At the Watchtower study on November 6, 2011, you may have noticed these two paragraphs: 14 How do you react when Jehovah, the Source of spiritual enlightenment, sheds light on “the deep things of God” found in the Bible? (1 Cor. 2:10-13) We have an excellent example in the apostle Peter’s reaction when Jesus told His listeners: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves.” Taking those words literally, many disciples said: “This speech is shocking; who can listen to it?” They “went off to the things behind.” But Peter said: “Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life.”—John 6:53, 60, 66, 68.
    15  Peter did not fully understand what Jesus said about eating His flesh and drinking
His  blood.  But  the  apostle  relied  on  God for spiritual enlightenment. When spiritual
light on some matter gets brighter, do you try to understand the underlying Scriptural
reasons for the adjustment? (Prov. 4:18) The first-century Beroeans received the word “with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily.” (Acts 17:11) Imitating them will deepen your appreciation for your privilege to serve Jehovah, to have him be your share.   (The Watchtower, 9/15/2011  page 14, paragraphs 14 and 15)

If we examine the reasoning here we can see some of the conclusions that are reached by the writers of the article. Those that are familiar with commonly used scriptures by Jehovah’s Witnesses will notice Proverbs 4:18, as well as John 6:68. These verses are key to their assertion that the Organization led by the Governing Body are the sole arbiters and prophets of God on earth today. Lets analyze the quote now:

How do you react when Jehovah, the Source of spiritual enlightenment, sheds light on “the deep things of God” found in the Bible?

Notice that Jehovah is referred to as the source of enlightenment, but the paragraph is most certainly alluding to doctrinal changes that occasionally appear in the Watchtower and that come from the writing department under the direction of the Governing Body.

“Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life.

Peter’s lack of understanding in what Jesus meant when he said they should consume his blood and flesh is mentioned. The article then compares our acceptance of what is written in the Watchtower magazine to Peter’s unquestioning faith and acceptance of Christ as his Savior. Should a brother or sister in the Kingdom Hall accept what is printed in a Watchtower letter or publication to that extent? What could happen to them if they did not view a doctrinal point in the same light as what was printed in a particular article?

When spiritual light on some matter gets brighter, do you try to understand the underlying Scriptural reasons for the adjustment?

The words “when spiritual light on some matter gets brighter” are used to mean that when a Christian’s understanding of Scripture is enhanced, it is coming directly from our Creator via his holy spirit.

The Watchtower Organization leadership thus compares themselves to Jehovah and Jesus in their ability to enlighten their followers. Therefore, this logic means that whatever is written in the Watchtower should be accepted as infallible because it is coming from God directly. Do you really believe that? If so, should you? (Psalms 146:3,4) Here is the deconstruction of this reasoning in chart form:



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23 Comments on Who Today Sheds Spiritual Enlightenment?

  1. John S. says:

    Yes JJ its good to question whether things in the W.T. are really coming straight from God,as there have been so many alterations of doctrine since it began it’s debut,(July 1879,I believe).Why back in pre-WW1 years it was predicting the end in 1914,then 1915,later other dates,even when I was pioneering,it were calling 1975 the beginning of the Millenium as did the original founder ,C.T.Russell,who till the day he died claimed the Millenium began in 1874/5,as some of his fans still do to this day.And although”God cannot lie”,Titus 1:2,men ,on the other hand,will and always have,stretched and exalted their viewpoint when it comes to editorial copy,especially on politics,religion,and might I add,SPORTS commentary.


  2. John S. says:

    Who is the real source of enlightenment for anointed Christians?”Rom.8:9 says,”However you are in harmony not with the flesh,but with the spirit,if God’s spirit truly dwells in you.But if anyone does not have Christ’s spirit,this one does not belong to him.But if Christ is in union with(watch for this expression,as the NWT changes the “in you” to “in union with you” everywhere in the N.T. where it shows the anointed’s intimacy with the spirit of God and the spirit of Christ)you,the body indeed is dead on account of sin,but the spirit is life on account of righteousness.If now the spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you,he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive,through his spirit that resides in you.” Here we can truly see how the anointing is itself a rebirth to a human now empowered with not only Jehovah’s spirit,but that from his son also.You do not wait to die and go to heaven to be reborn.That is not scriptural.This is the power that imparts the ability to conquer as Christians.This spirit will also lead us away from any false shepherd,or false Christ,espousing wrong doctrine about becoming anointed,”However,when that one arrives,the spirit of the truth,he will guide you into all the truth,for he will not speak of his own impulse,but what things he hears,he will speak,and he will declare to you the things coming.That one will glorify me,because he will receive from what is mine,and will declare it to you.”and also “Most truly,I say to you,He that does not enter the sheepfold thru the door,but climbs up some other place,that one is a thief and a plunderer.But he that enters thru the door is shepherd of the sheep.The doorkeeper opens to this one,and the sheep listen to his voice,and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”….”Most truly ,I say to you,I am the door of the sheep.”see John 10:1-7.We must watch out for those who claim to be the ‘Door’ or ‘Gatekeeper’ of the sheep.This is a highly regarded sacred right of only one person…the Shepherd himself,Jesus.When we read the whole gospel of the N.T. it becomes clear Jesus Christ can become your shepherd,leading you to truth,(water and spiritual knowledge,or food).The meal is in the Word.Others will seek to steal your minds,Jesus has given us that warning.You can prevent this happening by reading the word diligently,forming a longing for it,and a longing to draw close to Christ and Father Jah by filling up with their spirit.It won’t take long before you get the discernment from that spirit that will warn you when you hear a ‘call’ that sounds unfamiliar,as you will know what Jesus”voice’ really sounds like.No the anointing does not belong to some small,elite ‘Remnant Class’,an erroneous assumption based on a fundamentalist interpretation of Rev.14,but is the right of all free men who desire this precious sonship,and hope,to be with Christ and Jah in the heavenly kingdom,to become the saving force,along with the “Son of Man”, of mankind.Listen to the call,step forward and walk out of slavery to the hired man.This is your opportunity for eternal life,don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way.Gal.5:1


  3. Willie says:

    Yes, John S., it IS good to question whether things are coming from God or man; and it is also good to make sure (to the best of our ability) that we have our facts straight–which is a difficult thing to do in the age that we are living in. I am not pointing a finger at you personally; therefore, if in the ensuing comments I have endorsed any error, I would truly appreciate being corrected.
    Among the majority of mankind who have ever even heard of Charles T. Russell, he is held in derision for being wrong on the 1914 date and the projected date of 1918–not 1915. Obviously he believed 1914 was correct for he taught it all over the world, thus he did not lie–he was wrong. There is a great deal of difference. He never claimed to be infallible–quite the contrary; he encouraged others to use the Scriptures for their standard and “prove all things.” He, and many others who accept his chronology, believe that the invisible presence of Jesus began in 1874. Can anyone prove that it didn’t?
    Claiming that Charles T. Russell was the original founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and assuming the name of his bi-monthly paper, The Watch Tower, for his own use in order to present– though false–a more impressive “history” for his NEW religion, was a stroke of genius on the part of Rutherford. It is well known by anyone who has checked the record, that Rutherford, who was known as “Judge” Rutherford, used his legal training to usurp the position of the persons who were designated in Bro. Russell’s will to carry on the work of the IBS. For all intents and purposes Rutherford “kidnapped” the International Bible Student movement, though some escaped into many little splinter groups.
    I assure you that Charles T. Russell would not have recognized the resulting organization as his, because of the following reasons:
    (1) Rutherford took away the hope of the High Calling to be the Bride of Christ from the congregation and bestowed this hope and its proffered privileges on the elite of his organization–a deed reminiscient of the doctrines of the Nicolaitanes (Rev. 2: 6,15).
    (2) Rutherford changed the Great Multitude (Rev. 7:9) from a secondary spiritual class to an EARTHLY class and designated to that class the promises given to Abramham and the natural Israelites.
    (3) Rutherford dismissed the true Israelites as a group, though Bro. Russell held the Jews in high esteem, knowing that the holy remnant of Jews would be the nucleus of the future earthly government during the Kingdom Age.
    (4) Bro. Russell taught that mankind would come forth in the resurrection during the Messianic Kingdom and be given a chance to walk up the Highway of Holiness (Isa. 35:8-10) to eternal life on earth under the rulership of Christ and his church.
    Rutherford taught that no one would have eternal life on earth except the Jehovah’s Witnesses, whom he called the Great Crowd.
    (5) Rutherford demonized the Great Pyramid though I don’t know why. Charles T. Russell taught that it was “the Bible in Stone”–an altar to God in the land of Egypt (Isa. 19:19,20)–because it’s passageways demonstrated the three possible destinies of mankind among many other significant revelations–some religious and some scientific that only God could have known.
    (6) Around 1925 Rutherford built a fabulous house [with whose money?] located in California “for the Ancient Worthies” and made use of it himself. It was known to have a well-stocked wine cellar (Matt. 24:49?). The future Third Temple described in detail in Ezekiel 40-48, will be built in JERUSALEM as the headquarters for the Ancient Worthies–who will be “princes in all the earth” as we read in Psalm 45:16–and one can be quite sure that Rutherford was aware that he was several thousand miles off on the location.
    (7) Rutherford eliminated the need for Character Study by purporting that each person didn’t HAVE a character, each one WAS a character.
    (8) Rutherford stressed works instead of faith.
    (9) Rutherford must have come up with the “blood” issue all by himself, as that was not heard of before to my knowledge.
    Finally in 1931 Rutherford named HIS organization Jehovah’s Witnesses, and it consisted of some who failed to leave when he took over, plus others that he had garnered in the years since the death of C.T.R. in 1916. In the ensuing years he spread the word that “all the Bible Students are dead,” so no one in HIS organization would look for them and possibly find out the truth about what he had changed.
    Would you consider me to be a FAN of Bro. Russell? Am I a FAN of the apostles Paul and John, or Arius, Waldo, Wycliffe, and Luther? No, because I don’t worship a man (or an organization). I worship Jehovah God and I love and honor His Son Jesus Christ. I do believe, however, that these men were the Messengers to each of the seven churches of Revelation in chapters 2 and 3. Yes, that means that I believe that Charles T. Russell was the Seventh Messenger to the Church of Laodicea, but I don’t worship him or believe every word that he wrote is “gospel”!
    Bro. Russell was an imperfect man who was commendable enough in the sight of God to be commissioned with this grave, yet lofty, responsibility, and I believe that he IS the wise and faithful servant of Matt. 24:45-47 and that he will be rewarded accordingly. At the turn of the century in his day, Bro. Russell was the most published individual person in the world due to his books, pamphlets, and weekly newspaper sermons. Only the Bible and the Chinese Almanac were more published that he was–and they were written by many persons. In my humble opinion, that is a tremendous confirmation of the importance of his ministry under the administration of God through Jesus.
    For anyone (not just you, John S., for I’m not picking on you–it just happened that your comment was the one that got me started) to say that Charles T. Russell was the “original founder” of the Jehovah’s Witnesses makes about as much sense (to me) as saying that the person who made the first cracker founded Nabisco. I know that this statement is flippant, but I think that it gets across my point.


  4. JWB says:

    JJ, thanks for the article and the logical way in which you addressed the subject of spiritual enlightenment. Following men instead of the Bible is definitely not the way to go.

    Although I think there are many things that Charles Russell wrote which were in line with the truth as plainly told in Scripture, I do not think he fulfilled any prophetic role. When the Revelation says that that which is presented concerns “the things that must shortly take place”, I accept that it means what it says and that those things relate to the first century. When it says “What you see write in a scroll and send it to the seven congregations, in Ephesus and in Smyrna and in Pergamum and in Thyatira and in Sardis and in Philadelphia and in Laodicea” I accept that this is talking about real congregations of the day. I do not believe in interpreting this through the filter of Adventism. This I think was Russell’s problem in trying to use various man-made theological devices to make the Scriptures refer to the modern era. We see this used throughout the history of the Society with its use of prophetic dramas, types and antitypes, and minor and major fulfillments of Bible prophecy, to try to ‘prove’ that it is being used as a special agent of God. I believe that using such devices invariably leads to disappointment. In my opinion it is much more satisfying to try read the Scriptures in context, remembering when they were written and to whom and about what specifically.


  5. andrew says:

    The way the organization transfers to itself feelings we have toward God and His son in my opinion is blasphemous. Light from us=Light from God Obey us=Obey God If you leave us=you are leaving God.

    Willie as far as your comment about CTR, I agree with JWB. Some of his writings had value but he in no way fulfills any bible prophecies. Throughout history there have been and will continue to be spiritual men who have many admirable qualities but this doesn’t mean they were prophesied to appear.


  6. Willie says:

    Dear Andrew and JWB, The purpose of my comment was to refute the supposition that CTR was the original founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, as John S. stated. Did I make that point or not?
    Charles T. Russell studied with an Adventist class BEFORE he started his ministry. Their understanding of chronology {since the days of William Miller and the failure of the 1844 rapture} was what PROMPTED him to go into the ministry for he was a wealthy young merchant at the time. His forty-year ministry (1876-1916) was renowned for exposing man-made theology (eternal torment, the trinity, the immortality of the soul, etc.) and revealing God’s truth via the Scriptures. Nominal Christianity dispised him for revealing their erroneous doctrines–and still do to this day.
    BTW, who do you think WAS the “faithful and wise servant” AND the “evil servant” of Matt. 24:45-51?
    Revelation is signified as it says in Rev. 1:1, which means it is written in “sign language.” If you are going to take the MESSENGERS (called Angels) and their Messages to the seven Churches literally, are you going to take the various beasts. horns, etc. literally also?


  7. JWB says:

    Dear Willie, first of all I am in total agreement with you that basically the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization was created by ‘Judge’ Rutherford. The wealth of printed material within the pages of the Society’s own publications reveals this to be the case. In my opinion it has all the hallmarks of a legalistic mind.

    In Revelation chapter one, verse four, John specifically addresses the seven congregations that are in Asia. He tells them in verse nine: “I John, your brother and a sharer with you in the tribulation and kingdom and endurance in company with Jesus, came to be in the isle that is called Patmos for speaking about God and bearing witness to Jesus.” He next relates to them the vision in which he is told to write to these seven congregations various things with respect to their conduct. The order in which the congregations are addressed, according to chapter two, are as follows:

    1. Ephesus (verse 1)
    2. Smyrna (verse 8)
    3. Pergamum (verse 12)
    4. Thyatira (verse 18)

    Chapter three continues:

    5. Sardis (verse 1)
    6. Philadelphia (verse 7)
    7. Laodicea (verse 14)

    Today, the top of the island of Patmos is roughly opposite to a place called Yenihisat in Turkey. If one looks at a map reproduced according to the first century, these seven places mentioned above form a circuit. The order of places in this circuit is the same as the order given in Revelation chapters two and three. Therefore I do not see a need to view these places as symbolic.

    Ephesus was the capital of the Roman province of Asia. As you know this was one of the places Paul visited on one of his missionary journeys (Acts 19). According to the Lion Handbook of the Bible (page 765), “a messenger from John in exile on the island of Patmos would have crossed to Ephesus and then taken a circular route” thus visiting all the congregations in order.

    That the actual individual congregations were being written to, is I think clear by what is said in chapter three, verse 22: “Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations.” John specifically addressed his words to these seven congregations in Asia, as indicated by chapter one, verse four. John saw these congregations symbolised in the form of lampstands (Revelation 1:20). Since he was told that those symbols represented or meant seven congregations, I cannot see how the congregations were also symbols. Unless one is to say that they were symbols of symbols.

    The Greek word ‘angelos’, as I’m sure you know, simply means ‘messenger’. It is one who conveys a message. Who were these messengers? Well, I think we can safely assume they were people, as John is told to “write to” each of these. My view is that they were probably elders. These, I think, would have had the messages read out loud for the benefit of the members of their respective congregations (compare Colossian 4:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:27).

    I hope this has made clear why I understand the congregations given in Revelation as refering to real existing congregations and ‘messengers’ of that time period. I do not find the intepretation of the meaning of the Laodicean ‘messenger’ to be some person existing about 1800 years later to be convincing at all. Sorry, I mean no offense.

    Kind regards



  8. JWB says:

    Just some notes on “the faithful and discreet slave” or “that servant” (Matthew 24:45-51). First of all I think it helps to look at the other ‘version’ of the parable in Luke 12:41-48, because it uses ‘steward’ rather than ‘slave’ or ‘servant’. I think that concentrating on the word ‘steward’ makes it easier to understand the parable.

    In the Watch Tower of 15 July 1906 a letter was reproduced in which Maria Russell applies “that servant” to her husband. Ten years later, in the Watch Tower of 1 December 1916, under the heading “Biography”, the following was written about Charles Russell:

    “It is here interesting to note that Jesus said, ‘Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing! Verily, I say unto you that he shall make him ruler over all his goods.’ Thousands of the readers of Pastor Russell’s writings believe[d] that he filled the office of ‘that faithful and wise servant,’ and that his great work was giving to the household of faith meat in due season. His modesty and humility precluded him from openly claiming this title, but he admitted as much in private conversation.”

    I think Maria Russell and her husband made the same mistake in connection with this parable as that made by the Society in later decades. What I mean is that instead of understanding this to be an illustration of the outcome concerning ANY who would reach out to take the lead as stewards of God (Titus 1:7; 1 Corinthian 4:1, 2) based on their actions, both the Russells and the Society (in later years), took this to be a prophecy of a particular person or group of people in the modern age.


  9. Willie says:

    Dear JWB, Thank you for your confirmation of my observations on the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization being the product of Judge Rutherford. I think the evidence is overwhelming.
    There is no offense taken for the fact that we disagree on the interpretation of the meaning of Revelation chapters 1-3. I appreciate that you have taken the time to give me your detailed opinion and, consequently, you have exhibited a great deal of knowlege on the history and landscape of those days; however, I think that you misunderstood me somewhat–though I doubt that it will alter your conclusion. I did not say that the churches were symbolic, but that the Book of Revelation was “signified”–written in symbolism. I am aware that there WERE actual churches (I have seen a video of their respective ruins) and that they formed a circuitous route. That is why I capitalized the words MESSAGES and MESSENGERS since that is what I was stressing, for if it were merely a prophecy for John’s day then how was it fulfilled? Wouldn’t we have heard something about it by now? It must have been very important if Jesus took two whole chapters of the Book of Revelation just to present the details given to those seven churches.
    It is my humble opinion that it represented Jesus’ words of encouragement and/or warning to each of the seven stages of the Gospel Age church–which were called by the names of the seven churches in Asia–and that the messengers to each church, which were referred to as angels, were the seven stars held in Jesus’ right hand, which shows favor. John was told to write in A book (Rev. 1:11), which I propose was the Book of Revelation, and send it unto the seven churches, which I personally don’t think meant the actual churches of Asia because Jesus was addressing the entire Gospel Age which HAS had a book, the Book of Revelation. Consider this: John wasn’t told to write in seven books, so did they just pass the one book around? What did the seven messengers do–accompany the ONE book? No, I don’t think that John actually sent anything to the actual churches. Just my opinion….
    How many people do you know who really understand the book of Revelation enough to be able to “hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein” in order to receive the promised BLESSING in Rev. 1:3? Not many I dare say–and neither do I.


  10. JWB says:

    Willie, thank you very much for taking the time to respond. I believe the messages to the specific churches of Asia contained within the book of Revelation were indeed meant for the churches of that day as specific praise and counsel for them. However, I think the whole of the book would have been made available for all seven congregations in Asia and could well have been made available for the other congregations. Of course since we were not there at the time, we simply don’t know.

    Let me tell you a little about myself. I was brought up in the JW religion from birth. I got baptized in my teens. This was before the change in the baptism ‘vows’, so I really believed that under “the enlightening power of the holy spirit”, rather than a religious organization, I would find the necessary truths in the Bible that would help me grow spiritually. I have, like Charles Russell did as a young man, a curious nature, so having had serious doubts about ten years ago concerning some teachings of the Watch Tower Society, I determined that I would make a thorough investigation of what I had been taught, but that this would be on my terms not theirs. This initial investigation of mine had me avail myself of various tools such as interlinears and word study books, I also allowed myself to consult versions of the Bible other than the NWT. What I wanted to do was start from scratch, as though I had never been taught the JW doctrines and interpretation. I wanted to make sure that I was not going to have my research filtered through just one source anymore. As time went by I also read what others had to say about a particular subject. I found that truth can sometimes be found in the most unlikely of places. Also, that much good can come by having an open mind and listening to what others have to say.

    One thing I felt should be the case in relation to the Bible is that it really cannot be a mystery. After all, why would our Heavenly Father provide his words to any who would be willing to read them if it required the equivalent of a Talmud in the form of a never ending set of books and magazines? I also wanted to try to let the Bible speak for itself without allowing the prejudices of previous interpretations to make inroads. What I discovered was that as long as you keep in mind the context and have some knowledge of the customs and history of the times as well as understanding the real meaning of the original words of the Bible things start to fall into place a lot more easily and satisfactorily. I believe that if we become spiritually dependent and allow others, whether they be single individuals or a group of people, to become our interpreters of the Bible, we are more likely to get trapped into a certain set of beliefs that prevent us from getting to the real truth of the Bible.

    Now I’m not saying I know everything, because ten years later I’m still learning! For instance, recently I’ve wanted to understand why the early Christians felt such a sense of urgency about the times they lived in. So I thought, could it really be that when Jesus said, “This generation will by no means pass by until all these events have occurred” (including his parousia) that he actually meant what he said? At first, I wondered how possibly the moon could have turned to blood and stars fallen from heaven without any historical evidence outside of the Bible. However, once I understood that these sorts of descriptions were in the style of other Hebrew prophets and that these were not meant to be taken literally, I could progress to look at evidences for a first century fulfillment.

    To cut a long story short, I am now of the view that the events Jesus predicted and the gathering in of ‘the elect’ took place in the first century. I believe that is when the kingdom of Christ, with ‘the elect’ as co-rulers, was set up. When the old theocratic arrangement as represented in the worship at the temple of Jerusalem ceased, I believe the kingdom of Christ was fully established and that ever since he has been ruling in the midst of his enemies. I also believe that the Revelation was written for the Christians living in the first century and that virtually all of it had fulfillment back then; but that is a very involved topic of discussion which I think is best addressed elsewhere.

    As a consequence, I am of the opinion that up until the present day a long period of restoration has been in progress and that it is the happy duty of those who would support Christ’s kingdom to do all that they can, according to their gifts/abilities to show their love for their fellow human beings in practical ways. I really do think it important to not simply study the Bible, but to apply its principles in our lives. To actually remember what we should have learned about the character of Christ and try to copy his wonderful example. That is why I don’t subscribe to the JW view of waiting until “the new system of things” to try to change things in this world.

    I hope now you can see how I view things and will appreciate that I have little time for those who would attempt to bring a yoke of spiritual/mental bondage on others. I consider adventism and the various beliefs that spring from that base to be completely in error. I’m afraid I’ve had my fill of teachings (other than what is specifically given in the Bible) that rest on types/antitypes, prophetic dramas, and minor/major fulfillments of prophecy. To me they are a painful reminder of a bygone age. I try not to get embroiled in debates as this takes up so much time and often causes bad feeling, so please lets just leave it like this and graciously agree to disagree. Thanks.

    Kind regards



  11. Willie says:

    Dear JWB, Since the only selection in Matt. 24 that is referred to as a parable is Matt. 24:32-34, the Parable of the Fig Tree, I was surprised that you called the verses pertaining to “the faithful and wise servant” and “the evil servant” a parable. I did as you recommended and looked at the account in Luke 12 which you indicated began with verse 41–because of the paragraph break, I suppose. Knowing that paragraph breaks are not a part of Scripture, but at the discretion of the translator, I must assume that the translator must have thought that it was a parable too, but the fact is that Peter couldn’t have asked the Lord to explain a parable BEFORE the Lord had even told it, so I am going to assume that this verse 41 should have gone on the other side of the paragraph mark and that Peter was probably asking for an explanation of verses 35 through 40, for I wouldn’t mind hearing an explanation of that myself. Why? Because I think that verse 36 has a wrong preposition (also at the discretion of the translators)–and that FROM should be translated FOR–especially since Jesus is talking to his disciples, as he is also doing in Matthew 24. Jesus wouldn’t be coming FROM, meaning AFTER the wedding if they were members of the Bride and still on earth–he would be coming FOR them, to get them.
    Having said all that, Luke 12:42-48 could have sounded like a parable to the disciples; however, the setting in both Matthew and Luke are very end of the age settings in my humble opinion.
    A clue would be that Luke 12:43 says that Jesus CAME at the time (1874 to many people), and CTR started his ministry about that time also, so it fits time-wise. Another factor that is a confirmation (to me) is that since Bro. Russell was wealthy and using his own money (he NEVER solicited donations though he received many over the years), he WAS the ruler of the Lord’s goods and he ran a tight ship. He always said that when the money ran out THAT would be an indication that the Lord’s work was coming to an end–at least as far as he was concerned. It is said that he had $200 when he died. Two earlier experiences with trusting others who turned out not to be honest had taught him, by the Lord’s grace, to assume total control of the finances and the decisions early on. (BTW, That is in the Biography you referred to.) Bro. Russell WAS a faithful steward.
    I scanned the entire contents of the July 15, 1906 copy of The Watch Tower in the Reprints and could find NEITHER of the comments that you referred to in your reply. Although Maria Russell was referred to in the first letter there was no mention of her having said that Bro. Russell was “that servant.” And the paragraph attributed to the same paper under Biography was not found. I will admit that I had HEARD of that last paragraph and I don’t know to whom to attribute it, but I can assure you that such a statement whould NOT have appeared in The Watch Tower until AFTER the death of Charles T. Russell, for he wouldn’t have allowed it; thus, whether he made the claim in private or not, we can’t know FOR SURE.


  12. Amos says:


    I believe that JWB has told the story fairly close to the truth of what has/did happen.

    I for one who like JWB began my own indepth study of the bible, (without any paradigms) without influence from any man/organization, with the exception of using multiple translations along with bible concordances/dictionaries, lexicons, historical writings, etc.

    As I’ve stated before, I have now returned to two basic NT texts, Textus Receptus & Aramaic Peshita based translations. I also have a good Alexandrine based NT which is excellent.

    Having said this firstly, let me tell you that I have found many errors of teachings within CT Russell’s writings, as with the WTS’s.
    As it’s now late in the day here, I’ll post asap the details of the references that JWB has stated in his last reply to you. These are some of the reasons why I withdrew from the BS’s after only a short time of association with them as I could very clearly see the “modus operandi” of Russell, his followers & the WTS, (that I’m very conversant with), including the workings from within at high levels.

    I believe, from my own research, that you are very much mistaken about the motives of Russell, I believe the same applies to the organization that later sprang from his earlier efforts.

    BTW, I have a large portion of Russell’s works including an original set of reprints, from memory 1919, & an original volume 1, Divine Plan.


  13. Amos says:


    I think that our walk to find the truth of scripture has been very similar indeed.

    Mine began about 6 to 8 months after my initial encounter with the BS’s, (Jan. 2009) when I very quickly realized several important errors of doctrine. I have been on a roller-coaster most of the time since, having periods of startling discoveries that could only be with the HS’s help.

    Another brother & myself are doing an ongoing study that is covering many subjects that are coming to light, as we find references in other areas. It is so exciting for us. We are getting close to starting to log some articles onto our computers & will be happy to share these findings with any who are interested. About 12 months ago, we started an information forum, but due to each ones committments, never proceeded any further with this, hopefully this will change early in the new year.


  14. JWB says:

    Good to hear from you Amos, and I find much in what you say agreeable!


  15. JWB says:

    Dear Willie, I have made an effort to address the points you raised in your post to me. Since it takes a lot of time to research, find various references, etc., I am going to have to ‘call it a day’ as far as posting under this article is concerned. As well as work commitments I have my own personal projects and blogsite which require my time and attention. I thank you in advance for your understanding. No doubt these subjects will be touched on in later articles, so I we may be able to take up certain points at a later date.

    1. The reason I included verse 41 as the starting point, was because it shows that what Jesus said about ‘that servant’ is in response to a question posed. Peter asked if ‘this parable’, which concerns itself with the need for ‘those slaves’ (douloi ekeinoi) to be alert for the arrival of the master, applied just to “us” (the disciples present) or “for everyone”. Unfortunately for us, Jesus does not give a straight “yes” or “no” answer. However he does say in answer that the master makes a distinction amongst his slaves by assigning one from among their number (Matthew 24:45 shows this to be the case) as overseeing the distribution of food to them. Those slaves would be fed under the direction of ‘that slave’.

    Now the question arises: Is this talking literally about one slave being put in charge? I’d like to draw attention to the fact that Peter puts forward in his question, either “everyone” or “us” (plural). Verse 45 (in Luke 12) says “But IF THAT SLAVE says to himself …” I happen to believe that a contrast is being made on the basis of the slave’s actions. In other words the person can either be “wise” in administering his duty, or be “wicked”, and hence receive a reward or punishment. Since I also believe that those dispensing spiritual food, as indicated by the various letters in the Greek scriptures, were principly Christian elders. It fact, I find what Peter says in reference to himself and others as being relevant here:

    “Therefore, to the older men among you I give this exhortation, FOR I TOO AM AN OLDER MAN with [them] and a witness of the sufferings of the Christ, a sharer even of the glory that is to be revealed: SHEPHERD THE FLOCK OF GOD IN YOUR CARE, not under compulsion, but willingly; neither for love of dishonest gain, but eagerly; neither as lording it over those who are God’s inheritance, but becoming examples to the flock. AND WHEN THE CHIEF SHEPHERD HAS BEEN MADE MANIFEST, YOU WILL RECEIVE THE UNFADABLE CROWN OF GLORY.” [1 Peter 5:1-4; NWT] Unlike JWs I view the reward of being put in charge of all Christ’s belongings as being made one of his co-rulers in heaven. So the reward does not pertain to a period of time when the recipient is still on earth.

    2. I understand that, and please correct me if I have this wrong, that the 1874 calculation is arrived at in the same way as the JWs 1975 (actually autumn of 1974) calculation. So, the starting point of the calculation is from Adam’s birth:

    “In 1877, Russell joined Nelson H. Barbour in publishing the book Three Worlds, and the Harvest of This World. It indicated that the end of the Gentile Times in 1914 would be preceded by a forty-year period to open with a three-and-a-half-year harvest beginning in 1874 C.E. According to Bible chronology thereafter adopted, it was understood that 6,000 years of man’s existence on earth ended in 1872, whereas six millenniums of human sin concluded and the seventh millennium began in 1874. Christ’s presence was thought to have begun in October 1874, at the start of the great antitypical Jubilee.–Lev. chap. 25; Rev. 20:4.” [Watch. 15 Aug 1974, pages 506-507, “No Spiritual ‘Energy Crisis’ for Discreet Ones”]

    The difference between the 1874 and 1974 date is, as far as I can ascertain, to do with a hundred year discrepancy over a passage of scripture:

    “Man’s creation was placed in 4128 and sin’s entrance in 4126 B.C.E. SUCH CHRONOLOGY FOLLOWED AN INCORRECT MANUSCRIPT RENDERING OF ACTS 13:20 IN THE EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT, which said that God gave Israel judges ‘about four hundred fifty years, till Samuel the prophet.’ A footnote stated that this was at variance with 1 Kings 6:1, where the Hebrew letter daleth (thought to represent the number 4) supposedly had been mistaken for the similar character he (5). Hence, it was suggested that 580 (not 480) years elapsed between Israel’s exodus from Egypt and the time that Solomon began building Jehovah’s temple. But the oldest manuscripts spell out all numbers. So a transcriber’s visual error could not have occurred at 1 Kings 6:1, which gives this period correctly as 480 years. This harmonizes with a correct reading of Acts 13:20, which indicates that the period of ‘about four hundred and fifty years’ there mentioned preceded the era of the Judges. In 1943 the Watch Tower Society’s book “The Truth Shall Make You Free” did away with the nonexistent extra 100 years in the period of the Judges and placed the end of 6,000 years of man’s existence in the 1970’s. It also fixed the beginning of Christ’s presence, not in 1874, but in 1914 C.E.'” [Watch. 15 Aug 1974, footnotes, “No Spiritual ‘Energy Crisis’ for Discreet Ones”]

    3. From page 215 [3811] of the July 15, 1906 Watch Tower (“ALL THE WAY MY SAVIOR LEADS ME”, subheading “THE BAD SEED GERMINATED”)]


    “It was she [Maria Russell] who first called attention to Matt. 24:45-47, applying it to me in a meeting at Allegheny and subsequently in another meeting with the New York church. I demurred that I had not thought of the passage thus, and declined to make any personal application of it, although I could not deny the force of the argument that it pointed out ‘that servant,’ and ‘fellow servants’ and ‘the household,’ apparently clearly and designedly distinguishing between these terms.”


    “It seems to me, further, that the interpretation which I suggest is the one, and the only one, which corresponds to the fulfillment. We agree in the belief that the Lord is now present, that he assumed his office of King in 1878, and that since that time his household has been richly fed with meat in due season. It seems to me that in dispensing the food to the household the Lord has not given it personally to each member, but from among them he has chosen and used a number of servants, and that all of these servants have been supplied with the meat in due season through one particular servant—‘that servant.’ So, both from the construction of the Lord’s language and from the facts before us which constitute their fulfillment at the time indicated, viz., in these days of his presence, I can, so far, reach no other conclusions than those I have stated.”

    In saying that “a letter was reproduced in which Maria Russell applies ‘that servant’ to her husband”, although that letter does not specifically refer to Charles, I understood that was her view based on her reasoning, and on what CTR reveals before introducing the letter. However, the point of refering to the letter was that it was Maria Russell first, and then later (according to the testimony given in “Biography”) CTR himself who viewed ‘that servant’ (or ‘that steward’) as applying to a specific individual.

    The extract from “Biography” can be found in the first paragraph under the subheading “HARVEST WORK”, which begins “Pastor Russell adhered closely to the teachings of the Scriptures.”

    Kind regards



  16. JWB says:

    Thank you Andrew. I will be reading your latest article and the comments in full tomorrow, so maybe I’ll give my 2 pennies worth there. ;0)

    Here are some links to copies of the Watch Tower pages I’ve referenced above:


    Page 215 of 15 July 1906 edition of the Watch Tower magazine. This is a continuation of the article entitled “All The Way My Savior Leads Me” and reproduces a letter written by Maria Russell discussing her understanding of ‘that servant’ (Matthew 24:45).


    Page 356 of 1 December 1916 edition of the Watch Tower magazine. This is a continuation of the article entitled “Biography” (the life of Charles Russell). Under the subheading “HARVEST WORK” reference is made the identity of ‘that servant’ (Matthew 24:45).


  17. Willie says:

    Dear JWB, I owe you an apology and I’m so thankful that you made that last post (#16) for it made me look in my Reprints again and I saw what I had done. Starting about the middle of the Reprint book I had begun flipping FORWARD to find the July 15, 1906 Watch Tower that you mentioned which was pretty close to the front. Each edition was about five literal (in the book in my hand) pages in length, so when I came to page 3818 and I thought that I had arrived at the beginning of the article for SAMPLES OF INTERESTING LETTERS was the first thing that caught my eye and it did mention Mrs. Russell in the first letter. I read the remainder of the July 15 edition to page 3828 and didn’t find what you had referred to.
    Today I clicked on the links that you listed in #16 and subsequently I realized my mistake. That particular edition, probably due to its import–I noticed today that it was called a “Special Edition”–was DOUBLE the length of the regular editions and started on Reprint page 3808. I never got that far forward in the book (since I started looking from the middle). It is a good example of “haste makes waste” and I really feel foolish.
    I remind everyone that the Dec. 1,1916 Watch Tower was published AFTER Bro. Russell’s death, therefore he was not responsible for the contents.
    I realize that the chronology used by the WTS is not yours nor mine, but using general math, HOW did they rationalize that to SUBTRACT 100 years from the years of the prophets would ADD 100 years to the other end? Additionally what does that have to do with adding 40 years to the beginning of the PRESENCE. It makes no sense to me.
    As for “The Three Worlds” publication, did you notice the paragraph regarding it in that SAME July 15, 1016 Watch Tower on Reprint page 3825? Bro. Russell said, “Some who have “The Three Worlds” or the old edition of “Day Dawn” would perhaps like to know my present opinion of them–whether I still think them profitable books to loan to truth-seekers. To this I reply, Certainly not; because the very immature views of God’s truth therein presented fall far short of what we now see to be God’s wonderful plan. Things which are now clear as noonday were then cloudy and mixed.”


  18. JWB says:

    Dear Willie, no problems. I was guilty of being hasty in making my comments about the Prodigal Son, and although I knew full well the story and the characters, it seems my focus temporarily made me get the characters mixed up. How embarassing I thought!

    I know my personality is such that I might come across as quite demanding of evidence before I accept what someone says is true. You strike me as being of a similar character. To that end, although it required some time to get reproductions of the pages up, I thought it best to go that far so that you could see exactly what I was seeing. I also thought by making available copies of the page that those who wanted to could also read the surrounding text and hopefully see that I’ve not taken things out of context.

    Willie, let me try and do the math concerning the disputed length of years and see what happens. The quote from the 1974 publication said in part: “Hence, it was suggested that 580 (not 480) years elapsed between Israel’s exodus from Egypt and the time that Solomon began building Jehovah’s temple.” As you know BCE dates increase as they get further away from the CE ‘axis’ point (2 BCE, 1 BCE 1 CE, 2 CE, etc). So subtracting 100 years from the supposed start of the Exodus has the effect of pulling the start of the exodus and anything before it 100 years closer to us in time. That means that 4128 becomes 4028 and 4126 becomes 4026. Based on these new beginnings for man’s creation and sin’s entrance any chronology resting on those old dates would have to end up 100 years later. So for instance, 1813 BC (being before the exodus) becomes 1713 BC (BCE dates reduce), 1874 becomes 1974 (CE dates increase), 1878 becomes 1978, and 1914 becomes 2014. This is because of the need to compensate for the ‘lost’ 100 years. I hope my attempt at an explanation is clear.

    4128 1874
    4028 1974

    Kind regards



  19. JWB says:


    “Now it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.” [1 Kings 6:1; NSAB]

    “20. A difficulty occurs here [at Acts 13:20] which has very much puzzled Biblical chronologists. The date given here is at variance with the statement found at 1 Kings vi. 1. There have been many solutions offered, but only one which seems entirely satisfactory, i.e., that the text in 1 Kings vi. 1, has been corrupted, by substituting the Hebrew character daleth {4 [ד]} for hay {5, [ה]} which is very similar in form. This would make 580 years {instead of 480} from the exode [sic] to the building of the temple, and exactly agree with Paul’s chronology.” [Benjamin Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott (1864), footnote to Acts 13:20]

    “Man’s creation was placed in 4128 and sin’s entrance in 4126 B.C.E. Such chronology followed an incorrect manuscript rendering of Acts 13:20 in The Emphatic Diaglott, which said that God gave Israel judges ‘about four hundred fifty years, till Samuel the prophet.’ A footnote stated that this was at variance with 1 Kings 6:1, where the Hebrew letter daleth (thought to represent the number 4) supposedly had been mistaken for the similar character he (5). Hence, it was suggested that 580 (not 480) years elapsed between Israel’s exodus from Egypt and the time that Solomon began building Jehovah’s temple. But the oldest manuscripts spell out all numbers. So a transcriber’s visual error could not have occurred at 1 Kings 6:1, which gives this period correctly as 480 years. This harmonizes with a correct reading of Acts 13:20, which indicates that the period of ‘about four hundred and fifty years’ there mentioned preceded the era of the Judges. In 1943 the Watch Tower Society’s book “The Truth Shall Make You Free” did away with the nonexistent extra 100 years in the period of the Judges and placed the end of 6,000 years of man’s existence in the 1970’s. It also fixed the beginning of Christ’s presence, not in 1874, but in 1914 C.E.” [Watch. 15 Aug 1974, “No Spiritual ‘Energy Crisis’ for Discreet Ones” (pages 506-509), Footnotes]

    This link shows a scanned version of the Emphatic Diaglott page showing the footnote:


    Just a short note on what was discussed previously concerning messages to the seven congregations mentioned in the book of Revelation. All the individual messages to each of the seven congregations were contained within one book which John was told to write to them all.

    “I [John] was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, saying ‘WRITE IN A BOOK WHAT YOU SEE, AND SEND IT TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES; to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Piladelphia and to Laodicea.'” [Revelation 1:10, 11; NSAB]


  20. Orwell says:

    Man, they’re cunning. I studied literature at university and yet I could never see the huge gaps and silences in these WT texts, and even now my brain turns to mush when I read one. You guys who’ve overcome the mush conditioning and can critically analyse it are my heroes in a strictly non-worshipping sense. Keep it up. Newbies to TTATT like me need you!


  21. anonymous says:

    reading this brings to mind 2012(?) district convention where one of the talks mentions how we should listen to “our spiritual mother”. the org puts itself in the position of spiritual parent in the same level as Yahweh. my heart was pounding so hard hearing such blasphemy. all i could do was pray in my head for His Spirit to awaken everyone there.


  22. ced says:


    Awake : french édition 2011 april 15


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