Pastor Russell and 1914

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    Kenneson posted Sun, 26 Sep 2004 13:25:00 GMT(9/26/2004)

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    1. Russell did not believe that 1914 marked the "beginning of the end" as do Jehovah's Witnesses. Rather, he pointed to 1799 for that (i.e., see Zion's Watch Tower for Nov. 7, 1893, page 24: In commenting on the discovery of the Rossetta stone he states: "[The point is that 1799 was the very year beginning the time of the End when many would run to and fro and knowledge be increased.' DAWN, Vol III, Chapter II--EDITOR]"

    2. He did not believe that Christ came invisibly in 1914 as Jehovah's Witnesses do. Rather, he believed that the invisible presence occurred in 1874. Zion's Watch Tower (July 15, 1906) credits this teaching to Second Adventist N.H. Barbour. "But there were no books or other publications setting forth the time prophecies as then understood, so I paid Mr. Barbour's expenses to come to see me in Philadelphia (where I had business engagements during the summer of 1876), to show me fully and Scripturally, if he could, that the prophecies indicated 1874 as the date at which the Lord's presence and 'the harvest' began. He came, and the evidence satisfied me." In 1879 when Russell began his own publication, he named it Zion's Watch Tower and Hearld of Christ's Presence," a presence he believed had already begun in 1874.

    So what exactly did Russell believe about 1914? And where did he get that date? Well, he said that the "Times of the Gentiles" ended in 1914. But, again, this is not unique to Russell. Barbour's paper "Herald of the Morning" on its July, 1878 cover indicates in the right hand corner that "the 'Times of the Gentiles' end in 1914." Remember that this is a full year before Russell began his own journal.

    In 1889 Russell wrote a book entitled "The Time Is At Hand." Note what he says in the chapter "Times of the Gentiles, at the end of page 76 & on to 77: "In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the Gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that that date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men." Continuing on pages 98 and 99: "True, it is expecting great things to claim, as we do, that within the coming twenty-six years all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved; but we are living in a special and peculiar time, the 'Day of Jehovah,' in which matters culminate quickly..." "In view of this strong Bible evidence concerning the Times of the Gentiles, we consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished at the end of A.D. 1914. Then the prayer of the Church, ever since her Lord took his departure--'Thy Kingdom come' will be answered; and under that wise and just administration, the whole earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord--with knowledge, and righteousness, and peace (Psa. 72:19; Isa. 6:3; Hab. 2:14); and the will of God shall be done 'on earth, as it is done in heaven.' And finally, on page 101: "Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878, and that the "battle of the great day of God Almighty" (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced."

    In another book "Thy Kingdom Come" written in 1891, page 153 Russell states: "And, with the end of A.D. 1914, what God calls Babylon, and what men call Christendom, will have passed away, as already shown from prophecy."

    But with the approach of 1914 Russell begins to vacillate. In Z.W.T. of Nov. 15, 1913 he writes an article entitled "What Course Should We Take?" Gone is the positive proof of Bible evidence that he has heretofore offered. "This means that, whether within one year or within ten or twenty years, the things which we are expecting will be accomplished. The Church will be gathered, the messianic Reign of Righteousness will begin, preceded, as foretold by the great Time of Trouble." At the end of the article he concludes that the statements made about 1914 through the years were only his opinions and theories and are not infallible. And theories they indeed were! For the year, the 10 and the 20 years have all come and gone, and none of the things he expected have come about.

    However, in 1914 Russell seems to have regained some confidence. See ZWT July 1, 1914 under "Can It Be Delayed Until 1914?" "...Now in view of the recent labor troubles and threatened anarchy, our readers are writing to know if there may not be a mistake in the 1914 date. They say they do not see how present conditions can last that long. We see no reason for changing the figures--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. We see no reason for changing from our opinion expressed in the View presented in the Watch Tower of Jan. 15, '92. We advise that it be read again."

    Indeed read it at http://www.ctrussell.us/ Dates backed up by God don't sound like opinion to me, do they?

    In the Sermon Book, page 676 appears "Pseudo Apostles of the Present Day." Under "Armageddon Near--God's Kingdom To Follow" Russell writes: "The present great war in Europe is the beginning of the Armageddon of the Scriptures. (Rev. 16:16-20). It will eventuate in the complete overthrow of all the systems of error which have so long oppressed the people of God and deluded the world. The glorious Kingdom of Messiah is about to be set up in the earth, for the deliverance of the world and the establishment of permanent righteousness." Here Russell contradicts what he had previously written in ZWT, Jan. 15, 1892: "...The date of the close of that 'battle' is definitely marked in Scripture as October, 1914. It is already in progess, its beginning dating from October, 1874...the final struggle will be comparatively short, terrible and decisive--resulting in general anarchy In many respects the convictions of the world's great generals coincide with the predictions of God's Word. Then 'Woe to the man or nation who starts the next war in Europe; for it will be a war of extermination' and 'if not brought to an end by the establishment of God's kingdom in the hands of his elect and then glorified Church, it would exterminate the race.--Matt. 24:22.' " Whereas he had taught that Armageddon had already commenced in 1874, now he is originating it with World War I.

    Can the use of terminology such as "established truth," "proving," "proofs," "definitely marked in Scripture," "it is already in progress," etc. be equated to opinion? Hardly. If one knows something to be so, it is no longer opinion, possibility or suggestion. Claiming not to be infallible compared to what is actually said are two different things!

    link posted Sun, 26 Sep 2004 14:37:00 GMT(9/26/2004)

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    An excellent post. Well researched, balanced and objective. Also very readable.

    Thanks

    link

    johnny cip posted Sun, 26 Sep 2004 16:09:00 GMT(9/26/2004)

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    ty ken; whats amazing is when i bring any of this stuff up to a jw. they tell me it's all lies. even after i got them to say they have read the time is at hand etc. it's so easy to make a jw lie their ass off , and show how little they know. the best part is they are not even willing to go to the kh library and look it up. talk about living in darkness... john

    M RR posted Sun, 26 Sep 2004 16:09:00 GMT(9/26/2004)

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    Can the use of terminology such as "established truth," "proving," "proofs," "definitely marked in Scripture," "it is already in progress," etc. be equated to opinion? Hardly. If one knows something to be so, it is no longer opinion, possibility or suggestion. Claiming not to be infallible compared to what is actually said are two different things!

    The dates ARE scriptural ... what Russell believed to happen on those dates were his opinions based on his studies.

    This Volume sets forth, what its author has been preaching for over forty years, that the "Times of the Gentiles" chronologically ended in the fall of A.D. 1914. The expression, "Times of the Gentiles," in Bible usage signifies the years, or period of time, in which the Gentile nations of the world were to be permitted to have control, following the taking away of the typical kingdom from natural Israel, and filling the hiatus between that event and the establishment of God's Kingdom in the hands of Messiah-- "whose right it is." Ezekiel 21:27

    We could not, of course, know in 1889, whether the date 1914, so clearly marked in the Bible as the end of the Gentile lease of power or permission to rule the world, would mean that they would be fully out of power at that time, or whether, their lease expiring, their eviction would begin. The latter we perceive to be the Lord's program; and promptly in August, 1914, the Gentile kingdoms referred to in the prophecy began the present great struggle, which, according to the Bible, will culminate in the complete overthrow of all human government, opening the way for the full establishment of the Kingdom of God's dear Son.
    We are not able to see behind the veil; we are not able to know the things progressing under the direction of our glorious Lord and the members of His Church already glorified. Our thought is that somehow the Lord is taking a hand in the affairs of the world now as He did not do in times past. We do know that the great Time of Trouble, which has begun, very closely corresponds to the Divine declaration respecting the time and conditions of the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom. The Lord Himself informs us that, at the time He shall take to Himself His great

    foreword iv

    power and reign, the nations will be mad and the Divine wrath will come. A little later on the time will come for the judging of the dead, and the giving of the reward to God's servants, small and great, leading on finally to the destruction of the incorrigible, who would exercise a corrupt influence upon the earth. Revelation 21:8

    All over the world people knew of the expectations of Bible Students in respect to the year A.D. 1914; and when so stupendous a war as the present one broke loose, when the winds of strife began to blow with such fury and destruction, thousands remembered what they had heard and read respecting the end of the Gentile Times. Thousands today have come to fully appreciate the times in which we are living. The influence is very helpful and inspiring. A realization that we are in the Day of the Lord, and that very soon all of His saints will be gathered to Him by the resurrection change, has a stimulating and encouraging influence upon Bible students, separating them from the world and its fears and ambitions and fixing their eyes upon the Crown of Life, which the Lord has in reservation for them that love Him most.
    M Narkissos posted Sun, 26 Sep 2004 16:32:00 GMT(9/26/2004)

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    RR:

    The dates ARE scriptural

    What is a "scriptural date"? Does any calculation made out of a patchwork of unrelated Scripture texts have to result in a "scriptural date"? In that case any single date in the calendar is potentially "scriptural"...

    johnny cip posted Sun, 26 Sep 2004 16:37:00 GMT(9/26/2004)

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    rr; it's obvious what you posted was after the false prophecies of russell failed. this is all bull$hit, double talk, and clear blamphemy. it's the same pattern leaders of the wt have used even after russell. it's ability to discern when your being jerked. a false prophet is a false prophet , and no matter what ever ,ear tickling babbling bull$hit you try to present the your brain dead sheep. your still a false prophet. and even worst you are now lying to hide your white washed graves of BULL$HIT . to keep the $$$$$$$$$$$ rolling in . wheather it the bible student , the wt or some other group. remember you can polish BULL$HIT from now to dooms day, all the wax in the world will never make it shine in the light of day. john

    M RR posted Sun, 26 Sep 2004 16:42:00 GMT(9/26/2004)

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    There are many scriptural dates that are backed by history. When the scriptures tell us and or give us a sign or a forumla as to a certain event, then we know that the date is correct. Daniel tells us when the Messiah was to come, he doesn't give us an exact date, but he gives us the calculations.

    Now granted, one can manipulate the scriptures to arrive at a specific date, like the Witnesses do, a good example would be their Revelation book, and their Daniel and Jeremiah books, where prophecies have their fiulfillment in Watchtower history...no that is absurd.

    RR

    Kenneson posted Sun, 26 Sep 2004 17:08:00 GMT(9/26/2004)

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    R.R.,

    You state that "The dates ARE scriptural...what Russell believed to happen on those dates were opinions based on his studies."

    Could you tell us what is scriptural about the date 1914? If what Russell expected to happen in 1914 did not come about, exactly what do Bible Students say actually did happen?

    M RR posted Sun, 26 Sep 2004 19:31:00 GMT(9/26/2004)

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    Unlike the interpretation of the Watchtower today, Pastor Russell believed (as do Bible Students today) that the ending of the Gentile Times had everything to do with the nation of Israel and nothing to do with theChurch itself.

    20 ?When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that its desolation has come near. 21 Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains! Those inside the city must leave it, and those who are in the country must not enter it, 22 because these are days of vengeance to fulfill all the things that are written. 23 Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for there will be great distress in the land Or the earth and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles Or nations until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Luke 21:20-24 - Holman Bible

    Does this context really need to be interpreted any differently than it reads? This context seems self explanatory. It seems to reference Matthew 24 (first few verses) and what would happen to the nation of Israel. It would seem to suggest that the nation of Israel would be destroyed and ruled by Gentiles. "So when they had come together, they asked Him, ?Lord, at this time are You restoring the kingdom to Israel??" (Acts 1:6) Historically we know this happened so it is partially fufilled. The Gentiles would "trample" Jerusalem until the "Times of the Gentiles" are fulfilled.

    At that point one would expect the Gentiles to no longer rule the nation of Israel. This too we see as fulfilled. Israel is a nation again and they have their own homeland.

    RR

    Kenneson posted Sun, 26 Sep 2004 19:36:00 GMT(9/26/2004)

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    And did this transpire in 1914? Or did Israel become a nation in 1948? I fail to see a connection between the two dates.

    On page 77 of The Times Is At Hand under "Times of the Gentiles" is what Russell expected to happen in 1914:

    "Fourthly, It will prove that from that time forward Jerusalem shall no longer be trodden down of the Gentiles, but shall arise from the dust of divine disfavor, to honor; because the 'Times of the Gentiles' will be fulfilled or completed.

    "Fifthly, It will prove that by that date, or sooner, Israel's blindness will begin to be turned away..."

    So by 1914 Russell expected Israel to become a nation and its conversion. The first part didn't happen until 1948 and the second part is still not fulfilled.

    What, then, is so significant about the scriptural date of 1914?

    You still haven't told me what significantly happened in 1914.

    M Narkissos posted Sun, 26 Sep 2004 19:45:00 GMT(9/26/2004)

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    RR,

    As your comment of Luke 21 states,

    It would seem to suggest that the nation of Israel would be destroyed and ruled by Gentiles.

    So the Gentile times had not begun yet when Jesus was speaking.

    Barbour & Russell's interpretation implies that they had begun over 6 centuries before. It's quite impossible IMO to derive such an idea from Luke 21. There the "Biblical patchwork" pops in, in effect distorting the Lukan text.

    When I explained the Gentile times as a JW, I felt the need to paraphrase Luke as meaning "and Jerusalem will remain trodden by the nations". That's just not what the text says.

    So, how "scriptural"?

    M RR posted Sun, 26 Sep 2004 19:58:00 GMT(9/26/2004)

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    And did this transpire in 1914? Or did Israel become a nation in 1948? I fail to see a connection between the two dates.

    Neither, it started in 1878, and culminated in 1917 as a result of the War and the ending of Gentile Times.

    1. In 1878, after a ban of Seventeen Hundred Forty-three years, Israelis were given permission to own property in the ancient land of their forefathers.
    2. In 1878 , they immediately established their first settlement, Petach Tikvah. Their return had begun.
    3. In 1897, Theodor Herzl issued a worldwide call to organize the Zionist movement
    4. In 1917, Her Majesty?s government of Great Britain endorsed a Jewish state in the famous Balfour Declaration.

    From 1936 to 1945 over six million Jews were killed in the Nazi Holocaust. In 1948, as a result of a United Nations partition, Israel became a sovereign nation.

    Have you ever read Pastor Russell's speech to the Jews at thye New York Hippodrome? It was the first time a Christian addressed a mass Jewish audience of that size. They cheered him on, skepticalin the beginning and gave him a standing ovation when he was done.

    Russell was a Christian Zionist , and did much work among the Jews, as Bible Students still do today.

    RR

    M RR posted Sun, 26 Sep 2004 20:01:00 GMT(9/26/2004)

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    So the Gentile times had not begun yet when Jesus was speaking.

    Yes, the Gentile times had begun already, Isreal had always been ruled by the Gentiles, however in 70, they were completely disbursed, never to be a nation, UNTIL the ending of the GentileTimes in 1914.

    M Narkissos posted Sun, 26 Sep 2004 20:18:00 GMT(9/26/2004)

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    RR:

    IMO that can hardly be deduced from Luke 21:24, which refers to future events:

    they will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken away as captives among all nations (ethnè = "Gentiles"); and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

    Btw, what do you think of 607/6 as a starting point? I guess you've been asked the question thousands of times, but I have not read your answer yet.

    M RR posted Sun, 26 Sep 2004 21:02:00 GMT(9/26/2004)

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    Btw, what do you think of 607/6 as a starting point? I guess you've been asked the question thousands of times, but I have not read your answer yet.

    I don't have a problem with the date. The nabonidus tablet is the only "proof" of 587, but the eqyptians were known to alter their history. And when we consider that the Muslim have been destroying the history of Israel, who knows what evidence for 607 may have been lost.

    RR

    Kenneson posted Sun, 26 Sep 2004 21:05:00 GMT(9/26/2004)

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    R.R.,

    Although I have not read Russell's sermon at the Hippodrome, I read the ZWT report on it in the Oct. 15, 1910 issue. Again, he doesn't refer to 1878 or 1917, but to 1914. So, if 1878 and 1917 are scriptural dates (but not promulgated by Russell), how is 1914 (which was promulgated by him) scriptural?

    M RR posted Sun, 26 Sep 2004 21:25:00 GMT(9/26/2004)

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    Although I have not read Russell's sermon at the Hippodrome, I read the ZWT report on it in the Oct. 15, 1910 issue. Again, he doesn't refer to 1878 or 1917, but to 1914. So, if 1878 and 1917 are scriptural dates (but not promulgated by Russell), how is 1914 (which was promulgated by him) scriptural?

    The year 1914 saw the beginning of World War I, which embroiled all the great nations of the world in the conflict and witnessed the collapse of an old world order. While greatly weakening most of the participants, it set the stage for the re-establishment of Israel as a nation, through developments that produced the Balfour Declaration.

    BTW ... 1878 was promulgated by Russell, do a search.

    shotgun posted Mon, 27 Sep 2004 00:18:00 GMT(9/27/2004)

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    RR, How did you ever make the transition from JW to BS(bible student) I looked at your profile and learned today is not my day and tomorrow doesn't look good either. I'd like to read your story some time if you feel like postig it...not to pick it apart just to understand the transition.

    I'm baffelled that reading the teachings of CTR are what convinced me to abandon my faith in him and his spin off religions while it did the exact opposite for you.

    M RR posted Mon, 27 Sep 2004 03:02:00 GMT(9/27/2004)

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    RR, How did you ever make the transition from JW to BS (bible student) ... I'd like to read your story some time if you feel like postig it...not to pick it apart just to understand the transition.

    Sure, here it is: MY STORY

    Need any filling in between the lines, just let me know!

    RR

    Kenneson posted Mon, 27 Sep 2004 03:15:00 GMT(9/27/2004)

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    R.R.,

    I would say that World War II (especially the Holocaust and the numerous refugees it produced) was far more the reason for Israel becoming a nation in 1948 than anything the Zionists repatriations (beginning in 1878) ever accomplished.

    I thought we were talking about 1878 in relation to Israel.

    I'm very well aware of the promulgations Russell made for 1878 including that Christ had been exercising his kingly power since that date and that the resurrection had then begun. Also, that the Babylon of Revelation had fallen that year. But I fail to see where he predicted anything for Israel in that year.

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