earth. In his famous work The City of God, he stated: Religious leaders were willing to be put into the service of the State, and at first the State controlled relgious affairs. Before long, religion would control State affairs. Now, the "kingdomnnot only of Christ, and the kingdom ofheaven,, was in the world but waspart of the world.
What a far cry from the Kmg Augustine Hippo dom that Christ preached! Like weeds flourishing in among strangled wheat, the Church of Rome, under its papal ruler, dominated worldly affairs for centuries. However, the Bible teaches that only , persons are called to rule with Christ in heaven.
Through the centuries "heretical" sects called for reforms within the church, but the church continued to abuse power and amass wealth. Then, in the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation, a religious revolt, burst forth in all its fury. Reformers such as Martin Luther , Ulrich Zwingli , and John Calvin attacked the church on various issues: Luther on the sale of indulgences, Z w e on clerical celibacy and Mariolatry, and Calvinon the need for the church to return to the original principles of C W t y.
What did such efforts accomplish? To be sure, the Reformation accomplished some good things, most notably the translation of the Bible into languages of the common people.
The free spirit of the Reformation led to more objective Bible research and an increased understanding of Bible languages. The Reformation did not, however, mark a return to true worship and doctrine. The effects of the apostasy had penetrated deep, to the very foundations of Christendom. Thus, although various Protestant groups broke free from the papal authority of Rome, they carried over some of the basic flaws of the Roman Catholic Church, features that resulted from the.
For a fuller discussion of the Reformation and what it accomplished, see chapter 13, T h e Reformation--? Charles Darwin's "Origin o f Species " deeply influenced the scientific and religous thinking o f the time. For example, although the governing of the Protestant churches varied somewhat, the basic division of the church into a dominating clergy class and a subjugated laity was retained.
Also retained were unscriptural doctrines such as the Trinity, the immortal soul, and eternal torment after death. And like the Roman Church, the Protestant churches continued to be part of the world, being closely involved with the political systems and the elite ruling classes. Meanwhile, what about Christian expectation-watching for Jesus' presence and the coming of his Kingdom? For centuries after the Reformation, the churches-both Catholic and Protestant-were deeply committed to secular power and tended to push off expectations of the coming of Christ's Kingdom.
Stirrings of Watchfulness In the 19th century, though, the religious climate led to stirrings of Christian watchfulness. As a result of Bible research on the part of some clergymen and Bible scholars, such teachings as the immortal sod, eternal torment after death, predestination, and the Trinity were restudied.
In addition, some students of the Bible were closely examining Bible prophecies pertaining to the last days. Consequently, various groups of persons began thinking seriously about the Lord's promised return.
States, William Miller predicted the return of Christ in visible form in or The German theologian J. Such efforts to keep on the watch served to awaken many to the prospect of our Lord's return. However, these efforts at Christian watchfulness ended up in disappointment. For the most part, because they relied too much on men and not enough on the ,.
After a few decades, most of those groups faded out of existence. Meanwhile, during this period other developments had an impact on human hopes and expectations.
Instead of advocating religion, which Marx called "the opium of the people,". Meanwhile, the industrial revolution was under way and gaining momentum. Emphasis switched from agriculture to industry and machine manufacture. The development of the steam locomotive early 19th century was leading to expansion of countrywide railroads.
The latter half of the 19th century saw the invention of the telephone , the phonograph , the electric light , as well as use of the Linotype in producing lines of type for printing Mankind was entering a period of the greatest development of rapid transportation and communication in history.
Although these benefits would be used to advance commercial and politid ends, they would also be available to the rehgious field. The stage was thus set for a modest initiative by a small group of Bible students that would have worldwide effects. This history is of special interest to Jehovah's Witnesses. Because their present understanding of Bible truths and their activities can be traced back to the 's and the work of C. Russell and his associates, and from there to the Bible and early Christianity.
Who was Charles Taze Russell? Does the history of his work give evidence of the lord's help and guidance? A Search for Truth C. He was the second son of Joseph L. Charlesymother died when he was only nine years old, but from an early age, Charles was influenced by both of his rehgiously-mindedparents. As a later associate of C. Russell put it, "they trained the small twig; and it grew in the direction of the Lord.
Presbyterian, Charles eventually joined the Congregational Church because he preferred its views. Young Charles was evidently quite a businessman. At just 11years of age, he became a partner with his father in a thriving men's 'clothmg store. Charles enlarged the business, eventually operating a number of different stores himself. Although things went well for him in business, spiritually he was very troubled. Why was this? Charles' parents sincerely believed the creeds of Christendom's churches and brought him up to accept them too.
Young Charles was thus taught that God is love, yet that he had created men inherently immortal and had provided a fiery place in which he would eternally torment all except those who had been predestined to be saved.
Such an idea repulsed the honest heart of teenage Charles. He reasoned: H But young Russell was no atheist; he simply could not accept the commonly understood teachings of the churches. He explained: Turning away from church creeds and searching for truth, Russell examined some leading Oriental religions, only to find these unsatisf6ng.
Reestablished in Faith The twig, though, had been trained by God-fearing parents; it was inclined "in the direction of the Lord. Walking along near the Russells' store on Federal Street, he heard religious singing coming from a basement hall. In his own words, this is what took place: Jonas Wendell. Thus, I confess indebtedness to Adventists as well.
Joseph L. Russell, Charles' father, was a member of the Allegheny Bible study class and a close associate ofhis son in the activities of the Watch Tower Society until his death in Though his Scripture exposition was not enre-establish my wavering f the Bible, and to show that the records solubly linked. What I heard sent me to my Bible to study with more zeal and care than ever before, and I shall ever thank the Lord for that leading; r though Adventism helped me to fury? It sent him back to his doaunated for m y centurim.
Bible with more eagerness than ever before. Let Mgrow e small Bible class was together until theharvest. They would discuss it. They would look up all related scriptureson the point and then, when they were satisfied on the harmony of fiuthered the work ofBibletramlation even these texts, they would finally state of their life or f k h.
They saw the Scriptural truths pertainkg to the m o d t y of the human soul and that immortalitywas a gift to be attained by '.
But did Russell and his spiritually-minded associates gain these truths from the Bible unaided by others? George W. Stetson -"A Man ofMarked C. Stetson died on October 9,. Russell preach his funeral sermon; R d complied with the request. Influence of Others Russell referred quite openly to the assistance in Bible study he had received from others. Not only did he acknowledge his indebtedness to Second Adventist Jonas Wendell but he also spoke with affection about two other individuals who had aided him in Bible study.
Russell said of these two men: Storrs, who was born on December 13, , was initially stimulated to examine what the Bible says about the condition of the dead as a result of readmg sometlng published though at the time anonymously by a careful student of the Bible, Henry Grew, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He also reasoned that since the wicked do not have immortality, there is no eternal torment, Storrs traveled extensively, lecturing on the subject of no immortality for the wicked.
Among his published works was the Six S m m ,. Without a doubt, Storrs' strong Bible-based views on the mortality of the soul as well as the atonement and restitution restorationof what was lost due to Adamic sin; Acts 3: Yet, another man who had a profound effect on Russell's life also caused his loyalty to Scriptural truth to be put to the test.
Russell had learned from Storrs about the mortllty: From the picture on the covbe has been obliged by severe iller, he could see that it was identified with Adventto djscontinuehjspaper.
The editor, Nelson H. Why, this was in agreement with An announcement of his death a p what Russell and his associates in Allegheny had bepeared in the lpebnjaxy issne of lieved for some time! Russell had shied away from Biblical time prophecies. Now,however, he wondered: So he arranged to meet with Barbour in Philadelphia.
This meeting confirmed their agreement on a number of Bible teachings and provided an George Storrs opportunity for them to exchange views.
Neither Barbour nor Russell was the first to explain the Lord's return as an invisible presence. Much earlier, Sir Isaac Newton had written that Christ would rehunand reign "invisible to mortals. Keith, an associate of Barbour, had drawn it to the attention of Barbour and his associates.
Russell was a man of positive convictions. Convinced that Christ's invisible presence had begun, he was determined to proclaim it to others. He later said: I therefore at once resolved upon a vigorous campaign for the Truth. It was p u b lished in This page book discussed the subjects of restitution and Biblical time prophecies.
Though each subject had been treated by others before, in Russell's view this book was "the first to combine the idea of restitution with time-prophecy. As Russell traveled and preached, it became evident to him that something more was needed to keep the seeds of truth he was sowing alive and watered.
The answer? So he and Barbour decided to revive publication of the Herald, which had been suspended because of canceled subscriptions and exhausted funds. Russell contributed his own funds to revive the journal, becoming one of its coeditors.
All went well for a while-until , that is. Russell Breaks With Barbour In the August issue of Herald ofthe Morning, there appeared an article by Barbour that denied the substitutionary value of Christ's death. Russell, who was nearly 30 years younger than Barbour, could see that this was, in fact, denying the essential part of the ransom doctrine. So in the very next issue September , Russell, in an article entitled "The Atonement," upheld the ransom and contradicted Barbour's statements.
The controversy continued in the pages of the journal for the next few months. Finally, Russell decided to withdraw from fellowship with Mr. Barbour and discontinued further h c i a l support to the Herald.
Russell, though, felt that to withdraw from the Herald was not enough; the ransom doctrine must be defended and Christ's presence must be proclaimed. Russell withdrew all supp9rtfm the mpgrzine "Herafdo f the Morning, " Whichhe had shared in publishing with N.
I withdraw cmtirelyfrom it,askiag firom you. P1ease asnounce in next No. Barbour died a few years later,. The first issue had a printing of 6, copies. By the printing of each issue was about 50, copies. Russell used the Watch Tmer and other publications to uphold Bible truths and to refute false religous teachugs and human philosophies that contradicted the Bible.
He did not, however, claim to discover new truths. From the latter part of the 18th century, many ministers and Bible scholars had been exposing the false teachings of the immortality of the soul and eternal punishment for the wicked.
This expod had been thoroughly reported in the book BibEe Vs. But no one at that time did more than C. Russell and his associates to make ia I What about other Bible doctrines that were discussed in the Watch Twer and other publications? Did Russell take full credit for uncovering these gems of truth? Explained Russell: George Stwrs published a book in the 's called The Waatcb Tomsr: The name was also incorporated in the title of various religious periodicals.
It stems from the idea of keeping on the watch for the outworking of God's purposes. Methodists appreciated and extolled the love and sympathy of God; that Adventists held the precious doctrine of the Lord's return; that Baptists amongst other points held the doctrine of baptism symbolicallycorrectly, even tho they had lost sight of the real baptism; that some Universalists had long held vaguely some thoughts respecting 'restitution.
As a matter of fact it was used in practically the form we present it long before our day, just as various prophecies we use were used to a different purpose by Adventists, and just as various doctrines we hold and which seem so new and fresh and different were held in some form long ago: We must disclaim any credit even for the findmg and rearrangement of the jewels of truth. Nevertheless, the "scattered fragments of truth" that he brought together and presented to the Lord's people were free of the God-dishonoring pagan doctrines of the Trinity and immortality of the soul, which had become entrenched in the churches of Christendom as a result of the great apostasy.
Like no one at that time, Russell and his associates proclaimed worldwide the meaning of the Lord's return and of the divine purpose and what it involved. Russell and his associates were proclammg both through the printed page and in lectures. Russell, still less than 30 years of age, soon realized that there was a need for the readers of the Wad Tmer to get acquainted with fellow believers and encourage one another. The Bible Students in Pittsburgh were doing this by regularly meeting together, but what could be done to help Watch Tower readers in other places?
The answer came in the Watch Tmer issues of May and June Many places they are totally unacquainted with each other, and thus lose the sympathy and comfort which our Father designed should come to them by 'The assernblmg of themselves together as the manner of some is. The proposed meetings we would hope, might conduce to personal acquaintance.
The "proposed meetings" were held during Russell's trip, and they proved very successful; readers of the Watch Twer were drawn closer togethgr. These classes were encouraged to hold regular meetings.
But what kind of meetings? The Pittsburgh class had established the custom of meeting together at least twice each week. One meeting of the Pittsburgh class often included a-lectmrtiya qualified speaker to the entire ecclesia, perhaps in a rented M: But Russell and his associates did not pioneer the idea of regularly meeting together. That m o m of assernblmg, even in private homes, was established by the firstcentury Christians. Russell and his associates strongly believed that they were in a time of harvest and that people needed to hear liberating truth.
Yet, they were few in number. The Wdch Tmer was filling a vital need, but could more be done? Russell and his coworkers thought so. Dumg they began to produce Bible Students' Tracts later also called Old Theology Qqarterb , and these were provided to readers of the Watch Tmer for free distribution to the public.
Yes, readers of the Watch Tmer were encouraged to share with others the precious truths they were learning. How important was it for them to preach?
The article went on to state: Yes, we were called to suffer with him and to proclaim that good news now, that in due time we might be glorified and perform the thmgs now preached. We were not called, nor anointed to receive honor and amass wealth, but to spend and be spent, and topreach the good news. In fact, the commission to preach was placed upon the first-century Christians; it is a responsibility that rests upon all genuine Christians to this day.
Was it simply to distribute Bible literature or awaken churchgoers to Scriptural truths? Out of what? Martin Luther and other leaders of the Reformation identified the Catholic Church and its papacy as Babylon the Great. What about the Protestant churches that sprang up as a result of the Reformation? The fact is, apart from their rejection of the primacy of the pope, some were not much different from Catholicism in church structure, and they retained unscriptural doctrines, such as the Trinity, immortality of the soul, and eternal torment.
For this reason some preachers urged people to break free not only from the Catholic Church but also from the main Protestant church systems. Russell penned six volumes of "MillennialDawn" to as well as tracts, booklets, and "Watch Tower" articles over a period o f about 37 years.
Russell and his associates also realized that this infamous harlot was not merely the Catholic Church. Every church claiming to be a chaste virgin espoused to Christ, but in reality united to and supported by the world beast we must condemn as being in scripture language a harlot church.
What, therefore, were readers of the Watch Tmer encouraged to do? Russell wrote: Nevertheless, readers of the Watch Twer were urged to separate themselves from church system that were corrupt and worldly. Tts Truth Captured My Heart At Once" The p u b l i s h of Bible truths took a sgdicant step forward in with the release of the first volume of a promised seriesof books called Millennia1 Dam, written by C.
Russell wrote five other books of the Millennia1 Dawn series. I received it on a Saturday evening, commenced to read it immediately and never laid it aside, except when obliged, until finished. Its truth captured my heart at once; forthwith I withdrew from the Presbyterian Church where I had so long been groping in the dark for the truth, and found it not.
Demonstrating this was a woman in Manitoba, Canada, who came into possession of Millennia1 D a m in At first, she tried to stay with her church and teach in local Sunday schools.
The day came, in , when she decided to make a break. She stood up and told all present why she felt she must separate from the church. The nearest neighbor dear to people in small communities in those days tried to persuade her to go back to church. But she stood firm, even though there was no congregation of Bible Students nearby. As her son later described her situation: No meetings. A contrite heart. A worn Bible.
Long prayerful hours. Russell took an approach to explaining Bible teachings that was distinct from many writers of his day. He believed the Bible to be the infallible Word of God and that its teachings should be.
They were: The name Studies in the Scn'pturcs was adopted in limited editions beginning about October , and the new name was more generally used beginning in When he gave public lectures, Brother Russell did not use any notes, and he was always on the move-gesturing with his arms and stepping about the platform. In view o f the pastoral work that he wm doing under the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, certain k d e d g e d by vote pastor.
It was nut a d - a m e d tirk Thefirst group to vote him theirptor was the congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in Therefore, if any part of the Bible is difficult to understand, he felt, it should be clarified and interpreted by another part of the inspired Word. He did not try to support the explanations he presented with the testimony of theologians of his day or with the views of the so-called early church fathers.
As he wrote in Volume I of Millennia1 Dawn: Truthseekers should empty their vessels of the muddy waters of tradition and fill them at the fountain of truth -God's Word. Headquarters at the Bible House The Bible Students in Allegheny, associated with the publishing of the Watch Towerywere considered the most experienced in doing the Lord's work and were looked to by all the ecclesias, or congregations, as those taking the lead.
In the late OYs, however, expansion became necessary. So Russell arranged to build larger facilities. In a four-story brick building at Arch Street, Allegheny, was completed. It served as the Society's headquarters for some 19 years. As of , the small Bible House family was serving the needs of several hundred active associates of the Watch Tower Society.
But as the decade of the 's progressed, more showed interest in what these were doing. In fact, according to an incomplete report published in the Watch Tmer, on March 26, , the Memorial of Christ's death was observed at separate meetings with 2, participants. What, though, would help to keep the growing number of Bible Students united? Unifying the Growing Flock C. Russell encouraged all readers of the Watch Tmer to come together wherever they could to form groups, small or large, in order to.
Scriptural counsel was provided through the columns of the Watch Tmer. Traveling representatives of the Watch Tower Society were also sent out from headquarters to keep in touch with the various groups and to build them up spiritually.
At intervals, there were also special assemblies attended by Bible Students from many places. What was the occasion? More, though, was planned: A series of special meetings was scheduled dumg the evenings of the week that followed. The Bible Students in Allegheny opened their homes--and their hearts-free of charge for the visiting delegates. For the next few years, similar assemblies were held in Allegheny at the time of the Memorial of the Lord's death.
During the late OYs,conventions began to be organized in many places. Russell frequently spoke on these occasions. What was it like to listen to him? Ralph Leffler, who heard C. Russell speak, recalled: He could hold the attention of a large audience for not just one hour but sometimes two or three hours. He would always begin his lecture with a gentle bow to the audieme. I never once saw him carry any notes or a manuscript in his hands-only the Bible, which he used very frequently.
He spoke from the heart and in a manner that was very convincing. Usually the only-article on the platform in those days was a small table with a Bible on it and a pitcher of water and a glass from which the speaker occasionally took a sip of water. They served to strengthen the unity of all the Bible Students and to publicize Bible truths. Meanwhile, as the decade of the 's drew to a close, it was evident to the Bible Students that much more needed to be done in disseminating Bible truth.
But they were still relatively few in number. Was there a way of reaching millions more people than could be contacted by the methods then being used? Indeed there was! Opening the Door of "Newspaper Gospelling" By the end of the 19th century, the world was crisscrossed with telegraph lines.
Telegraphic communication was inexpensive and fast; it. Russell's sermons were reaching 15,, readers. I revolutionized the press. News could be quickly transmitted over long distances and printed in newspapers. In the early part of the 20th century, C. Russell and his associates saw newspapers as an effective way of reaching large numbers of people. Russell later said: Russell were appearing in three newspapers. The next issue of the Watch Tmer, under the heading "Newspaper Gospelling," reported: If the Lord wills we shall be glad to see this 'door' keep open, or even open still wider.
In fact, by it was estimated that through 2, newspapers Russell's sermons were reaching 15,, readers! How, though, did Russell manage to get a weekly sermon printed even when he was traveling? Each week he telegraphed a sermon about two newspaper columns long to a newspaper syndicate. The syndicate, in turn, retelegraphed it to newspapers in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Russell was convinced that the Lord had pushed the door of newspaper preaching wide open.
During the first decade of the. A publication called 7Be Continent once stated concerning Russell: Moving to Brooklyn As the newspaper preachmg gained momentum, the Bible Students looked for another location from which to originate the sermons. The Bible House in Allegheny had become too small. It was also thought that if Russell's sermons emanated from a larger, better-known city, it would result in the publication of the sermons in more newspapers.
But which city? The Watch Tmer of December 15, , explained: Rutherford, were sent to New York City. Their objective? To secure property that C. Russell had located on an earlier trip. They the old "Plymouth Bethel," located at Hicks Street: It had served as a mission structure for the nearby Plymouth Congregational Church, where Henry Ward Beecher once served as pastor.
The Society's representatives also downloadd Beecher's former residence, a four-story brownstone at Columbia Heights, a few blocks away.
It housed the Societp2so5ces and an auditorium. What would it be called? But it was not the only way of reaching masses of people. Expanding the Proclamation of the Good News In , Russell and his associates embarked on a bold educational venture that was far ahead of its time. In fact, it was to reach millions of people Later, the adjoining property, Columbia Heights, was downloadd, thus enlarging the Bethel Home. Also, in an additional buildmg was added to the rear of the Bethel Home, providing new housing accommcdations.
It was the "Photo-Drama of Creationn-a combination motion picture and slide presentation, synchronized with musical recordmgs and phonograph-record talks. It was about eight hours in length and was presented in four parts. Besides the regular "Photo-Drama," the "Eureka Drama," consisting of either the recorded lectures and musical recordings or the records plus the slides, was also made available.
Though it lacked motion pictures, it was successfully presented in less densely kPulated areas. Imagine the historic scene: Many others had to be turned away. The occasion? Before the audience was a large motion-picture screen. As they watched-and listened-somethmg truly amazing happened. Russell, then in his early 6OYs,appeared on the screen. His lips began to move, and his words could be heard!
As the presentation continued, it took those in attendance-by means of words, color pictures, and music-from earth's creation to the end of Christ's Millennial Reign. They were truly impressed! The "Photo-Draman certainly proved to be an effective means of reaching masses of people in a relatively short period of time. Meanwhile, what about October ? For decades Russell and his associates had been prodaiming that the Gentile Timeswould end in Expectations were high.
Russell had been critical of those who had set various dates for the Lord's "ZookOutfbr ! Yet, from the time of his early asso"The World, then a leading newspaciation with Nelson Barbour, he was convinced that per in New Yark City,stated in its there was an accurate chronology, based on the Bible, fasgazine section: What would happen?
Ifhere is any reason that would lead any to let go of the Lord and His Tnrthand to cease sacrijicingfor the Lord3 Cause, then it is not merely the love of God in the heart which has prompted interest in the Lord, but something else; probably a hoping that the time m s short; the consecration was only for a certain time. Ifso, now is a good time to let go.
The years from to did, indeed, prove to be "a testing season" for the Bible Students. Some of the tests came from within; others came from outside. All of them, though, tested the Bible Students in ways that revealed whether they really had 'the love of God in their hearts. The fighting began in August when Germany swept into Belgium and France. By the autumn of that year, the bloodbath was well under way. So exclaimed Brother Russell as he entered the dining room at the Brooklyn headquarters of the Watch Tower Societythe morning of Friday, October 2, Excitement was k h.
Most of those present had for years been loolung forward to But what would the end of the Gentile T i e s bring? There were also other expectations concerning Alemnder H.
Macrnillan, who had been baptized in September , later recalled: Maanillan, who had been baptized 14 years earlier, gave a discourse on Wednesday,September In it Be stzted: From his seat at the head o f the table, C. Russell announced: Ln that talk I hied to show the.
But what about the Bible Students associated with Russell? Had some been attracted by the thought of their own early salvation rather than love for God and a strong desire to do his will?
October passed, and C. Russell and his associates were still on earth. Then October passed. Was Russell disappointed? In The Watch Tower of February 1, , he wrote: Were you not disappointed that it did not come when we hoped that it would?
No, we reply, we were not disappointed. Brethren, those of us who are in the right attitude toward God are not disappointed at any of His arrangements. We did not wish our own will to be done; so when we found out that we were expecting the wrong thing in October, , then we were glad that the Lord did not change Elis Plan to suit us. We did not wish Him to do so. We merely wish to be able to apprehend His plans and purposes. Nevertheless, the Gentile Times did end in that year. Clearly, the Bible.
Students had more to learn as to the sgnhcance of Meanwhile, what were they to do? As The Watch Tmer of September 1, , put it: T e imagined that the Harvest work of gathering the Church [of anointed ones] would be accomplished before the end of the Gentile Times; but nothing in the Bible so said. Are we regretful that the Harvest work continues? Nay, verily. Our present attitude, dear brethren, should be one of great gratitude toward God, increasing appreciation of the beautiful Truth which He has granted us the privilege of seeing and bemg identified with, and increasing zeal in helping to bring that Tmth to the knowledge of others.
Brother Russell evidently thought so. Indicating this was a conversation he had with Brother Macmillan in the fall of Calling Macmillan to his study at Brooklyn Bethel, Russell told him: The Bible Students had come through a difEcult test.
But with the help of The Watch Tmer, they were strengthened to triumph over disappointment. The testing season, however, was far from over. Brother Russell and his secretary Menta Sturgeon departed on a previously arranged lecture tour of western and southwestern parts of the United States. Russell, though, was seriously ill at the time.
The tour took them first to Detroit, Micban, by way of Canada. Notice of his death appeared in 7'he Watch Tmer of November 15, What was the effect on the Bethel family when news of Brother Russell's death was announced? Macmillan, who served as Russell's assistant in the office while Russell was away, later recalled the morning he read the telegram to the Bethel family: Some wept audibly. None ate breakfast that morning.
All were greatly upset. At the end of the meal period they met in little groups to talk and whisper, 'What is going to happen now? We did not know what to do.
It was so unexpected, and yet Russell had tried to prepare us for it. What would we do? The first shock of our loss of C. Russell was the worst. For those h t few days our future was a blank wall. Throughout his life Russell had been 'the Society. O n October 31, , pr-old Charles Eze Russell. A brief biography of Russell along with his will and testament was published in The Watch Tmer of December 1,, as well as in subsequent editions of the first volume of Studies in the Scriptures.
What would happen now?
It was difficult for the Bible Students to imagine someone else in Brother Russell's place. Would their understanding of the Scriptures continue to be progressive, or would it stop where it was? Would they become a sect centered around him? Russell hunself had made it quite clear that he expected the work to go on. So following his death, some obvious questions soon arose: Who will supervise the contents of The Watch Tmer and other publications?
Who should succeed Russell as president? Page, William E. Brenneisen, and F. In addition, to fill any vacancies, others were named-A. Fisher, J. Rutherford, and John Edgar. Rutherford and Hirsh, whose names were listed in the December 1, , Watch Tower, replaced them as members of the Editorial Committee. Ritchie, W. Van Amburgh, and J. That decision would be made at the next annual meeting of the Society, about two months later, on January 6, At first, the Executive Committee did its best to hold things together, encouraging the Bible Students to keep active and not lose courage.
The Watcb Tmmcontinued to be published, containingarticles that Russell had written before his death. Others, on account of their deep respect for Brother Russell, seemed more concerned with trying to copy his qualities and develop a sort of cult around him. W e Watch Tmm of January 15,, reported the outcome of the annual meeting, explamhg: The Watch Tmer mentioned above reported: Perfect harmony prevailed amongst all present.
The new president was warmly received by many but not by all. The charter provided for the surviving members of the board of directors to HI a vacancy. So, two days after Russell's deatb, the board of directors met and elected A. Pierson to be a member. The seven mernbers of the baardat that point were A.
Van Amburgh, H. Wright, I. Pienon, andJ. The New President Moves Ahead Brother Rutherford was inclined, not to change the direction of the organization, but to continue in the forward-moving pattern established by R u d l. Traveling representatives of the Society known as pilgrims were increased from 69 to Distribution of the Societv's free tracts was accelerated on occasional Sundays in front of the churches and regularly in the house-to-house ministry.
The "pastoral work," which had been started prior to Russell's death, was now stepped up. This was a follow-up work, similar to i the return-visit activity now carried on by Jehovah's Witness es. To further revitalize the preachmg work, the Society's new 1 president qmdeduhe colporteur work. Colporteurs forerunners of today's pioneers were increased from to Russell, there were some misgivings, some diBl! Clearly, the work was moving ahead.
Had the Bible Students passed another test -the death of C. Not everyone was supportive of the new presfde"nt. Russell and J. Rutherford were very different men.
They had different personalities and came from different backgrounds. These differences were hard for some-to accept. In their minds, no one could 'fill Brother Russell's shoes. The fact that the work was moving ahead and that he was making every effort to follow the arrangements that had been put in place by Russell did not seem to impress them. Opposition soon mounted. The situation came to a head in the summer of , with the release of The Finished Mystery,.
A determined young man, two associates, Clayton J. Woodworth Joseph secured a loan from a fffend and managed to and George H. Fisher, to prepare this go to college while also studying law. In part, it was based on what E, L Edwards. U n May 5,, his liplanations were added. Ruthermanuscript was approved for publica-, ,-.
On that same occasion, a startling ZP nouncement was made-the four ipposing directors had been rernovcd; and Brother Rutherford had appointed' wne occasion he almost died when he hefell into an icy four others to fill the vacancies. Tme tc ed! A number of the Beth'Society,in which he said: Rutherford was baptized threatening to "overthrow the existing. But Brother degal counse Rutherford had a sound basis for the action he had taken.
It turned out that although the four opposing directors had been appointed by Brother Russell, these appointments had never been confirmed ' by vote of the corporation members at the annilal meeting of the Society. Therefore, the four of them were not legal members of the board ofD ".
Rutherford had been aware of this but had not mentioned it at first. He had wanted to avoid giving the impression that he was going against Brother Russell's wishes. However, when it became evident that they would not discontinue their opposition, Rutherford acted to replace them with within his authority and responsibility as four others whose appointments were to be confirmed at the next annual meeting, to be held in January On August 8, the disgruntled ex-directors and their supporters left the Bethel family; they had been asked to leave because of the disturbance they had been creating.
They soon began spreading their opposition by an extensive spealung and letter-writingcampaign throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
As a result, after the summer of , a nurnber of congregations of Bible Students were split into two groups-those loyal to the Society and those who were easy prey to the smooth talk of the opposers. But might the ousted directors, in an effort to gain control of the organization, try to influence those attendmg the annual meeting? Anticipating such a reaction, Rutherford felt it advisable to take a survey of all the congregations. The results? Rutherford and the directors cooperating with him!
This was confirmed at the annual meeting. What became of those opposers and their supporters? After the January annual meeting, the opposing ones splintered off, even choosing to celebrate the Memorial, on March 26, , on their own.
Any unity they enjoyed was short-lived, and before long they broke up into various sectsrlIn most cases their numbers dwindled and their activity diminished or ceased entirely. Clearly, following Brother Russell's death, the Bible Students faced a real test of loyalty.
As Tarissa P. Gott, who was baptized in , put it: All of this just did not seem right, yet it was happening and it upset us.
But I said to myself: Was not this organization the one that Jehovah used to free us from the bonds of false religion? Have we not tasted of his goodness? If we were to leave now, where would we go? Would we not wind up following some man? Rutherford, C. Anderson, W. Van Amburgh, A. Macmillan, W. Spill, J. Bohnet, and G. From these seven board members, the three officers were chosen--]. Rutherford as president, C. Anderson as vice president, and W.
Van Amburgh as secretary-treasurer. Some who withdrew from the organization later repented and associated with the Bible Students in worship once again. The love and unity that b u n d them together had been built UP through years of association together at meetings and conventions. They would allow nothing to break up that bond of union.
By the Bible Students had survived testing from within. What, though, if opposition arose from those on the outside? By the end of , the printers Tower of December 15, i were busy on the , edition. The book contained some xdermes to the clergy of Christendom that were very cutting. This so angaed the clergy that they urged the government to suppress the publicatkwof the Bibk Students. As a result of this clergy-inspired opposition, early in , The Finished Mystery was banned in Canada.
Opposition soon mounted against the Bible Students in the United States. Its message? The six-column-wideheadline read: The instigators? The tract pulled no punches in pointing to the clergy, who were described as "a bigotBY the Now the Bicomes through them. How did the clergy respond to such an expose? You already recently rated this item. Your rating has been recorded.
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