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Charles Taze Russell Not a False Prophet


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    • By 4Jah2me
      It seems that everyone has agendas. They start off with the answer and then build a puzzle to fit their answer. 
      Wasn't Russell racist ? 
    • By The Librarian
      "If We Only Understood" by Brother C.T.Russell

      Could we draw aside the curtains
      That surround each other's lives,
      See the naked heart and spirit,
      Know what spur the action gives-

      Often we would find it better,
      Purer than we judged we would
      We would love each other better
      If we only understood.

      Could we judge all deeds by motives,
      See the good and bad within,
      Often we would love the sinner
      All the while we loathe the sin.

      Could we know the powers working
      To overthrow integrity,
      We would judge each other's errors
      With more patient charity.

      If we knew the cares and trials,
      Knew the efforts all in vain,
      And the bitter disappointments-
      Understood the loss and gain-

      Would the grim external roughness Seem,
      I wonder, just the same? Would we help where we now hinder?
      Would we pity where we blame?

      Ah, we judge each other harshly,
      Knowing not life's hidden force;
      Knowing not the fount of action
      Is less turbid at it's source.

      Seeing not amid the evil
      All the golden grains of good,
      Oh, we'd love each other better If we only understood.

      Charles T. Russell From "Poems of Dawn" 1912
    • By Jack Ryan
      For proof, you can view the newspaper clipping about it directly
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. (May 3, 1909). ============
      PASTOR RUSSELL'S TROUBLES
      A telegram from Pittsburg states that an attachment for the arrest of Pastor Charles T. Russell has been issued in that city for failure to pay alimony to his wife. Pastor Russell recently moved to Brooklyn, taking over the old Plymouth Bethel in Hicks street as a place of worship.
      He also moved to this city [Brooklyn] the headquarters of the Millennial Dawn and Watch Tower Society of which he is the head.
      Pastor Russell -- he does not want to be called doctor or reverend -- was divorced by his wife on a charge of cruelty. She was at first awarded $40 a month alimony, but this was later raised to $100.
      The pastor refused to pay more than $40 and proceedings were started to have him arrested for contempt of court. The telegram from Pittsburg indicates that the wife was victorious in this action.
      Pastor Russell cannot be arrested here on the Pittsburg court's order, it is said, but will be taken into custody if he returns to Pittsburg.
    • By Jack Ryan
      1877_Advent_Christian_Times_Barbour_Russell.pdf
      They stated that Russell
      was causing divisions in adventists circles
      that he was preaching a different gospel/doctrine to his church at that time
      subversion
      they try to 'belittle' him
      their own boast that they have not succeeded
      do NOT go near them (shunning) or give them any support (countenance)
      In essence the words used labels Russell as an 'apostate' to his current church at that time.
      BONUS: If you look at the header of the paper the symbol of the Advent Christian Times is suspiciously close to the one Russell "created" for the Bible Students (or not to say the same, but without the laurels at the sides).
    • By The Librarian
      Charles Taze Russell (February 16, 1852 – October 31, 1916), or Pastor Russell, was a prominent early 20th century Christian restorationist minister from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, and founder of what is now known as the Bible Student movement,[1][2] from which Jehovah's Witnesses and numerous independent Bible Student groups emerged after his death.

      Beginning in July 1879 he began publishing a monthly religious journal, Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence. The journal is now published by Jehovah's Witnesses on a semi-monthly basis under the name, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom. In 1881 he co-founded Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society and in 1884 the corporation was officially registered, with Russell as president. Russell wrote many articles, books, tracts, pamphlets and sermons, totaling approximately 50,000 printed pages. From 1886 to 1904, he published a six-volume Bible study series originally entitled Millennial Dawn, later renamed Studies in the Scriptures, nearly 20 million copies of which were printed and distributed around the world in several languages during his lifetime.[3] (A seventh volume was commissioned by his successor as society president, Joseph Rutherford, and published in 1917.) The Watch Tower Society officially states that it ceased publication of Russell's writings in 1927,[4] though his books continue to be published by several independent groups.Russell was a charismatic figure, but claimed no special revelation or vision for his teachings and no special authority on his own behalf.[5] He stated that he did not seek to found a new denomination, but instead intended merely to gather together those who were seeking the truth of God's Word "during this harvest time".[6][7][8] He wrote that the "clear unfolding of truth" within his teachings was due to "the simple fact that God's due time has come; and if I did not speak, and no other agent could be found, the very stones would cry out."[9] He viewed himself—and all other Christians anointed with the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. —as "God's mouthpiece" and an ambassador of Christ.[9] Later in his career he accepted without protest that many Bible Students viewed him as the "faithful and wise servant" of Matthew 24:45,[10] and was described by the Watch Towerafter his death as having been made "ruler of all the Lord's goods".[10]
      After Russell's death, a crisis arose surrounding Rutherford's leadership of the society, culminating in a movement-wide schism. As many as three-quarters of the approximately 50,000[11] Bible Students who had been associating in 1917 had left by 1931,[12][13] resulting in the formation of several groups that retained variations on the name Bible Students. Those who maintained fellowship with the Watch Tower Society adopted the name Jehovah's witnesses in 1931, while those who severed ties with the Society formed their own groups including the Pastoral Bible Institute in 1918, the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement in 1919, and the Dawn Bible Students Association in 1929.

      Early life
      The Russells lived in Philadelphia, as well as Allegheny, before moving to Pittsburgh, where they became members of the Presbyterian Church. In his early teens, Charles' father made him partner of his Pittsburgh haberdashery store. By age twelve, Russell was writing business contracts for customers and given charge of some of his father's other clothing stores.[16] At age thirteen, Charles left the Presbyterian Church to join the Congregational Church. In his youth he was known to chalk Bible verses on fence boards and city sidewalks to draw attention to the punishment of hell awaiting the unfaithful in an attempt to convert unbelievers.[17] Charles Taze Russell was born to Scottish-Irish parents,[14] immigrant Joseph Lytel (/ˈlɪtəl/) Russell (d. December 17, 1897) and Ann Eliza Birney (d. January 25, 1861), on February 16, 1852 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA. Charles was apparently the second of five children, and was one of only two to survive into adulthood.[15]
      At age sixteen, a discussion with a childhood friend on faults perceived in Christianity (such as contradictions in creeds, along with medieval traditions) led Charles to question his faith. He then began to investigate other religious views and philosophies, including Islam, Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , but concluded that they did not provide the answers he was seeking.[18] In 1870, at age eighteen, he attended a presentation by Adventist minister Jonas Wendell. During his presentation Wendell outlined his belief that 1873 or 1874 would be the date for Christ's second coming. He later stated that although he did not entirely agree with the arguments presented by Wendell the presentation itself was sufficient to inspire within him a renewed zeal and re-establish his belief that the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  is the word of God.[19] 
      Marriage
      On March 13, 1879, Russell married Maria Frances Ackley (/məˈraɪ.ə/; 1850–1938) after a few months' acquaintance.[20] The couple separated in 1897. Russell blamed the marriage breakup on disagreements over Maria's insistence for a greater editorial role in Zion's Watch Tower magazine,[21] though a later court judgment noted that he had labelled the marriage "a mistake" three years before the dispute over her editorial ambitions had arisen.[22] Maria Russell filed a suit for legal separation in the Court of Common Pleas at Pittsburgh in June 1903 and three years later filed for divorce under the claim of mental cruelty.[23]She was granted a divorce from bed and board, with alimony, in 1908.[24] Maria Russell died at the age of 88 in St. Petersburg, Florida on March 12, 1938 from complications related to Hodgkin's disease.[25] (See also: Letter from Maria Russell)

      He also had a foster daughter by the name of Rose Ball
      Ministry
      Beginnings
      Around January 1876 Russell received a copy of Nelson Barbour's Herald of the Morning in the mail. Russell telegraphed Barbour to set up a meeting. The first response was a visit by Barbour and John Henry Paton in Allegheny in March 1876 at Russell's expense to hear their arguments, and compare the conclusions that each side had made in their studies. Russell sponsored a speech by Barbour in St. George's Hall, Philadelphia in August 1876 and attended other lectures by Barbour.[30]
      See also: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      About 1870, Russell and Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  established a group with a number of acquaintances to undertake an analytical study of the Bible and the origins of Christian doctrine, creed, and tradition. The group, strongly influenced by the writings of Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Adventist ministers George Storrs and Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , themselves frequent attendees, came to the conclusion that many of the primary doctrines of the established churches, including the trinity, hellfire and inherent immortality of the soul, were not substantiated by the scriptures.[26][27][28][29]
      Among the teachings Barbour introduced to Russell was the view that Christians who had died would be raised in April, 1878.[31] Russell, who had previously rejected prophetic chronology, was moved to devote his life to what he was convinced were now the last two years before the invisible, spiritual return of Christ.

      In 1877, at the age of 25, he sold his five Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  from Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. 's prospering business called J.L. Russell and Son for approximately $300,000 (current value $6,548,000). With Russell's encouragement and financial backing, Barbour wrote an outline of their views in Three Worlds and the Harvest of This World, published in 1877. A text Russell had previously written, entitled The Object and Manner of our Lord's Return, was published concurrently through the offices of the Herald of the Morning.[32] Russell was eager to lead a Christian revival and called two separate meetings of Christian leaders in Pittsburgh. Russell's ideas, particularly stressing the imminence of the rapture and the second advent of Christ, were rejected both times.[33][34]
         

      Split with Barbour
      See also: Nelson H. Barbour and Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.

      When 1878 arrived, failure of the expected rapture of the saints brought great disappointment for Barbour and Russell, and their associates and readers. According to one of Russell's associates, A.H. Macmillan:
      While talking with Russell about the events of 1878, I told him that Pittsburgh papers had reported he was on the Sixth Street bridge dressed in a white robe on the night of the Memorial of Christ's death, expecting to be taken to heaven together with many others. I asked him, "Is that correct?" Russell laughed heartily and said: "I was in bed that night between 10:30 and 11:00 P.M. However, some of the more radical ones might have been there, but I was not. Neither did I expect to be taken to heaven at that time, for I felt there was much work to be done preaching the Kingdom message to the peoples of the earth before the church would be taken away.—A.H. Macmillan, Faith on the March, 1957, page 27 Confused by what was perceived to be an error in calculation, Russell re-examined the doctrine to see if he could determine whether it had biblical origins or was simply Christian tradition. His conclusion that it was tradition led him to begin teaching, through the pages of the Herald, what he believed to have discovered on the subject. Barbour, embarrassed by the failure of their expectations, rejected Russell's explanation and a debate ensued in successive issues of the journal from early 1878 to mid-1879. In a matter of months, Barbour's embarrassment led to a recanting of some of the views he and Russell had previously shared, including any reliance upon prophetic chronology. Their disagreements turned into a debate over Christ's ransom, resulting in a split between the two. Russell removed his financial support and started his own journal, Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, with the first issue published in July 1879. Barbour formed The Church of the Strangers that same year, continuing to publish Herald of the Morning.[35][36][37]

      Watch Tower Society
      In 1881, he founded Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, with Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  as president and Russell as secretary-treasurer, for the purpose of disseminating tracts, papers, doctrinal treatises and Bibles. All materials were printed and bound by Russell's privately owned Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  for an agreed price,[38] then distributed by "colporteurs" (persons who travel to sell or publicize Bibles, religious tracts, etc.).[39] The Society was officially chartered in 1884, with Russell as President, and in 1886 its name was changed to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.

      In 1909, Russell transferred the headquarters of the Watch Tower Society to its current location in Brooklyn, New York.
       
      Publications
      With the formation of the Watch Tower Society, Russell's ministry intensified. His Bible study group had grown to hundreds of local members, with followers throughout New England, the Virginias, Ohio, and elsewhere, who annually re-elected him "Pastor", and commonly referred to him as "Pastor Russell". Congregations that eventually formed in other nations also followed this tradition.[40][41]

      In 1881, he published his first prominent work entitled Food for Thinking Christians. The 162-page "pamphlet" was published using donated funds amounting to approximately $40,000 (current value $963,310).[42] It had a vast circulation of nearly 1.5 million copies over a period of four months distributed throughout the United States, Canada and Great Britain by various channels.[43][44] During the same year he published Tabernacle and its Teachings which was quickly expanded and reissued as Tabernacle Shadows of the "Better Sacrifices" outlining his interpretation of the various animal sacrifices and Tabernacle ceremonies instituted by Moses. The distribution of these works and other tracts by the Watch Tower Society during 1881 was claimed to have exceeded by eight times that of the American Tract Society for the year 1880.[45]
      In 1903, newspapers began publishing his written sermons. These newspaper sermons were syndicated worldwide in as many as 4,000 newspapers, eventually reaching an estimated readership of some 15 million in the United States and Canada.[40]
      In 1910 the secular journal Overland Monthly calculated that by 1909 Russell's writings had become the most distributed privately produced English-language works in the United States, and that the entire corpus of his works were the third most circulated on earth exceeded only by the Bible and the Chinese Almanac.[46] In 1912 The Continent, a Presbyterian journal, stated that in North America his writings had achieved a greater circulation "than the combined circulation of the writings of all the priests and preachers in North America."[47]
      Russell, however, had many critics and was often labeled a heretic.[48]
      Studies in the Scriptures

      Russell devoted nearly a tenth of his fortune, along with contributed funds, in publishing and distributing Food for Thinking Christians in 1881. In the same year followed The Tabernacle and its Teachings and Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices. In 1886, after reportedly not making back most of the money spent publishing these three titles, he began publication of what was intended to be a seven-volume series. The volumes were collectively called Millennial Dawn, later renamed Studies in the Scriptures to clarify that they were not novels. Russell published six volumes in the series:
      The Plan of the Ages – later renamed The Divine Plan of the Ages (1886) The Time is at Hand (1889) Thy Kingdom Come (1891) The Day of Vengeance – later renamed The Battle of Armageddon (1897) The At-one-ment Between God and Men (1899) The New Creation (1904) The delayed publication of the seventh volume became a source of great anticipation and mystery among Bible Students. Following Russell's death in 1916, a seventh volume entitled The Finished Mystery was published in 1917, which was advertised as his "posthumous work". This seventh volume was a detailed interpretation of the Book of Revelation, but also included interpretations of Ezekiel and the Song of Solomon. Immediate controversy surrounded both its publication and content, and it soon became known that much of the contents were written and compiled by two of Russell's associates, Clayton J. Woodworth and George H. Fisher, and edited by Joseph Rutherford, by then the new president of the Watch Tower Society.
      Photo Drama of Creation
      See Main article: The Photo-Drama of Creation
      Russell directed the production of a worldwide roadshow presentation entitled The Photo-Drama of Creation, an innovative eight-hour religious film in four parts, incorporating sound, moving film, and color slides. It was the first major screenplay to synchronize sound with moving film. Production began as early as 1912, and the Drama was introduced in Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.[49][50] A book by the same name was also published. The project's expenses put the organization under some financial pressures; the full cost was estimated at about US$300,000 (current value $6,960,000).[51][52][53]
       

      Theology and teachings
      Following his analytical examination of the Bible, Russell and other Bible Students came to believe that Christian creeds and traditions were harmful errors, believing they had restored Christianity to the purity held in the first century. Such views and conclusions were viewed as heresy by many Church leaders and scholars in his day. Russell agreed with other Protestants on the primacy of the Bible, and justification by faith alone, but thought that errors had been introduced in interpretation. Russell agreed with many 19th century Protestants, including Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , in the concept of a Great Apostasy that began in the first century AD. He also agreed with many other contemporary Protestants in belief in the imminent Second Coming of Christ, and Armageddon. Some of the areas in which his Scriptural interpretations differed from those of Catholics, and many Protestants, include the following:
       

      The Chart of the Ages
       
      Hell. He maintained that there was a heavenly resurrection of 144,000 righteous, as well as a "great multitude", but believed that the remainder of mankind slept in death, awaiting an earthly resurrection. The Trinity. Russell believed in the divinity of Christ, but differed from orthodoxy by teaching Jesus had received that divinity as a gift from the Father, after dying on the cross. He also taught that the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  is not a person, but the manifestation of God's power. Christ's Second Coming. Russell believed that Christ had returned invisibly in 1874, and that he had been ruling from the heavens since that date. He predicted that a period known as the "Gentile Times" would end in Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and that Christ would take power of Earth's affairs at that time. He interpreted the outbreak of World War I as the beginning of Armageddon, which he viewed to be both a gradual deterioration of civilized society, and a climactic multi-national attack on a restored Israel accompanied by worldwide anarchy. Pyramidology. Following views first taught by Christian writers such as John Taylor, Charles Piazzi Smyth and Joseph Seiss, he believed the Great Pyramid of Giza was built by the Hebrews (associated to the Hyksos) under God’s direction, but to be understood only in our day. He adopted and used Seiss's phrase referring to it as "the Bible in stone". He believed that certain biblical texts, including Isaiah 19:19–20 and others, prophesied a future understanding of the Great Pyramid and adopted the view that the various ascending and descending passages represented the fall of man, the provision of the Mosaic Law, the death of Christ, the exultation of the saints in heaven, etc. Calculations were made using the pattern of an inch per year. Dates such as 1874, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and 1948 were purported to have been found through the study of this monument.[54]
      Pastor Russell at the Great Pyramid of Giza Christian Zionism. Expanding upon an idea suggested by Nelson Barbour, Russell taught as early as 1879 that God's favor had been restored to Jews as the result of a prophetic "double" which had ended in 1878 (favor from Jacob to Jesus, then disfavor from Jesus until 1878). In 1910, he conducted a meeting at the New York Hippodrome Theatre, with thousands of Jews attending. Jews and Christians alike were shocked by his teaching that Jews should not convert to Christianity. Russell believed that the land of Palestine belonged exclusively to the Jewish race, that God was now calling them back to their land, and that they would be the center of earthly leadership under Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Early in Russell's ministry, he speculated that the Jews would possibly flock to Palestine and form their own nation by the year 1910. Shortly before his death, he utilized the Jewish press to stress that Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  prophetically marked the time when Gentile nations no longer had earthly authority with the result that all Jews were, from that time onward, permitted and guided by God to gather to Palestine and boldly reclaim the land for themselves. Climate change. In writings as early as 1883 (and through to the end of his life) Russell repeatedly expressed the view that the world's climate would gradually but significantly change as a prelude to the re-establishment of Eden-like conditions. These changes, he said, would include the gradual melting of the Greenland ice sheet, the Arctic and Antarctic polar ice caps, and the general warming of the earth.[55]    

      Death

      Telegram regarding Pastor Russell's Death
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      Russell's tombstone in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
      Russell's health had become increasingly poor in the last three years leading up to his death. During his final ministerial tour of the western and southwestern United States he became increasingly ill with cystitis,[56] but ignored advice to abandon the tour. He suffered severe chills during his last week, and at times had to be held in position in bed to prevent suffocation. He was forced to deliver some of his Bible discourses sitting in a chair, and on a few occasions his voice was so weak as to be barely audible.[57] Russell, aged 64 died on October 31, 1916, near Pampa, Texas, while returning to Brooklyn by train.[56][58][59][60][61][62]An associate of Russell's stated that at age 64 his body was more worn out than that of his father who died at age 89.[63] He was buried in Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . The gravesite (vide coordinates above) is marked by a headstone, nearby stands a 7-foot-tall (2.1 m) pyramid memorial erected by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in 1921.[64][65]
      See also: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
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      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Pyramid memorial at Russell's gravesite in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
      Legacy
      See also: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      For more details on this topic, see Watch Tower Society Reorganization.
      In January 1917, Joseph Franklin Rutherford was elected president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, despite disputes over the election process. Further disputes arose over interpretation of sections of Russell's will dealing with the future contents of Zion's Watch Tower magazine, as well as who, if anyone, had authority to print new literature. By the end of the 1920s, nearly three quarters of the Bible Student congregations had rejected Rutherford's on-going changes in organizational structure, doctrinal interpretations, and congregational practices,[66][67][68] some of which began to appear in material printed by the Watch Tower Society as early as 1917. Many Bible Students were disaffected by Rutherford's rejection of Russell's views regarding his role in the restoration of the "truth"[69] and support of the Great Pyramid as having been built under God's direction.[70][71]
      Those remaining supportive of Rutherford adopted the new name Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  in 1931, and changed the keyword of their magazine from "Watch Tower" to Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Many of the most prominent Bible Students who had ceased association with the changing Watch Tower Society attempted a regathering of disaffected Bible Students in October 1929 by holding the First Annual Bible Students Reunion Convention in the old Pittsburgh "Bible House" long used by Russell.[72] These conventions were held yearly, but the process of regathering took nearly twenty years.[73]
       
      Controversies
      Leadership Style
      As early as 1892, Russell's views and management style were strongly criticized by certain individuals associated with his ministry. In 1893 a paper was written and circulated to Bible Students in Pittsburgh by associates Otto van Zech, Elmer Bryan, J.B. Adamson, S.G. Rogers, Paul Koetitz, and others. It accused Russell of being a dictatorial leader, a shrewd businessman who appeared eager to collect funds from the selling of the Millennial Dawn books, that he had cheated one of them out of financial gains, and that he issued thousands of Millennial Dawn books under a female pseudonym. A booklet entitled A Conspiracy Exposed and Harvest Siftings was written by Russell and issued as an extra to the April 1894 Zion's Watch Tower magazine in order to preempt attempts to have their views circulated to a wider audience of Bible Students. Russell printed copies of letters he had received from these former associates in order to show that their claims were false, and that those involved 'were guided by Satan in an attempt to subvert his work' as a "minister of the gospel".[74][75]

       
      Allegation of Immoral Conduct
      In 1897 Russell's wife, Maria, left him after a disagreement over the management of Zion's Watch Tower magazine. She believed that, as his wife, she should have equal control over its administration and equal privilege in writing articles, preaching, and traveling abroad as his representative.[76] In 1903 she filed for legal separation on the grounds of mental cruelty, because of what she considered to be forced celibacy and frequent cold, indifferent treatment. The separation was granted in 1906, with Russell charged to pay alimony.

      During the trial Mrs. Russell's attorney alleged that in 1894 Mr. Russell had engaged in "improper intimacy" with Rose Ball, by then a 25-year old woman whom the Russells had previously cared for as a foster daughter after claiming to be an orphan. Mrs. Russell alleged that Ball had told her Mr. Russell claimed to be an amorous "jellyfish floating around" to different women until someone responded to his advances. Mr. Russell denied the accusations and stated that he had never used such terminology to describe himself.[77] When the judge asked Mrs. Russell if she was accusing her husband of adultery, she replied, "No".[78]
      The Washington Post[79] and the Mission Friend of Chicago reprinted the "jellyfish" story while also accusing Russell of immoral conduct. Russell sued the papers for libel; the jury decided in his favor, awarding him one dollar. Following an appeal, Russell received a cash settlement of $15,000 (current value $388,000) plus court costs, and an agreement that the two papers publish his weekly syndicated sermons as well as a retraction defending his character.[80][81][82]
      Rose Ball Henninges died November 22, 1950 at the age of 81 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, having for several years been an author for The People's Paper and remained associated with the Bible Students in Australia until her death.[83][84]
      'Miracle Wheat'
      On March 22, 1911, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle published articles accusing Russell of gaining profit from a strain of wheat named "Miracle Wheat" by its alleged discoverer, K.B. Stoner of Fincastle, Virginia. Many critics insisted that Russell had deceived and defrauded many by selling the supposedly advanced strain of wheat for $60 per bushel, far above the average cost of wheat at the time. Throughout 1912 and 1913, the Eagle continued to report on Russell's alleged fraud. Russell sued the Eagle for libel, but lost. A government expert investigated the "Miracle Wheat" and said it "was low in the Government tests". Prior to entering the court, the Eagle declared that "at the trial it will show that "Pastor" Russell's religious cult is nothing more than a money-making scheme."[85] Russell defended himself publicly, and in writing, claiming that the wheat was donated to the Watch Tower Society, and although sold for $1 per pound, Mr. Stoner routinely sold it for a $1.25 per pound. Russell claimed to have no financial connection to the wheat, and that no one claimed a refund despite such an offer for up to a year later for any who were dissatisfied with their purchase.[86] According to official records, gross receipts from the fundraiser totaled "about $1800" (current value $45,000), of which "Russell himself did not get a penny" and "The Society itself made no claim for the wheat on its own knowledge and the money received went as a donation into Christian missionary work."[87]
       
      Qualifications
      In June 1912 Rev. J. J. Ross (1871–1935), Pastor of the James Street Baptist Church in Hamilton, Ontario, published and widely distributed a four-page leaflet entitled, Some facts about the Self-Styled "Pastor" Charles T. Russell (of Millennial Dawn Fame), alleging that Russell was involved in questionable business practices, had defrauded his estranged wife, and denounced his qualifications, legitimacy and moral example as a Pastor.[88] Russell in turn sued Ross for defamatory libel on December 2, 1912.[89] After several delays the case came before Police Court Magistrate G. F. Jelfs on March 17, 1913. During cross-examination Russell stated that he had attended public school for only seven years having left when he was about fourteen years of age after which he received instruction through private tutors.[90] He responded that he was versed in Latin terms "to an extent" but did not know Hebrew or Greek, that he had never been ordained by any bishop or minister, and had never attended a theological seminary or any schools of higher learning.[91][92] The Hamilton and Toronto Ontario newspapers reported the claims made by Ross and provided a brief outline of the court proceedings, but made no reference to misconduct on the part of Russell, and criticized Ross for having fled Ontario when summoned and not being present during any of the court proceedings.[93][94] On April 1, 1913 the High Court of Ontario returned a verdict of "No Bill" ruling that Russell was not entitled to damages because the libel was not likely to result in any violence within Canada.[95][96] Following the libel case Ross published an expanded edition of 48-pages entitled Some Facts and More Facts about the Self-Styled "Pastor" Charles T. Russell (of Millennial Dawn Fame). In this work Ross claimed that during the proceedings on March 17, 1913 Russell had repeatedly lied under oath by affirming that he was ordained but then denying the same when cross-examined, by affirming that he knew the Greek language, but when shown by Counselor Staunton an extract from the New Testament in Greek by Westcott & Hort he was unable to recognize it, and that he had not been divorced from his wife, but retracted the statement under cross-examination.[97] In response to Ross's accusations, Russell stated through various printed and public sources that he had never claimed knowledge of the Greek language, merely the alphabet[98] and that early Christians were also criticized by the religious authorities for being unlearned and ignorant.[99] He believed that his ordination was "of God" according to the biblical pattern, not requiring any denominational approval or theological training indicating that his annual election as "Pastor" by over 500 congregations worldwide constituted him as properly ordained.[100][101] Russell contended that Ross and others were attacking him because they were unable to answer his theological arguments preferring instead to resort to slander and character assassination.[102]
       
       
      Alleged connections with Freemasonry
      Several decades after his death, it was alleged that Russell had links with Freemasonry.[103] Some have claimed that various symbols Russell employed in his published literature are Masonic in nature, and that such associations implied he engaged in occult activity. In later editions of the Studies in the Scriptures series a winged solar disk was stamped on the front cover, a symbol that is also associated with Freemasonry.[citation needed] However, Russell's use of the winged solar-disk originated from his understanding of Malachi 4:2, which denotes a sun with wings, as a symbol that Christ's millennial Kingdom had begun to emerge.[104]Some critics also claim that the pyramid near Russell's gravesite is Masonic,[65][105][106][107] because of its shape and its use of the Cross and Crown symbol, although this remains disputed.[108][109]Despite these claims, the Grand Lodge officially stated that Russell was not a Freemason,[citation needed] and the symbols used are not exclusive to Masonry but pre-date the fraternity.[citation needed] The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology notes that Russell's supporters, along with other Christian churches have "shown a marked aversion to Spiritualism and other occult phenomena. Very early in the group’s history Russell attacked Spiritualism (which he called Spiritism)".[110]
      In June 1913, during his transcontinental speaking tour, Russell gave a discourse in a Masonic hall in San Francisco, where he stated: "Although I have never been a Mason ... Something I do seems to be the same as Masons do, I don't know what it is; but they often give me all kinds of grips and I give them back, then I tell them I don't know anything about it except just a few grips that have come to me naturally".[111] Throughout his ministry he stated that he believed Christian identity is incompatible with Freemasonry,[112] and that Freemasonry, Knights of Pythias, Theosophy, and other such groups are "grievous evils" and "unclean".[113][114] A Freemasonry website states: "Russell was not a Freemason. Neither the symbols found in Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  nor the cross and crown symbol are exclusively Masonic."[115]



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      References
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Parkinson, James The Bible Student Movement in the Days of CT Russell, 1975 Penton, M. James (1997, 2nd ed.). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 13–46. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. WTB&TS, "God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached" (1973) page 347 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Zion's Watch Tower, Sept. 15, 1895, pg 216: "Beware of "organization." It is wholly unnecessary. The Bible rules will be the only rules you will need. Do not seek to bind others' consciences, and do not permit others to bind yours." Studies in the Scriptures, Volume 4 //The Battle of Armageddon//, 1897, pp 157–159 Daschke, Dereck and W. Michael Ashcraft, eds. New Religious Movements. New York: New York UP, 2005. Print. Zion's Watch Tower, July 15, 1906, p. 229. Watch Tower, March 1, 1923, pages 68 and 71. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave, William J. Schnell, Baker, Grand Rapids, 1956, as cited by Alan Rogerson, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1969, page 52. Rogerson notes that it is not clear exactly how many Bible Students left. Joseph Rutherford wrote in 1934 that "of the great multitude that left the world to follow Jesus Christ only a few are now in God's organization". Chicago Daily Tribune October 30, 1949 pg 18: "Pastor Russell died In 1916. In the 33 years since, the methods of this sect have deviated completely from those of Pastor Russell and his manner of teaching." "Part 1—Early Voices (1870–1878)". The Watchtower: 7. 1 January 1955. "Both parents were Presbyterians of Scottish-Irish lineage." Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, 1959, p. 17 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , 1993, p. 42 Overland Monthly February, 1917 pg 129: "Up to the age of fifteen ... his favorite teacher was Spurgeon, because, as he said, "he peppered it hot," his claim being that if one believed a thing he should tell it with all his might. So at the age of fifteen he used to go about the city of Pittsburg on Saturday evenings with a piece of chalk writing on the fence boards and telling the people not to fail to attend church on Sunday, so that they might escape the terrible hell in which he so firmly believed." The Bible Student Movement in the Days of CT Russell, 1975, p. A–1 Zion's Watch Tower, June 1, 1916 p. 170: "Though his Scripture exposition was not entirely clear, and though it was very far from what we now rejoice in, it was sufficient, under God, to reestablish my wavering faith in the Divine inspiration of the Bible, and to show that the records of the Apostles and the Prophets are indissolubly 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 the leading; for although Adventism helped me to no single truth, it did help me greatly in the unlearning of errors, and thus prepared me for the Truth." Pittsburgh Gazette, March 14, 1879 Penton, M.J. (1997). Apocalypse Delayed. University of Toronto Press. pp. 35–40. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3, 9780802079732. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Visions of Glory - A History and Memory of Jehovah's Witnesses, Simon & Schuster, 1978, chapter 2. Jehovah's Witnesses in Canada: Champions of Freedom of Speech and Worship by M. James Penton, Macmillan of Canada, 1976, page 313, "Mrs. Russell obtained her "divorce", or separation, on grounds of mental cruelty" Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , p. 642 St. Petersburg Times, March 14, 1938. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . The Evening Independent. March 14, 1938. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (1997, 2nd ed.). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 14–17. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Alan Rogerson (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Constable. p. 6. Wills, Tony (2006). A People For His Name. Lulu Enterprises. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-4303-0100-4. Zion's Watch Tower, June 1, 1916 pp. 170–175 Schulz and de Vienne: Nelson Barbour: The Millennium's Forgotten Prophet, Fluttering Wings Press via Lulu.com, 2009, pages 118–124. Herald of the Morning, July, 1878 p.5 Zion's Watch Tower, July 15, 1906, p. 230 The Bible Student Movement in the Days of CT Russell, 1975, pp A–2 Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, 1959, pp. 18–19 Message to Herald of the Morning subscribers, Zion's Watch Tower, July 1, 1879, Supplement Rochester Union and Advertiser, October 5, 1895, p. 12 Zion's Watch Tower, June 1, 1916 p. 171 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, page 42 colporteurs Dictionary.com definition of "colporteur" Biography of Pastor Russell, Divine Plan of the Ages, 1918, p. 6 Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens, 1915 Overland Monthly, January 1917 p. 128 Watch Tower, December 1, 1916 p. 357 Zion's Watch Tower, September 1881 p. 5 Zion's Watch Tower, September 1881 p. 5: "As we were reaching Christians in the cities with the pamphlets, we sent the papers only with weekly and monthly journals, and hope thus to have reached many Christians in country districts. We sent out in this way over 400,000 copies. Thus you see that from an apparently small beginning, the tract work has spread to the immense proportions of 1,200,000 copies, or about 200,000,000 pages in four months, or about eight times as much (in number) as were distributed by the American Tract Society in the last year." Overland Monthly, January 1910 p. 130: "As a writer, Mr. Russell's books have enjoyed a larger circulation than any English work... Of his work entitled "Studies in the Scriptures," the average output is two thousand three hundred copies for each working day. We regret the records of 1909 are not yet complete, but in 1908 seven hundred and twenty-eight thousand, four hundred and seventy-four volumes were sold. Since publication, three million five hundred and thirty-four thousand volumes have been circulated. Last year, in addition to these there were three hundred and eight million pages of his tracts circulated. In all literature the Bible is about the only book that has had a larger circulation... In the literature of the world, the order would probably be as follows: The Bible, the Chinese Almanac, the "Studies in the Scriptures," "Don Quixote," "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and Hubbard's "Message to Garcia."" The Continent, McCormick Publishing Company, vol. 43, no. 40, October 3, 1912 p. 1354 Millennial Dawnism: The Annihilation of Jesus Christ by I.M. Haldeman, 1913; "Pastor" Russell's Position and Credentials by J.H. Burridge; Some Facts about the self-styled "Pastor" Charles T. Russell by J.J. Ross, 1912 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. "Society Uses Many Means to Expand Preaching", Centennial of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania 1884–1984, page 24, "The Photo-Drama presented the explanation of Bible truth from the time of creation, the fall into sin, the promises of God to redeem man and His dealings through history until the millennial restitution. It is believed to have been viewed by more than 9,000,000 people throughout North America and Europe, as well as many others in places around the world. It took two years and $300,000 to complete the project, many of the scenes being hand colored. Yet admission was free and no collections were taken." "United States of America", 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, page 59 The Warning Work (1909–Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. )", The Watchtower, March 1, 1955, page 143 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  in the following issues: September 1883 page 8; September 1886 page 1; August 1896 page 189; May 1903 page 131; January 1913 page 11 Wills, Tony (2006). A People For His Name. Lulu Enterprises. pp. 35. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Some early sources cited his death as November 1st. St. Paul Enterprise, November 14, 1916 p. 3 column 3, "The fact is he did not die of heart trouble, but of an inflammation of the bladder, and while writing you on Brother Bohnet’s desk I could not fail to see on the burial permit that the cause of death was given as ‘Cystitis’." Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. pp. 31.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . "The Jehovah's Witnesses", Extraordinary groups by W. W. Zellner, William M. Kephart, ©2000, page 338, "On October 31, 1916, the stormy life of Charles Russell came to an end. While on a nationwide lecture tour, he died unexpectedly of heart failure in a Pullman car near Pampa, Texas." Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. New York Times, November 1, 1916, as cited by A.H. Macmillan, Faith on the March, 1957, page 62, "October 31: Charles Taze Russell, pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, and known all over the country as "Pastor Russell," died from heart disease at 2:30 o'clock this afternoon on an Atchison, Topeka Santa Fe train, en route from Los Angeles to New York." St. Paul Enterprise November 14, 1916, pg 1 col 2: "Is it any wonder he died a score of years ahead of his natural time? His father looked younger at 84 than did the son at 64." Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Retrieved 2009-5-4. Your Will Be Done on Earth. Watchtower. 1958. pp. 337. Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose. Watchtower. 1959. pp. 313. M. James Penton. Apocalypse Delayed—The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. pp. 61. Attendance at the annual Memorial (statistics were published each year in the Watch Tower) shows the growth in the period before 1925. 1919: 17,961, 1922: 32,661, 1923: 42,000, 1924: 62,696, 1925: 90,434. 1926 marked the first decrease: 89,278. There are no published statistics from 1929–1934. In 1935, Memorial attendance was 63,146.Watchtower. August 15, 1996. pp. 31. Watch Tower, February 1927 Watch Tower, November 1928 Great Pyramid Passages, by John and Morton Edgar, Forward, 1928 edition Bible Student's Radio Echo, February 1929 p. 8 When Pastor Russell Died, pp. 26-30 A Conspiracy Exposed and Harvest Siftings, April 25, 1894 The Bible Student Movement in the Days of CT Russell, 1975, pp P–1 to P–4 J.F. Rutherford, A Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens, 1915, pg 17 Zion's Watch Tower July 15, 1906 pg 221: "The next day the husband [Mr. Russell] took the witness stand and swore that he had never used the language (and never had heard of it before) ... and that only an idiotic person would make such an uncomplimentary remark about himself." J.F. Rutherford, A Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens, 1915, pp 18-20 The Washington Post May 4, 1906 pg 6, "The Rev. Jellyfish Russell" J. Parkinson The Bible Student Movement in the Days of CT Russell, 1975, pg 45 J.F. Rutherford, A Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens, 1915, pg 20 Russell v Washington Post Company Opinion of the Court, May 5, 1908: "We think the defense of privilege is not applicable to the article published by the defendant. The article is unquestionably libelous ... It is not confined to comment and criticism on his acts as a public man or his public life, but, so far as this record discloses, falsely asserts that he has committed certain acts of an immoral nature in his private life." Deaths in the District of Melbourne, in Victoria. Registered by Arthur Fegan. Certificate #13463 The Bible Student Movement in the Days of C.T. Russell, 3rd edition, Notes The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, "Miracle Wheat Scandal," January 22, 1913, 2; "Testimony on Wheat," January 23, 1913, 3; "Financial Statements Proving Russell's Absolute Control," by Secretary-Treasurer Van Amberg, January 25, 1913, 16; "Government Experts Testify on 'Miracle Wheat' and Ascertain Its Ordinariness," January 27, 1913, 3; "Prosecution and Defense Closing Arguments," January 28, 1913, 2; "Russell Loses Libel Suit,” January 29, 1913, 16 (available on microfilm) A Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens, 1915, pp. 29–30 "United States of America", 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, page 71 Some facts about the Self-Styled "Pastor" Charles T. Russell (of Millennial Dawn Fame), 1912, pp. 1-3: "By thousands he is believed to be a religious fakir of the worst type... Years ago he gave himself the title of "Pastor" ... By "The Brooklyn Daily Eagle" he stands charged with ... having his name sensationally connected with those of numerous other women ... with publishing himself as giving addresses to great crowds in important places where he has not spoken at all ... with being illegally connected with lead, asphalt and turpentine companies, with selling or causing to be sold "Miracle Wheat" at $60 a bushel, with influencing the sick and dying to make their wills in his favor ... He is an eccentric individual and judging from his advertisements of himself, many do not think him normal, and some are persuaded that he is self-deceived." RG 22-329-0-6742 Record of Indictment: The King v. John Jacob Ross - Defamatory Libel, In the Supreme Court of Ontario, High Court Division and in the Court of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery in and for the County of Wentworth, pp. 1,5 The King v. John Jacob Ross, cross-examination by King's Counselor George Lynch-Staunton, March 17, 1913, section II, p. 6 The King v. John Jacob Ross, cross-examination by King's Counselor George Lynch-Staunton, March 17, 1913, section II, p. 4 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. The Hamilton Spectator, Dec. 9, 1912; also Feb. 7, and March 17,18,22 1913 The Toronto Globe, March 18, 1913 The Watch Tower, October 15, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , p. 286: "The lower Court found him [Ross] guilty of libel. But when the case went to the second Judge he called up an English precedent, in which it was held that criminal libel would only operate in a case where the jury felt sure that there was danger of rioting or violence. As there was no danger that myself or friends would resort to rioting, the case was thrown out." A Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens, p. 31 Some Facts and More Facts about the Self-Styled 'Pastor' Charles T. Russell, pp. 18-23 The Watch Tower, October 15, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , p. 286: "As respects my education in Greek and Hebrew: Not only do I not claim very special knowledge of either language, but I claim that not one minister in a thousand is either a Hebrew or a Greek scholar." The Watch Tower, October 15, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , p. 287 The Watch Tower, December 1, 1915 p. 358–360 "Preaching Publicly and From House to House", Jehovah's Witnesses – Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, 1993, WTB&TS, page 560 The Watch Tower, October 15, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , p. 287: "What is the secret of the opposition and slander that is being raised up against me and against all who, like me, are Bible students? It is malice, hatred, envy, strife, on the part of those who are still hugging the nonsense of the Dark Ages and neglecting true Bible study. They see that their influence is waning. But they have not yet awakened to the true situation. They think that I am responsible for their smaller congregations and small collections. But not so. The real difficulty for them is that the people are becoming more intelligent and can no longer be driven with the crack of a merely man-made whip of fear." Springmeier, Fritz. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Portland, Or.: the author, 1990.[unreliable source?]. Zion's Watch Tower, Dec 1, 1911 pp. 443–444 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Retrieved 2009-5-4. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Retrieved 2009-5-6. ... Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . The cross and crown symbol does not appear on his gravestone in the Rosemont United Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — it appears on a memorial erected some years later." Retrieved 2009-5-29. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Retrieved 2009-5-29. J. Gordon Melton, Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, Gale Group, 2001, Vol. 1, p. 829. Sermon title: "The Temple of God", Convention Report Sermons pages 359–365, "But now I am talking about this great order of masonry of which Jesus is the Grand Master. This Order is to be entered in a peculiar way. There are certain conditions, the low gate, the narrow way, the difficult path. Although I have never been a Mason, I have heard that in Masonry they have something which very closely illustrates all of this." Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Zion's Watch Tower, June, 1895, p. 143 The New Creation, pages 580–581 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , from the web-site of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon. Retrieved on January 21, 2008.  
      For many posts tagged with Charles Taze Russell click here
      For a chronology of Charles and his wife Maria click here 
      -----------------------------------------
       
      Preceded by
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   President of Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society 
      December 15, 1884–October 31, 1916 Succeeded by
      Joseph F. Rutherford  
    • By Jack Ryan
      The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 24, 1911

    • By Bible Speaks
      Pastor Charles Taze Russell visiting India. Is this the only picture in existence of him smiling?
    • By Jack Ryan
      Barbour and Russell finally separated in June 1879 over the doctrine of the ransom. They had another point of contrast over the year 1881. With the article “THE PARALLELS” published in the June1880 Herald, Barbour denied the thought of an invisible Parousia. According to him the second presence didn’t begin autumn of 1874, nor would there be a later invisible presence. Jesus would personally come in the Autumn of 1881, not seen by the world, but seen by his true disciples, that is, the Herald of the Morning believers.   Russell immediately replied with the July issue of the Watch Tower, confirming his belief that Christ’s invisible presence began in October 1874. Here’s extracts from the two magazines.                  
    • By Jack Ryan
      “Pastor Russell....discussed the mysteries of.......mental telepathy, mind reading and womenÂ’s intuition.”
      The Golden Age February 15, 1925 pg 332-3
       
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    • Guest Kurt
      By Guest Kurt
      Russell's secretary, Menta Sturgeon, was with him when he died and related the events surrounding Russell's death in a talk given at the funeral, found in the December 1916 issue of the Watchtower. See Harvest Truth DataBase V5.0.  It was Sturgeon who wrapped him in the bed sheet, and Russell showed him how to make it look like a Roman toga. Russell did not simply drop suddenly, but his death was a lingering one in which he became progressively ill on his last preaching tour, traveling on the train. He never explained what the Roman toga meant, and both Sturgeon and Rutherford attempted to give explanations. Both agreed that Russell had finished his course victoriously.
      So if anyone wants to read Sturgeon's speech, go to the Harvest Truth Database V5.0 and look for the Watchtower of December 1916.
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    • By The Librarian
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    • By JW Insider
      Yesterday I responded to a months-old comment, here, about putting Charles Taze Russell on a pedestal, and it was under the wrong topic, so I am moving it here, and editing and splitting it into two or three comments because it is so long. The part about "canonizing" refers to the God's Kingdom Rules book,
      *** kr chap. 2 pp. 13-14 pars. 3-6 The Kingdom Is Born in Heaven ***
      For instance, consider the prophecy of Malachi 3:1: “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will clear up a way before me. And suddenly the true Lord, whom you are seeking, will come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant will come, in whom you take delight.”  In the modern-day fulfillment, when did Jehovah, “the true Lord,” come to inspect those who were serving in the earthly courtyard of his spiritual temple? The prophecy explains that Jehovah would come with “the messenger of the covenant.” Who was that? None other than the Messianic King, Jesus Christ! (Luke 1:68-73) As the newly installed Ruler, he would inspect and refine God’s people on earth.—1 Pet. 4:17. 5 Who, though, was the other “messenger,” the first one mentioned at Malachi 3:1? This prophetic figure would be on the scene well before the Messianic King’s presence. In the decades before 1914, did anyone “clear up a way” before the Messianic King? . . . Those taking the lead among them—Charles T. Russell and his close associates—did, indeed, act as the foretold “messenger,” giving spiritual direction to God’s people and preparing them for the events ahead. Let us consider four ways in which the “messenger” did so.  
       
      I can't help but see that he very carefully and deliberately put himself on a pedestal. It appears to have been his plan from the moment he began spending money to put himself on Barbour's masthead. His publishing career started with material he borrowed and presented as his own, but with added "humility" about how he is just God's servant which soon turned into a very humble way of saying that he was "God's mouthpiece."
      It's just that he was so good at 19th century "mock humility" that people truly thought he was humble.
      But a good portion of the Bible Students acted in the ways in which we think of certain groups as "cults" today, in a pejorative sense. Many members of the Bible Students worshiped Russell but would never have noticed this, thinking of it as only love for their leader. Russell didn't ask for a high level of control at first, but the format of his interactions with them were mesmerizing, including the way the Watch Tower publications presented ideas. 
      The Proclaimers book very clearly admits the "cult" attitudes:
      *** jv chap. 6 p. 65 A Time of Testing (1914-1918) ***
      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.
      People were naming their first male child after Russell and additional children after his most trusted associates. People were willing to believe constantly changing, contradictory and failing information about when the rapture would occur, when the door of opportunity to heaven was being shut, the "divination" of lengths of the entrails (passages) criss-crossing within the pyramids. Russell could do no wrong. Russell made up stories about his divorce trial that can now be shown to be outright fabrications. But he continued to print letters of praise about himself and letters that called him the "faithful and wise servant." Without a kind of cult following, you can't get away with claiming that you are the one and only faithful and discreet slave, and the one and only mouthpiece of God, and the one and only channel of communication through which the "wise virgins" can prove themselves to be wise and not foolish.
      Rutherford, who wanted the high level of control, but without the mesmerizing charisma, was very clear about the fact that Russell was being worshiped. Referring to the attitudes toward Russell, Rutherford said the following, according to the Watchtower (and "Faith on the March" by MacMillan):
      *** w66 8/15 pp. 508-509 Doing God’s Will Has Been My Delight ***
      Why, brother, if I ever get out of here, by God’s grace I’ll crush all this business of creature worship. The 1975 Yearbook says the same:
      *** yb75 p. 88 Part 1—United States of America ***
      With the passing of time, however, the idea adopted by many was that C. T. Russell himself was the “faithful and wise servant.” This led some into the snare of creature worship. They felt that all the truth God saw fit to reveal to his people had been presented through Brother Russell, that nothing more could be brought forth. Annie Poggensee writes: “This caused a great sifting out of those who chose to stay back with Russell’s works.” In February 1927 this erroneous thought that Russell himself was the “faithful and wise servant” was cleared up. Of course it was Russell himself who pushed that idea that he alone was the "faithful and wise servant." He was satisfied for years to say it was all true Christians in this role, even while claiming that "meat in due season" came through the channel of the Watch Tower Society. But after about 18 years of publishing such claims in the Watch Tower he finally claimed (in 1896/7) that this role could be only one individual person at a time. He published several letters addressing him as "that Servant, faithful and wise" ["the faithful and discreet slave"] who provides "meat in due season" ["food at the proper time"].
      *** yb74 pp. 97-98 Part 1—Germany ***
      For that reason Brother Balzereit asked Brother Rutherford for permission to buy a rotary press. Brother Rutherford saw the necessity and agreed, but on one condition. He had noticed that over the years Brother Balzereit had grown a beard very similar to the one that had been worn by Brother Russell. His example soon caught on, for there were others who also wanted to look like Brother Russell. This could give rise to a tendency toward creature worship, and Brother Rutherford wanted to prevent this. So during his next visit, within hearing of all the Bible House family, he told Brother Balzereit that he could buy the rotary press but only on the condition that he shave off his beard. This type of thinking was evidently still going on. Rutherford knew that up until the 1920's pictures of Russell and his close associates were still being sold. (I have a couple from about 1915 with Russell, Rutherford and my great-grandfather.) But this evidently was still going on in 1931:
      *** yb74 p. 106 Part 1—Germany ***
      Now at the Berlin assembly [1931] he called attention to the many pictures of himself and of Brother Russell that were being sold in the form of postcards or pictures, some of which were even framed. After discovering these pictures at the numerous tables in the corridors around the hall, he mentioned them in his next talk, urging those in attendance not to buy any of them and asking the servants in charge in plain words to remove the pictures from their frames and to destroy them, which was then done. He wanted to avoid anything that could lead to creature worship. Even in one of our most current and recent study books, we have a similar claim about Russell:
      *** kr chap. 2 pp. 22-23 par. 32 The Kingdom Is Born in Heaven ***
      From within, the organization suffered turmoil as well. In 1916, Brother Russell died at only 64 years of age, leaving many of God’s people in shock. His death revealed that some had been placing too much emphasis on one exemplary man. Though Brother Russell wanted no such reverence, a measure of creature worship had grown up around him. Rutherford himself said this about Russell at his funeral:
      "Charles Taze Russell, thou hast by the Lord, been crowned a king, and through the everlasting ages thy name shall be known amongst the people, and thy enemies shall come and worship at thy feet." Then of course, Rutherford approved and praised the importance of a book in 1917, The Finished Mystery, and proudly distributed it until 1932. It said the following (with page numbers, unchecked, as copied from Gruss):
      "The special messenger to the last Age of the Church was Charles T. Russell.... He has privately admitted his belief that he was chosen for his great work from before his birth" (53). "Pastor Russell was the voice used. Beautiful voice of the Lord: strong, humble, wise, loving, gentle, just, merciful, faithful, self-sacrificing; one of the noblest, grandest characters or all history...Without a blemish in his character, with the loftiest ideals of God, and the possibilities of man, he towers like a giant, unmatched"'( 125). 'The mind of Pastor Russell was filled with Truth.... The mind of God's steward was as adamant. Adamant is literally, in Hebrew, 'a diamond point"' (383). "In 1878 the stewardship of the things of God, the teaching of Bible truths, was taken from the clergy, unfaithful to their age-long stewardship, and given to Pastor Russell" (386-87). "Then, in 1881, he became God's watchman for all Christendom, and began his gigantic work of witness.... He listened to the word direct from the mouth of God, spoken by holy men of old as moved by the Holy Spirit.(2 Peter 1:21.)... Pastor Russell's warning to Christendom, coming direct from God.... He said that he could never have written his books himself. It came from God, through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit" (387). "Pastor Russell was the most prolific writer of Biblical truth that ever lived.—Ezek. 9:2,3" (65). "The man in linen" was the Laodicean servant, the Lord's faithful and wise steward, Pastor Russell" (418). "The preaching and writings of Pastor Russell were heard by all classes of believers and unbelievers. It was the voice of Jehovah, represented as almighty to save, that was heard throughout the world" (422). The June 1, 1917 Watch Tower published by Rutherford, says:
      "Truly there lived among us in these last days a prophet of the Lord.... Any thoughtful man can interpret prophecy after is has been fulfilled. Pastor Russell interpreted these prophecies twenty years ago...." Throughout the 1920's, the Society began distributing the "Biography of Charles Taze Russell" included with Studies in the Scriptures claiming that Russell himself privately admitted to others that he was the "faithful and wise servant."
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      While he publicly denied being a Freemason, much of his symbolism and focus on the pyramids mirrors the masons.
      Being buried so close to a Freemason cemetery.... I wonder what connection he had.

    • By Queen Esther
      A  letter  personal  of  JW  C. T.  Russel !  Its  hand-writed,  now  safe  in  a  Bethel  house....
      We  can  see  it  in  Bethel  *London* ;-))
       
         March 21, 0 [1900]
      Dear Brother,
             Just a word of greetings to accompany lists I am now sending - not knowing what use you might have for them before reaching London. I have written you more at length by type-writer not yet ready.
             Glad to know of your safe arrival and glad to hope that you are still well & that the Lord's blessing attends your efforts to know his name & to bless his flock.
             My love to you & to all the dear ones with whom you are now associating - Bro. F. et al.
                                Yours in our dear Redeemer
                                C. T. Russell
       
      ( A help from our JW Insider,  for  better  reading  the  old  letter... Thank  you ! )
    • By The Librarian
      1916 - Charles Taze Russell Dies
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Was it due to his ownership of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania or because he engaged in the work of the Lord to a greater extent than his peers of that day?
       
    • By The Librarian
      Charles Taze Russell fell ill from heart disease while traveling on a speaking circuit. After a doctor confirming he was indeed near death, Russell requested that he be wrapped in a toga (made from a bed sheet) and died at the age of 64 on Tuesday, October 31, 1916 while aboard a train traveling through Pampa, TX. His body traveled by train to Kansas City, where his body was embalmed. It was then taken by train, routed through Chicago to New York on November 3rd.
       
      From the Watchtower, December 1, 1916: 
       
       
      Picture that appeared in Watchtower, December 1, 1916. Russell's funeral at Russell Temple in Manhattan.

       
      THREE funeral services for Charles Taze Russell were held at The Temple in New York City on Sunday, November 5, 1916, where 17 "brothers" spoke. His body was transported to Pennsylvania and ANOTHER funeral service was held at Carnegie Hall in Pittsburgh on Monday, November 6th.
      Russell's funeral inside Allegheny's Carnegie Hall:





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    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Hello Eric merci pour tes sujets et partages. Bonne journée Michel
      12 SECRETS POUR MAINTENIR LA JOIE DANS l organisation de Jéhovah.pdf memoire_vivante56.pdf Un athée.pdf
      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Que nos sacrifices de paix venant du coeur soit pur aux services de Dieu
      Le Lévitique a été écrit il y a 3 500 ans, mais Jéhovah l’a préservé pour nous instruire  (Rom. 15:4). Ce livre nous aide à comprendre ce que Jéhovah pense et ressent. Nous devrions donc nous y intéresser de près. En fait, nous pouvons tirer beaucoup de leçons de ce livre inspiré de Dieu. Examinons-en quatre.
      COMMENT OBTENIR L’APPROBATION DE JÉHOVAH
      Première leçon : nous devons avoir l’approbation de Jéhovah si nous voulons qu’il accepte nos sacrifices. Chaque année, le jour de la Réconciliation, la nation d’Israël se rassemblait et des sacrifices d’animaux étaient offerts. Ces sacrifices rappelaient aux Israélites qu’ils avaient besoin d’être purifiés de leurs péchés. Mais avant d’entrer dans le Très-Saint avec du sang provenant des sacrifices, le grand prêtre devait d’abord accomplir une autre tâche, une tâche dont l’objectif était bien plus important que le pardon des péchés de la nation.
      (Lire Lévitique 16:12, 13.) Imagine la scène : Nous sommes le jour de la Réconciliation. Le grand prêtre entre dans le tabernacle. C’est la première des trois fois où il va entrer dans le Très-Saint ce jour-là. Dans une main, il tient un récipient contenant de l’encens parfumé, et dans l’autre un récipient à feu en or rempli de braises. Il s’arrête un instant devant le rideau du Très-Saint. Puis, avec un profond respect, il entre et va se placer devant l’arche de l’Alliance. De façon figurée, il se trouve en présence de Jéhovah lui-même ! Puis il verse avec soin l’encens sacré sur les braises, et la pièce se remplit d’un parfum délicat. Plus tard, il va de nouveau entrer dans le Très-Saint avec du sang provenant des sacrifices pour le péché. Remarque qu’il brûle l’encens avant de présenter le sang des sacrifices pour le péché
      Qu’apprenons-nous de ce que le grand prêtre devait faire avec l’encens le jour de la Réconciliation ? La Bible montre que, pour Jéhovah, les prières de ses fidèles adorateurs sont comparables à de l’encens (Ps. 141:2 ; Rév. 5:8). Comme nous venons de le voir, c’était avec un profond respect que le grand prêtre apportait l’encens jusque devant l’arche de l’Alliance, qui symbolisait la présence de Jéhovah. De la même façon, quand nous nous approchons de Jéhovah par la prière, nous le faisons avec beaucoup de respect. Nous sommes très reconnaissants au Créateur de l’univers de nous permettre de nous approcher de lui comme un enfant le fait avec son père (Jacq. 4:8). Il accepte que nous soyons ses amis ! (Ps. 25:14). Nous apprécions tellement cet honneur que nous ne voudrions jamais le décevoir.
      Souviens-toi que le grand prêtre devait brûler l’encens avant de pouvoir offrir les sacrifices. Ainsi, il faisait le nécessaire pour avoir l’approbation de Dieu au moment où il les offrirait. Qu’est-ce que cela nous apprend au sujet de Jésus ? Avant de pouvoir offrir sa vie en sacrifice, il a fallu qu’il fasse quelque chose d’essentiel, dont l’objectif était bien plus important que le salut des humains. Qu’a-t-il dû faire ? Il a dû rester fidèle à Dieu et obéir à ses commandements durant toute sa vie sur terre, ce qui permettrait à Jéhovah d’accepter son sacrifice. En restant intègre, Jésus prouverait qu’accomplir la volonté de Jéhovah est la meilleure façon de vivre. Et il justifierait la souveraineté de son Père : il apporterait la preuve que sa façon de gouverner est bonne et juste.
      Durant sa vie sur la terre, Jésus a toujours obéi parfaitement aux normes de Jéhovah. Aucune tentation ni aucune épreuve, ni même la mort atroce qui l’attendait, n’a pu affaiblir son désir de défendre la façon de gouverner de son Père (Phil. 2:8). Dans l’épreuve, Jésus priait « avec des cris puissants et des larmes » (Héb. 5:7). Ses prières intenses venaient d’un cœur fidèle à Dieu, et elles renforçaient son désir de lui rester obéissant. Pour Jéhovah, les prières de Jésus étaient comme le parfum délicat de l’encens. Par sa façon de vivre, Jésus a grandement réjoui le cœur de son Père et a justifié sa souveraineté.
      Nous imiterons Jésus en faisant le maximum pour rester fidèles à Jéhovah et obéir à ses lois. Et dans l’épreuve, comme nous voulons lui plaire, nous le supplierons de nous aider. Nous montrerons alors que nous soutenons sa souveraineté. Nous savons qu’il ne répondra pas à nos prières si nous avons une conduite qu’il n’approuve pas. Cependant, si nous respectons ses normes, nous pouvons être sûrs que nos prières sincères seront pour lui comme de l’encens au parfum délicat. Nous pouvons également être certains que notre fidélité et notre obéissance réjouiront notre Père céleste (Prov. 27:11).
      NOUS SERVONS DIEU PAR RECONNAISSANCE ET PAR AMOUR
      Deuxième leçon : nous servons Jéhovah parce que nous éprouvons pour lui de la reconnaissance. Pour développer cette idée, parlons des sacrifices de paix, un autre aspect important du vrai culte dans l’ancien Israël. Dans le livre du Lévitique, nous apprenons qu’un Israélite pouvait offrir un sacrifice de paix « pour exprimer sa reconnaissance » à Dieu (Lév. 7:11-13, 16-18). Il offrait ce sacrifice, non pas parce qu’il était obligé de le faire, mais parce qu’il le voulait. Il s’agissait donc d’un sacrifice qu’une personne faisait volontairement parce qu’elle aimait son Dieu, Jéhovah. Cette personne ainsi que sa famille et les prêtres mangeaient ensuite la viande de l’animal sacrifié. Mais certaines parties de l’animal étaient réservées exclusivement à Jéhovah. Lesquelles ?
      Troisième leçon : par amour pour Jéhovah, nous lui donnons ce que nous avons de meilleur. Jéhovah considérait la graisse comme la meilleure partie de l’animal. Il a aussi fait savoir que d’autres parties de l’animal, comme les rognons, étaient particulièrement précieuses pour lui (lire Lévitique 3:6, 12, 14-16). Cela lui faisait donc très plaisir quand un Israélite lui offrait volontairement ces parties de l’animal et la graisse. Cet Israélite montrait qu’il désirait vraiment lui offrir le meilleur. De la même façon, Jésus a offert à Jéhovah ce qu’il avait de meilleur en le servant de toute son âme et par amour (Jean 14:31). Pour Jésus, faire la volonté de son Père était un plaisir ; il avait un amour profond pour la loi de Dieu (Ps. 40:8). Comme cela a dû réjouir Jéhovah de voir son Fils le servir avec autant d’enthousiasme !
      Comme ces sacrifices de paix, notre service pour Jéhovah est une façon de lui montrer ce que nous ressentons pour lui. Nous lui donnons ce que nous avons de meilleur, et nous le faisons parce que nous l’aimons de tout notre cœur. Comme cela doit le réjouir de voir des millions de personnes le servir avec plaisir parce qu’elles ont un profond amour pour lui et pour ses normes ! Cela nous réconforte de savoir que Jéhovah voit non seulement nos actions, mais aussi nos mobiles, et qu’il y accorde de la valeur. Par exemple, si tu es âgé et que tu ne peux plus en faire autant qu’avant, sois certain que Jéhovah comprend tes limites. Tu penses peut-être que tu n’as pas grand-chose à lui offrir. Mais lui, il voit que ton profond amour pour lui te pousse à faire ce que tu peux. Il accepte avec plaisir ce que tu as de mieux à lui donner.
      Que nous apprennent les sacrifices de paix ? Alors que le feu consumait les meilleures parties de l’animal, la fumée s’élevait vers le ciel et cela faisait très plaisir à Jéhovah. Tu peux donc être sûr que Jéhovah est vraiment content de toi quand tu fais tout ce que tu peux pour le servir (Col. 3:23). Imagine son sourire d’approbation. Il considère comme très précieux les efforts que tu fournis à son service, qu’ils soient grands ou petits, et il ne les oubliera jamais (Mat. 6:20 ; Héb. 6:10).
      JÉHOVAH BÉNIT SON ORGANISATION
      Quatrième leçon : Jéhovah bénit la partie terrestre de son organisation. Rappelle-toi ce qui est arrivé en 1512 avant notre ère, quand le tabernacle a été dressé au pied du mont Sinaï (Ex. 40:17). Moïse a présidé une cérémonie durant laquelle Aaron et ses fils ont été établis prêtres. La nation d’Israël s’était rassemblée pour voir les prêtres présenter leurs premiers sacrifices (Lév. 9:1-5). Comment Jéhovah a-t-il montré qu’il approuvait cette nouvelle prêtrise ? Alors qu’Aaron et Moïse bénissaient le peuple, Jéhovah a fait descendre du ciel un feu qui a complètement consumé le sacrifice sur l’autel (Lévitique 9:23,24)
      Dans quel objectif Jéhovah a-t-il provoqué ce spectacle impressionnant à la fin de la cérémonie durant laquelle Aaron a été établi grand prêtre ? Il voulait montrer par là qu’il soutenait pleinement la prêtrise aaronique. Et les Israélites ont clairement vu qu’elle avait son approbation. Ils avaient donc toutes les raisons de la soutenir eux aussi. Est-ce important pour nous de savoir cela ? Oui ! La prêtrise en Israël n’était qu’une « ombre » d’une prêtrise bien meilleure. Le Christ est le Grand Prêtre par excellence et 144 000 humains seront prêtres et rois à ses côtés au ciel (Héb. 4:14 ; 8:3-5 ; 10:1).
      En 1919, Jésus a choisi un petit groupe de frères oints pour former l’« esclave fidèle et avisé ». Cet esclave dirige la prédication et donne aux disciples du Christ « leur nourriture au bon moment » (Mat. 24:45). Avons-nous des preuves que Dieu l’approuve
      Satan et son monde font tout ce qu’ils peuvent pour empêcher cet esclave d’assumer ses responsabilités, à tel point que, sans l’aide de Dieu, il n’y arriverait pas. Toutefois, malgré deux guerres mondiales, des persécutions incessantes, des crises économiques mondiales et des traitements injustes, il continue de fournir de la nourriture spirituelle aux disciples du Christ sur la terre. Pense à toute la nourriture spirituelle qui est aujourd’hui disponible gratuitement dans plus de 900 langues ! C’est une preuve incontestable du soutien de Dieu. Et voici une autre preuve encore : la prédication. La bonne nouvelle est prêchée « sur toute la terre » ! (Mat. 24:14). Il n’y a pas de doute, Jéhovah guide et bénit abondamment son organisation.
      Demandons-nous : « Suis-je reconnaissant à Dieu de pouvoir collaborer avec la partie terrestre de son organisation ? » Jéhovah nous donne des preuves qu’il la soutient, des preuves aussi convaincantes que le feu qui est descendu du ciel à l’époque de Moïse et d’Aaron. Nous avons de nombreuses raisons d’être reconnaissants à notre Dieu (1 Thess. 5:18, 19). Comment pouvons-nous soutenir l’organisation qu’il utilise ? En suivant les conseils basés sur la Bible qui nous sont donnés dans nos publications, aux réunions et aux assemblées, ainsi qu’en participant le plus possible à l’activité de prédication et d’enseignement (1 Cor. 15:58).
      Soyons déterminés à appliquer les leçons que nous avons tirées du livre du Lévitique. Cherchons à obtenir l’approbation de Jéhovah pour qu’il accepte nos sacrifices. Servons-le par reconnaissance. Continuons de lui donner par amour ce que nous avons de meilleur. Et soutenons de tout notre cœur l’organisation qu’il bénit. Nous lui montrerons alors que nous chérissons l’honneur de le servir et d’être ses Témoins !
      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Soyons remplis de gratitude envers autrui 
       
      AVEZ-VOUS déjà reçu un petit mot de reconnaissance auquel vous ne vous attendiez pas ? Si c’est le cas, cela vous a certainement fait chaud au cœur. Après tout, il est naturel de vouloir être apprécié. — Matthieu 25:19-23.
      Toute expression de gratitude tend à renforcer les liens entre celui qui en est l’auteur et celui qui en est le destinataire. En outre, quiconque manifeste de la gratitude suit les traces de Jésus Christ, qui n’a jamais manqué de remarquer les belles œuvres des autres. — Marc 14:3-9 ; Luc 21:1-4.
      Malheureusement, exprimer sa gratitude, de vive voix ou par écrit, semble se faire de plus en plus rare. La Bible avait annoncé que, durant “ les derniers jours ”, les hommes seraient “ ingrats ”. (2 Timothée 3:1, 2.) Si nous n’y prenons pas garde, cette tendance si répandue aujourd’hui risque d’étouffer en nous tout sentiment de reconnaissance.
      Quelles mesures concrètes les parents peuvent-ils adopter pour enseigner à leurs enfants à manifester de la reconnaissance ? À qui devrions-nous exprimer notre gratitude ? Et pourquoi devrions-nous être reconnaissants, même si ceux qui nous entourent se révèlent ingrats ?
      Dans le cercle familial
      Les parents ne ménagent pas leurs efforts pour subvenir aux besoins de leurs enfants. Mais il leur arrive d’avoir le sentiment que ces efforts ne sont pas appréciés à leur juste valeur. Que faire pour remédier à cette situation ? Trois paramètres sont à prendre en compte.
      1) L’exemple. Comme cela se vérifie souvent en matière d’éducation, la réussite passe par l’exemple. La Bible disait jadis d’une Israélite travailleuse : “ Ses fils ont voulu la féliciter. ” Où ces enfants avaient-ils appris à exprimer leur reconnaissance ? La suite du verset nous éclaire : “ Son mari est le premier à la louer. ” (Proverbes 31:28, Bible des Peuples). Les parents qui s’expriment de la reconnaissance montrent à leurs enfants que ce genre de témoignage procure du plaisir à celui qui en est l’objet, améliore les relations familiales et constitue un signe de maturité.
      Stephen, un père de famille, déclare : “ Je me suis efforcé de donner l’exemple à mes enfants en remerciant ma femme pour le dîner. ” Qu’en est-il résulté ? “ Mes deux filles l’ont remarqué, et cela leur a fait prendre conscience de l’importance de se montrer reconnaissant ”, dit-il. Si vous êtes marié, remerciez-vous régulièrement votre conjoint pour les tâches quotidiennes qu’il accomplit et qui auraient vite fait de passer inaperçues ? Dites-vous merci à vos enfants, même lorsqu’ils font ce qu’on attend d’eux ?
      2) L’éducation. Le sentiment de reconnaissance est comme une fleur. Il a besoin d’être cultivé pour produire les meilleurs résultats possibles. Comment les parents peuvent-ils aider leurs enfants à cultiver et à exprimer de la reconnaissance ? Le sage roi Salomon a mis en évidence un principe clé lorsqu’il a écrit : “ Le cœur du juste médite pour répondre. ” — Proverbes 15:28.
      Pouvez-vous apprendre à vos enfants à songer aux efforts et à la générosité qui ont précédé chaque cadeau qu’ils reçoivent ? Ce genre de réflexion constitue le sol dans lequel la gratitude s’enracine. Maria, qui a élevé trois enfants, constate : “ Cela prend du temps d’expliquer à ses enfants tout ce que signifie recevoir un cadeau : qu’une personne a pensé à eux en particulier et qu’elle a souhaité leur montrer à quel point elle s’intéresse à eux. Mais je suis convaincue que ça en vaut la peine. ” Grâce à de tels échanges, les enfants apprennent non seulement quoi dire pour exprimer leur reconnaissance, mais aussi pourquoi ils doivent le faire.
      Il est sage, pour des parents, de faire en sorte que leurs enfants n’aient pas le sentiment que tout ce qu’ils reçoivent de bon leur revient, finalement, de droit. L’avertissement figurant en Proverbes 29:21 à propos de la manière de traiter son serviteur s’applique tout autant aux enfants : “ Si l’on gâte son serviteur dès sa jeunesse, par la suite dans sa vie il deviendra un ingrat. ”
      Comment aider de très jeunes enfants à témoigner de la reconnaissance ? Linda, mère de trois enfants, explique : “ Mon mari et moi avons encouragé nos enfants à s’associer à nous quand nous écrivions des cartes de remerciement, en y joignant un dessin ou en les signant. ” Naturellement, le dessin sera peut-être simple, et l’écriture approximative, mais la leçon que les enfants tireront de ce geste restera gravée en eux.
      3) La persévérance. Nous avons tous une tendance innée à l’égoïsme, qui risque d’étouffer en nous tout élan de gratitude (Genèse 8:21 ; Matthieu 15:19). Mais la Bible adresse aux serviteurs de Dieu cette exhortation : “ Vous devez être renouvelés dans la force qui anime votre intelligence et revêtir la personnalité nouvelle qui a été créée selon la volonté de Dieu. ” — Éphésiens 4:23, 24.
      Les parents expérimentés savent, toutefois, qu’aider les enfants à “ revêtir la personnalité nouvelle ” est plus facile à dire qu’à faire. Stephen, cité plus haut, déclare : “ Il nous semblait que nos filles mettaient du temps à dire spontanément merci, sans qu’on ait besoin de le leur rappeler. ” Mais lui et sa femme n’ont pas abandonné. “ Notre persévérance a payé, poursuit Stephen : nos filles ont retenu la leçon. Aujourd’hui, nous sommes fiers de la manière dont elles manifestent leur gratitude aux autres. ”
      Envers les amis et le prochain
      Lorsque nous oublions de dire merci, ce n’est pas forcément par manque de reconnaissance, mais parfois simplement par négligence. En définitive, du moment que nous éprouvons de la gratitude, est-il si important que cela de l’exprimer ? Pour répondre à cette question, considérons ce qui s’est passé un jour où Jésus a guéri des lépreux.
      Alors qu’il se rendait à Jérusalem, Jésus a rencontré dix hommes atteints de lèpre. La Bible relate : “ Ils élevèrent la voix et dirent : ‘ Jésus, Instructeur, aie pitié de nous ! ’ Et lorsqu’il les vit, il leur dit : ‘ Allez vous montrer aux prêtres. ’ Or, comme ils s’en allaient, leur purification eut lieu. L’un d’eux, quand il vit qu’il était guéri, revint sur ses pas, glorifiant Dieu d’une voix forte. Et il tomba sur sa face aux pieds de Jésus, en le remerciant ; or, c’était un Samaritain. ” — Luc 17:11-16.
      Jésus n’a-t-il accordé aucune importance au fait que les autres n’aient pas exprimé de gratitude ? Le récit poursuit : “ En réponse Jésus dit : ‘ Les dix ont été purifiés, n’est-ce pas ? Où sont donc les neuf autres ? Ne s’est-il trouvé personne pour revenir rendre gloire à Dieu, que cet homme d’une autre nation ? ’ ” — Luc 17:17, 18.
      Les neuf autres lépreux n’étaient pas des hommes méchants. Auparavant, ils avaient ouvertement exprimé leur foi en Jésus et avaient suivi de bon gré ses instructions, qui exigeaient qu’ils se rendent à Jérusalem pour se montrer aux prêtres. Or, même s’ils ont indéniablement éprouvé une profonde gratitude pour ce que Jésus avait fait, ils ne la lui ont pas exprimée. Leur comportement a déçu Christ. Et nous ? Quand quelqu’un se montre bon à notre égard, sommes-nous prompts à dire merci et, si cela s’y prête, à lui montrer notre reconnaissance en lui envoyant une petite carte ?
      La Bible dit que l’amour “ ne fait rien d’inconvenant. Il ne cherche pas son propre intérêt ”. (1 Corinthiens 13:5, Bible du Semeur.) Par conséquent, un témoignage de reconnaissance donné avec sincérité non seulement traduit un respect des convenances, mais aussi est une preuve d’amour. Comme nous l’apprend l’exemple des lépreux, ceux qui souhaitent plaire à Christ doivent exprimer un tel amour et une telle reconnaissance à tous, indépendamment de leur nationalité, de leur race ou de leur religion.
      Posez-vous la question : ‘ Quand ai-je pour la dernière fois remercié un voisin, un collègue de travail, un camarade de classe, un membre du personnel hospitalier, un commerçant ou qui que ce soit d’autre qui me soit venu en aide ? ’ Pourquoi ne pas noter pendant un jour ou deux le nombre de fois où vous dites effectivement merci ou exprimez votre reconnaissance d’une façon ou d’une autre  ? Peut-être verrez-vous la nécessité de vous améliorer dans certains domaines.
      Bien entendu, celui qui mérite le plus de remerciements de notre part, c’est Jéhovah Dieu. De lui vient “ tout beau don et tout présent parfait ”. (Jacques 1:17.) À quand remonte la dernière fois où vous avez sincèrement remercié Dieu pour avoir fait quelque chose de particulier en votre faveur ? — 1 Thessaloniciens 5:17, 18.
      Pourquoi se montrer reconnaissant même quand les autres sont ingrats ?
      Nos témoignages de reconnaissance ne seront pas forcément payés de retour. Par conséquent, pourquoi manifester notre gratitude si nous sommes les seuls à le faire ? Arrêtons-nous simplement sur une bonne raison d’agir ainsi.
      Faire du bien à ceux qui ne sont pas enclins à la gratitude, c’est imiter notre Créateur bienveillant, Jéhovah Dieu. Que beaucoup ne soient pas sensibles à l’amour que Jéhovah leur témoigne ne l’empêche pas de leur faire du bien (Romains 5:8 ; 1 Jean 4:9, 10). Il fait “ lever son soleil sur les méchants et sur les bons et [...] fait pleuvoir sur les justes et sur les injustes ”. Si, bien que vivant dans un monde ingrat, nous nous efforçons d’éprouver et d’exprimer de la gratitude, nous nous montrerons “ fils de [notre] Père qui est dans les cieux ”. — Matthieu 5:45.

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    • Eric Ouellet

      Enracinons nous dans la foi comme un arbre luxuriant.
      EN ISRAËL pousse un arbre presque indestructible. Même lorsqu’on l’abat, sa souche ne tarde pas à produire de nouvelles pousses. Par ailleurs, ses fruits fournissent une grande quantité d’huile utile tant pour la cuisine et l’éclairage que pour l’hygiène et les soins de beauté.
      Selon une parabole des temps bibliques consignée dans le livre des Juges, “ un jour les arbres s’en allèrent pour oindre un roi sur eux ”. Quel arbre choisirent-ils ? Le résistant et fertile olivier. — Juges 9:8.
      Il y a plus de 3 500 ans, le prophète Moïse décrivait Israël comme “ un bon pays, [...] un pays d’olives ”. (Deutéronome 8:7, 8.) Aujourd’hui encore, du pied du mont Hermôn à la campagne de Béershéba en passant par la plaine côtière du Sharôn, les pentes rocailleuses de la Samarie et les vallées fertiles de la Galilée, le paysage est parsemé d’oliveraies du nord au sud.
      Les rédacteurs de la Bible ont souvent parlé de l’olivier dans un sens figuré pour illustrer, par exemple, la miséricorde de Dieu, la promesse de la résurrection ou encore le bonheur familial. L’examen de quelques-unes de ses caractéristiques nous aidera à mieux comprendre ces références et à apprécier cet arbre exceptionnel qui fait honneur au Créateur. — Psaume 148:7, 9.
      Un arbre robuste
      L’olivier n’est pas spécialement impressionnant à première vue. Il n’a pas la majesté des vertigineux cèdres du Liban, son bois n’a pas la qualité du genévrier ni ses fleurs la beauté de celles de l’amandier (Chant de Salomon 1:17 ; Amos 2:9). En fait, sa partie la plus importante demeure invisible, puisque le secret de sa résistance et de sa grande prolificité réside dans ses longues racines, qui peuvent s’enfoncer jusqu’à six mètres sous terre et rayonner plus loin encore.
      Ses racines permettent à l’olivier poussant sur des versants rocailleux de survivre à la sécheresse quand d’autres arbres situés au fond de la vallée sont déjà morts de soif. Elles lui permettent également de produire des olives des siècles durant, même lorsque son tronc noueux ne semble plus bon qu’à servir de bois de chauffage. Tout ce dont cet arbre rustique a besoin, c’est de place pour pousser et d’un sol aéré pour respirer, loin des mauvaises herbes et autres plantes qui peuvent abriter des parasites. Si ces conditions simples sont réunies, un seul arbre peut fournir jusqu’à 60 litres d’huile par an.
      Cette huile était manifestement appréciée des Israélites. Ils s’en servaient pour éclairer leur intérieur à l’aide de lampes à mèches, pour cuisiner, pour protéger leur peau du soleil et pour fabriquer du savon (Lévitique 24:2). Étant donné que le blé, le vin et l’olive constituaient les principales productions de la région, une mauvaise récolte d’olives était une catastrophe pour une famille israélite. — Deutéronome 7:13 ; Habaqouq 3:17.
      Cependant, en général, l’huile d’olive ne manquait pas. Sans doute Moïse a-t-il décrit la Terre promise comme “ un pays d’olives ” parce que l’olivier y était l’arbre le plus cultivé. Au XIXe siècle, le naturaliste Henry Tristram a d’ailleurs qualifié l’olivier d’arbre emblématique de la région ”. En raison de sa valeur et de sa profusion, l’huile d’olive servait même de moyen de paiement dans tout le bassin méditerranéen. De là, l’allusion de Jésus Christ à une dette de “ cent baths d’huile d’olive ”. — Luc 16:5, 6.
      “ Comme des plants d’olivier ”
      L’olivier illustre de façon appropriée les bénédictions divines. Comment l’homme qui craint Dieu serait-il récompensé ? “ Ta femme sera comme une vigne qui porte du fruit tout au fond de ta maison, a chanté un psalmiste. Tes fils seront comme des plants d’olivier autour de ta table. ” (Psaume 128:3). Que sont ces “ plants d’olivier ”, et pourquoi le psalmiste les comparait-il à des fils ?
      L’olivier a ceci de particulier que de nouvelles pousses sortent continuellement de la base de son tronc. Lorsque, en raison de son âge, le tronc principal ne produit plus autant qu’auparavant, les cultivateurs peuvent laisser plusieurs plants, ou nouvelles pousses, se développer jusqu’à devenir partie intégrante de l’arbre. Au bout d’un certain temps, trois ou quatre nouveaux troncs vigoureux entoureront celui d’origine, comme des fils autour d’une table. Ces plants issus de la même souche produisent ensemble une grande quantité d’olives.
      Cette caractéristique de l’olivier illustre bien la façon dont les fils et les filles peuvent devenir fermes dans la foi, grâce aux robustes racines spirituelles de leurs parents. En grandissant, eux aussi portent du fruit et épaulent leurs parents, qui se réjouissent de les voir servir Jéhovah à leurs côtés. — Proverbes 15:20.
      “ Il existe un espoir même pour un arbre ”
      Un père âgé qui sert Jéhovah se réjouit que ses enfants adorent Dieu. Mais quelle tristesse quand ce père finit par ‘ s’en aller par le chemin de toute la terre ’ ! (1 Rois 2:2.) La Bible nous aide à surmonter pareille douleur en nous donnant l’assurance qu’il y aura une résurrection. — Jean 5:28, 29 ; 11:25.
      Job, père de nombreux enfants, était très conscient de la brièveté de la vie, qu’il a comparée à une fleur qui se flétrit rapidement (Job 1:2 ; 14:1, 2). Job désirait la mort pour se soustraire à ses souffrances, considérant la tombe comme une cachette d’où il pourrait revenir. “ Si un homme robuste meurt, peut-il revivre ? ” a-t-il demandé. Et d’exprimer sa confiance : “ Tous les jours de ma corvée, j’attendrai, jusqu’à ce que vienne ma relève. Tu [Jéhovah] appelleras, et moi je te répondrai. Tu languiras après l’œuvre de tes mains. ” — Job 14:13-15.
      Comment Job a-t-il illustré sa conviction que Dieu le rappellerait de la tombe ? Au moyen d’un arbre, dont la description correspond apparemment à celle de l’olivier. “ Il existe un espoir même pour un arbre. Si on le coupe, il bourgeonnera encore. ” (Job 14:7). Pour peu qu’il ne soit pas déraciné, l’olivier peut effectivement être coupé sans que cela le fasse mourir. Si ses racines demeurent intactes, il repoussera avec une vigueur renouvelée.
      Même si une sécheresse prolongée dessèche profondément un vieil olivier, la souche ratatinée peut repartir. “ Si sa racine vieillit dans la terre et si sa souche meurt dans la poussière, à l’odeur de l’eau, il bourgeonnera, oui il produira une branche comme une plante nouvelle. ” (Job 14:8, 9). Job vivait dans une région aride et poussiéreuse où il avait probablement dû observer beaucoup de vieux oliviers complètement desséchés qui semblaient morts. Cependant, dès qu’arrivaient les pluies, ils revenaient à la vie, et un nouveau tronc émergeait de leurs racines “ comme une plante nouvelle ”. Cette résistance hors du commun a conduit un horticulteur tunisien à déclarer : “ Il n’est pas exagéré de dire que les oliviers sont immortels. ”
      Tout comme un cultivateur espère voir renaître ses oliviers desséchés, Jéhovah languit de ressusciter ses serviteurs. Il attend avec patience l’époque où des fidèles comme Abraham et Sara, Isaac et Rébecca, et de nombreux autres seront ramenés à la vie (Matthieu 22:31, 32). Comme il sera merveilleux d’accueillir les ressuscités et de les voir mener de nouveau une vie productive !
      L’olivier symbolique
      La miséricorde de Dieu est manifeste dans son impartialité ainsi que dans la disposition qu’est la résurrection. L’apôtre Paul s’est servi de l’olivier pour illustrer comment la miséricorde de Jéhovah s’étend aux humains indifféremment de leur race ou de leur origine. Pendant des siècles, les Juifs se sont enorgueillis d’être le peuple choisi de Dieu, “ la descendance d’Abraham ”. — Jean 8:33 ; Luc 3:8.
      Il n’était pas nécessaire d’être né au sein de la nation juive pour obtenir la faveur divine. Les premiers disciples de Jésus, cependant, étaient tous Juifs et ils ont eu le privilège de figurer parmi les premiers humains choisis par Dieu pour constituer la semence promise d’Abraham (Genèse 22:18 ; Galates 3:29). Paul les a comparés aux branches d’un olivier.
      La majorité des Juifs de naissance ont rejeté Jésus, se privant ainsi de la possibilité de faire partie du “ petit troupeau ”, ou “ Israël de Dieu ”. (Luc 12:32 ; Galates 6:16.) Ils sont devenus comme des branches d’olivier qui auraient été coupées. Qui allait prendre leur place ? En 36 de notre ère, des Gentils ont été choisis pour faire partie de la semence d’Abraham, comme si Jéhovah avait greffé des branches d’olivier sauvage sur un olivier domestique. La semence promise d’Abraham inclurait donc des gens des nations qui pouvaient désormais devenir ‘ participants de la racine de graisse de l’olivier ’. — Romains 11:17.
      Pour un cultivateur, greffer une branche d’olivier sauvage sur un olivier domestique serait impensable et “ contre nature ”. (Romains 11:24.) On lit dans La terre et le Livre (angl.) : “ Greffe le bon sur le sauvage, ont coutume de dire les Arabes, et il dominera le sauvage, mais tu ne pourras pas revenir en arrière. ” Les chrétiens d’origine juive ont été surpris lorsque Jéhovah, “ pour la première fois, s’est occupé des nations pour tirer d’entre elles un peuple pour son nom ”. (Actes 10:44-48 ; 15:14.) C’était la preuve évidente, toutefois, que la réalisation du dessein de Dieu ne dépendait pas d’une nation particulière. En effet, “ en toute nation l’homme qui le craint et pratique la justice est agréé de lui ”. — Actes 10:35.
      Paul a souligné que puisque les “ branches ” juives infidèles de l’olivier avaient été coupées la même chose pourrait arriver à toute personne qui, par orgueil ou désobéissance, perdrait la faveur de Jéhovah (Romains 11:19, 20). Cela montre sans l’ombre d’un doute que la faveur imméritée de Dieu ne devrait jamais être considérée comme définitivement acquise. — 2 Corinthiens 6:1.
      Enduire d’huile
      Les Écritures mentionnent l’utilisation de l’huile d’olive non seulement au sens littéral, mais également au sens figuré. Dans les temps anciens, les blessures et les contusions étaient “ adoucies avec de l’huile ” pour accélérer la cicatrisation (Isaïe 1:6). D’après un exemple de Jésus, le bon Samaritain a versé de l’huile et du vin sur les blessures de l’homme qu’il avait trouvé sur la route de Jéricho. — Luc 10:34.
      L’application d’huile sur la tête est rafraîchissante et relaxante (Psaume 141:5). Lorsqu’ils ont à traiter un cas de faiblesse spirituelle, les anciens peuvent ‘ enduire d’huile un membre de la congrégation, au nom de Jéhovah ’. (Jacques 5:14.) Leurs conseils bibliques pleins d’amour et leurs prières sincères en faveur de leur compagnon sont comparables à de l’huile versée sur des plaies. Détail révélateur, en hébreu, “ huile d’olive pure ” est une expression imagée qui sert à désigner un homme bon.
      “ Un olivier luxuriant dans la maison de Dieu ”
      Compte tenu de ce qui précède, il n’est pas surprenant que les serviteurs de Dieu puissent être comparés à des oliviers. David désirait ressembler à “ un olivier luxuriant dans la maison de Dieu ”. (Psaume 52:8.) Tout comme les familles israélites avaient souvent des oliviers autour de leur maison, David souhaitait être proche de Jéhovah pour produire du fruit à sa louange. — Psaume 52:9.
      Tant qu’il est resté fidèle à Jéhovah, le royaume de Juda était comme un “ olivier luxuriant, beau par le fruit et par la forme ”. (Jérémie 11:15, 16.) Mais ses habitants ont perdu leur position privilégiée lorsqu’ils ‘ ont refusé d’obéir aux paroles de Jéhovah et ont marché à la suite d’autres dieux ’. — Jérémie 11:10.
      Pour devenir comme des oliviers luxuriants dans la maison de Dieu, nous devons obéir à Jéhovah et accepter de bon gré la discipline par laquelle il nous “ taille ”, afin que nous puissions porter davantage de fruit en œuvres chrétiennes (Hébreux 12:5, 6). En outre, tout comme un olivier doit avoir de longues racines pour survivre à une période de sécheresse, nous devons fortifier nos racines spirituelles pour endurer les épreuves et la persécution. — Matthieu 13:21 ; Colossiens 2:6, 7.
      L’olivier symbolise bien le chrétien fidèle, inconnu du monde mais connu de Dieu. S’il vient à mourir dans ce système, il reviendra à la vie dans le monde nouveau à venir. — 2 Corinthiens 6:9 ; 2 Pierre 3:13.
      L’olivier, presque indestructible, qui continue de donner du fruit année après année nous rappelle la promesse de Dieu : “ Les jours de mon peuple seront comme les jours d’un arbre ; et ceux que j’ai choisis profiteront pleinement de l’œuvre de leurs mains. ” (Isaïe 65:22). Cette promesse prophétique s’accomplira dans le monde nouveau de Dieu. — 2 Pierre 3:13.


      · 0 replies
    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Hello Eric merci pour ces bons sujets. Bonne journée Michel

      JAH pas un collectionneur.docx
      · 1 reply
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