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I am the Christ


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What would you do if you were someone who took very seriously the idea that Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 were speaking about the time we are living in, especially the time surrounding the year 1914? You are someone who believes strongly that the time period you live in is the the one that will see Armageddon, and you believe it's important that others learn this truth, too. How would you go about convincing people?

We know that we, as Jehovah's Witnesses, still carry on the legacy of someone who took that idea very seriously: Charles Taze Russell. I know that his time period produced a lot of people like him, but I was thinking about the sheer unlikelihood that anyone would be able to start a following with his specific beliefs when we compare them to Matthew 24, etc. I think this is why his success is sometimes looked at as proof that God blessed his efforts in spite of his doctrines, not because of them.

  • He started publishing a magazine, tracts and books that taught that some of the most important events that most Christians had been waiting and praying for, had already occurred, but that they had missed them:
    • He taught that Jesus had already returned in 1874. He taught that this long-awaited PAROUSIA, which they thought to be a bright manifestation like lightning, had actually been invisible to everyone in the world.
    • He taught that Jesus, as King of God's Kingdom, had already begun when Jesus became king and started reigning in 1878.
    • He taught that William Miller, the man who started a movement that ended in the "Great Disappointment," was actually being used by God to begin drawing attention to proper issues of chronology, and to lay a true foundation of this chronology, back in 1844.
    • He taught that since 1799 his contemporaries were in the "last days" and would remain so until the last days ended in 1914.

But there were many more specific issues with this religious movement he is credited with starting. These seem so counter-intuitive, as if they were exactly the wrong way to go about starting a following that would be focused so much on Matthew 24, etc. For example:

  • We can still pray for his Kingdom to Come, but "in truth" it had just come a few years ago and they missed. (see above)
  • Jesus said it would be as visible and surprising as lightning shining from one end of the heavens to the other end, but "in truth" it had been invisible. (see above)
  • Jesus implied that wars, earthquakes, famines and pestilence would be seen during the final generation, but in truth Russell taught that these were not "signs" and that they had nothing to do with the final generation, but were merely the experiences of humans over the last 1,800 years.
  • Jesus implied that a great witness work would lead people out of all nations but "in truth" Russell taught that all the people who would be part of Christ's Bride, the Body of Christ, the Church, the 144,000 had already been selected and the door was shut back in 1881. (Russell thought the preaching work was generally useful for witnessing to only a "lower plane" of Christians who would not serve as kings and priests with Jesus, even though they'd still make it to heaven because that's where all Christians went, according to Russell.

But, as odd as these things might have seemed, we can look at even more specific lines in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 to see a few more ways in which Russell, you might think, would have been working against getting people to listen to him. He seemed to purposely go out of his way to "do the opposite." You'd think that this might have turned more people against his teachings. For example:

  • Matthew 24:45 speaks of a "faithful and discreet slave" and we usually think of someone who is discreet as not just wise, but careful never to come across as haughty or presumptuous. Yet Russell who had seen his former publishing partner try to claim that he, Barbour, was that faithful, discreet slave, Russell soon began publishing material that pointed to only himself as that "faithful and discreet slave." He began publishing letters to himself that addressed him as that faithful and discreet slave, and referred to some of his writings as "food at the proper time" (meat in due season).
    • He called himself "God's mouthpiece" and referred to his writings as more effective than the Bible itself at bringing someone into the truth of God's word, adding that someone who read his works for just a few months would learn the truth, but if a person just read the Bible for a few months they would go back into darkness.
  • Matthew 24:26 said (KJV) "Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not." ASV (and NWT) used the term "inner chambers" instead of "secret chambers."
    • Jesus was evidently helping the disciples to avoid the mistake that would be made if someone said Jesus had indeed returned, but that he was currently not visible to them, yet this person claimed special knowledge about where he actually was. Russell already taught that Jesus Parousia had been invisible, so how could Russell find a further way for people to "believe it not" in this matter? Simple, Russell accepted the idea that God's supernatural witness, his prediction of Jesus' Parousia, had been found in the desert, inside the Great Pyramid. In fact, not just in the desert, but also in the secret, inner chambers of that pyramid.
  • Luke 21:8 in the translations that Russell usually used, says:  "And he said, Take heed that ye be not led astray: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am he; and, The time is at hand: go ye not after them." (ASV). 
    • It was almost like Russell said to himself, "Hmmm . . . Jesus said that no one should go after anyone who says, 'The time is at hand.' " "Hmmm... I got it!" Russell says, "I will write a book to distribute around the world and call it: 'The Time Is At Hand.' " It was one of Russell's best selling books, and it showed how chronology would let people know the times and the seasons, even the very month and year when Christ's presence and kingship began.
    • But how would Russell prove himself to be a person not to be followed based on the first part? Was there any way that Russell could come in the name of Jesus and say "I am he"? 

How close could Russell get to saying "I am he" or as the the KJV words it: "I am Christ"?  [The KJV puts the word Christ in italics to indicate that it is not in the original Greek.]

Turns out that he was able to get much closer than most people think. As I'll get to in the next post.

 

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Well, a partial answer can be found by considering: Zephaniah 2:3: "Seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth, who observe his righteous decrees. Seek righteousness, seek meekness. Probably yo

That sentence might have just pinpointed the issue. Russell collected a body of teachings and promoted them with faith and vigor and a sense of urgency. Jehovah doesn't forget his work and the love he

Just posting this to see where it fits into the topic, if it fits in.  Just thought of it. (Hebrews 11:26) because he considered the reproach of the Christ to be riches greater than the treasures

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If we take Luke 21:28 to mean that a person might come in Christ's name and claim that he is representing Jesus Christ then I think Russell covered that possibility. After all, as alluded to above, Russell said:

  • "If the six volumes of SCRIPTURE STUDIES are practically the Bible,  topically arranged with Bible proof texts given, we might not improperly name the volumes THE BIBLE IN AN ARRANGED FORM. That is to say, they are not mere comments on the Bible, but they are practically the Bible itself…Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible by itself, but we see, also, that if anyone lays the SCRIPTURE STUDIES aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he has read them for ten years- if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the SCRIPTURE STUDIES with their references, and had not read a page of the Bible, as such, he would be in the light at the end of two years, because he would have the light of the Scriptures" (Watchtower, September 15, 1910, p.298).

Well, if you claim to be speaking for Christ, in his name, that's good start: Tell people that if you read the Bible alone, if you read what Jesus said directly, you won't get the light of the Scriptures, but if you read Russell's books (including "The Time Is At Hand!") and not read a page of the Bible, you'd have the "light of the Scriptures" by the end of two years. And even if you've studied the Bible for 10 years, you will go into darkness within 2 years if you continue to just study the Bible.

But what about taking this further. Is there any way of Russell actually coming closer to saying that he is the Christ? Doesn't seem likely, even if he set himself up as God's mouthpiece and the representative and only channel of the present truth then available to the body of Christ.

Russell made it clear he was the ONLY channel speaking for Jesus:

  • The Lord at the time indicated would especially use one member of his church as the channel or instrument through which he would send the appropriate messages.” (Watchtower, April 15. 1904, p. 125.)

I AM THE CHRIST

Obviously, we aren't going to find Russell using those words, "I am the Christ." But let's look at what he does say about the Christ:

[Next post]

 

 

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RUSSEL SAYS HE WANTS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE TERM "THE CHRIST"

Russell taught a special doctrine called the Mystery Doctrine. The mystery doctrine claimed that Russell along with only a few other Christians alive in his day, were "The Christ". He said that not just Jesus, but that he, Russell, and those who strove to be on the same "higher plane," were also "The Christ," "The Messiah". He said that Jesus himself was NOT the complete Christ, just the Head, and that the Christ, the Messiah, included not just the Head but the Body. There was no complete Christ until the last member of the Church was chosen. Throughout history, Russell included the previously chosen members of the 144,000 including the apostles and early Christian martyrs, as included in "The Christ." He would include men like Waldo, Luther, Tyndale, Wycliffe, etc.

A lot of people don't even know about this teaching, but it's not like they tried to hide it at the time. Here are some examples:

  • It has also been shown from time to time that the Christ of scripture is a complex being, presented to our minds by the figure of a man—Head and Body— Jesus Himself being the Head and believers being the many members of the one body. This being true it follows that there is a progressive development of Christ from Jesus in the flesh, until the last member of his body is exalted to glory. (Watch Tower, November 1880, p160 R)
  • Very shortly now, this mystery of God, this company of divinely-begotten sons, will be FINISHED—completed: “The church of the first born,” of which Jesus is the head. will soon cease to be, God manifest in the flesh. The entire company shall be glorified together, and “shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” (Malt. 13:43.) They shall arise in power and strength to bless all the nations of the earth. (Watch Tower, July 1882, p369 R)

[Yes, you heard that right, Russell and company are not just Christ, they are also "God manifest in the flesh" -- that therefore includes Russell -- God manifest in the flesh, along with other specially consecrated believers, not all Christians, of course, but those with the "higher calling."]

  • Paul declares (Col. 1:27) that this mystery which hath been hid front ages and from generations, now made manifest to his saints, is “CHRIST IN YOU. THE HOPE OF GLORY.” This is the great mystery of God which has been hidden from all previous ages, and is still hidden from all except a special class—the saints, or consecrated believers. But what is meant by ‘Christ in you”? ... the Apostle John says that the anointing, which we (consecrated believers) have received abideth in us. (I John 2:27.) Thus the saints of this Gospel age are an anointed company—anointed to be kings and priests unto God (2 Cor. 1:21, 1 Peter 2:9); and together with Jesus, their chief and Lord, they constitute Jehovah’s anointed—the Christ. ( Divine Plan of the Ages, p.81-82)
  • This was truly a mystery never before thought of—that God intends to raise up not only a deliverer, but a deliverer of many members. This the “high calling” to which the consecrated believers of the Gospel age are privileged to attain. (84)

[You can see that Russell never got too far away from a Trinity Doctrine, but his Trinity was that God was made of The Father, The Son and the 144,000 , the rest of God manifest in the Flesh, the consecrated anointed believers of the high calling, the 144,000.]

  • "this is the mystery mentioned in the scriptures; to wit, that the great Messiah so long promised should be composed of many individuals." (Watch Tower, February 1, 1914, R p5392)
  • ...that is to say, members of the Christ, the anointed, are the Christ. (Convention Report Sermons, p.460).
  • THE promised Messiah, the Deliverer of the World, ...the Great Prophet, Priest and King, ...is not our Lord Jesus Christ alone...but also the little flock...these unitedly are the Christ, the Messiah. (Watch Tower, May 1903, R p.3191)

There are literally dozens of other Watchtower articles and publications to this same point, but it's curious that this made Russell claim that he, along with Jesus and the rest of the 144,000 could also go by the name "God manifest in the flesh" "partakers of divine nature" "Everlasting Father" "The Great Prophet" "Immanuel" "Lifegiver" "Gods" (with a capital "g") "The Prophet Like Unto Moses."

  • We conclude then that the titles, Mighty God, and Everlasting Father, are titles which fully understood, are very appropriate to Our Lord Jesus Christ. And we might add that so perfectly is his Bride--body--church, associated with him, both in filling up the measure of the sufferings-- being joined in sacrifice and also in the Glory that shall follow, that the same titles are applicable to the Church as his body--for "He that hath freely given us Christ, shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" "Therefore all things are yours, and ye are Christ's and Christ is God's." (Watch Tower, October 1881,  R p.298)

Under the heading "YE ARE GODS" (Watch Tower, November/December 1881, p.301)

  • "I have said ye are Gods; and all of you are children of the Most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes" [literally heads]. Psa. 82:6. Our high calling is so great, so much above the comprehension of men, that they feel that we are guilty of blasphemy when we speak of being "new creatures"--not any longer human, but "partakers of the divine nature." When we claim on the scriptural warrant, that we are begotten of a divine nature and that Jehovah is thus our father, it is claiming that we are divine beings--hence all such are Gods. Thus we have a family of Gods, Jehovah being our father, and all his sons being brethren and joint-heirs: Jesus being the chief, or first-born."

The Watchtower printed its last article in support of the Trinity doctrine in 1880, but here in 1881 (Nov/Dec), we have a new family of Gods, Jehovah the Father, all his sons and joint-heirs, and Jesus being the chief. Father, Son and 144,000. 144,002 Gods in one family of Gods.

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C.T.Russell therefore claimed it was appropriate to refer to the 144,000 (in which he included himself) as "The Christ" and "The Eternal Father" and "God manifest in the flesh." In fact, this was not just about creating titles, so that, for example, the 144,000 could say they were "the Prophet Greater than Moses."

C.T.Russell actually claimed he was a part of the sacrifice made on behalf of the world. He claimed he was a part of the Atonement that would that would justify mankind. He was very literally included in the "Savior" of mankind. In fact, Russell taught that Christ was not his Mediator. Not the Mediator of the 144,000. At first, for nearly 30 years, he taught this topic correctly, but then he received "new light" by which he claimed that this idea of Jesus as Mediator of the 144,000 was now part of the"smoke of the dark ages." 

  • In our issue of 1906, p. 26, we said, "Our Lord Jesus in his own person has been the Mediator between the Father and the 'household of faith' during this Gospel Age." This statement is incorrect. No Scripture so declares. It is a part of the smoke of the dark ages which we are glad now to wipe from our eyes. 

The book "What Pastor Russell Said?" p. 99-100:

  • CHURCH—Re Need of a Mediator. Q99:1 QUESTION (1907)—1—Do we as individuals need Christ as our mediator before we become members of His Body?
  • ANSWER.—I answer that if we had needed Christ as a Mediator, then God would have provided Him as a mediator, and the fact that God did not provide Him as our mediator, proves that we do not need Him as such. The Scriptures never speak of a mediator except from the standpoint of a covenant. . . .  If we are faithful we will be members of the mediator class of that new covenant. In other words, you and I are invited to become members of the mediator of the new Covenant. . . .  We are under the original covenant, which required no mediator. The church does not need a mediator.

This was repeated several times until Russell died, and was even kept on as official doctrine under Rutherford. It shows up in the October 15, 1921 Watch Tower, but was officially changed in the April 1, 1934 Watchtower. In time, of course (1979) it was changed to mean that ONLY the 144,000 could have Jesus as their mediator, even though up to 1974 it had finally been applied to all mankind. 

But the main point, related of course, was that the 144,000 are included in the sacrifice and atonement. This was taught even from the first few Watch Tower magazines. (e.g., Watch Tower September 1880, p.139). Tabernacle Shadows had said:

  • the followers of Jesus are represented by this "Lord's goat," but also that their sacrifice, reckoned in with their Head, Jesus, constitutes part of the world's sin-offering. . . .  yet even now, any member of the "Royal Priesthood" may say to those who believe and repent, "Thy sins are forgiven thee"--as did our Head, by faith looking forward, as he did, to the completion of the sacrifices for sins (p.77,100)

The 144,000 were referenced in the expression "Christ and his joint-sacrificers." In the WT February 15, 1909 issue:

  • Thus the sacrifice of Christ, Head and Body, has progressed for over eighteen centuries. We believe that the consummation is near at hand. When the High Priest shall have accepted the last member of his Body, and shall have finished the sacrificing, he will apply, beyond the vail, the blood, his own blood—the blood of his members—on the mercy-seat, on behalf of all the people.

This was not just Russell of course. It was also a teaching under Rutherford until 1939, just a couple years before he died. For example, the Watch Tower in May 15, 1928, p. 147:

  • ". . . the blood of Christ, including the body members', is presented and used to make atonement for the sins of the people."

and in 1935, p. 284:

  • "The slaying of the Lord's goat and the carrying of its blood into the holiest of all to be sprinkled on the mercy seat there foreshadowed the sacrificial death of that class who would constitute members of the body of Christ, and therefore constitute a part of Christ. . . "

The essential part of this teaching still lasted through the writings under Rutherford, Knorr, and Frederick Franz:

*** w51 1/15 p. 56 par. 25 Participation with Demons Forbidden ***

  • So for the members of the body of the Christ to have ‘life in themselves’ means to share the privilege with Jesus of bestowing the benefits of his sacrificed life upon obedient mankind during the thousand years of his kingdom. They will become his heavenly bride, “the Lamb’s wife.” As such they will mother the earthly children of the “Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace”, Jesus Christ. (Rev. 19:7-9; 21:9, 10; Isa. 9:6) So the “little flock”, the “bride” class, are the exclusive ones that drink the blood of the Son of man as well as feed on his flesh.

*** w78 3/1 p. 10 Memorializing Christ’s Death—How Much Longer? ***

  • It was the opportunity to gain inherent life with the Christ in the heavens, “life in yourselves.” (John 6:53) By reigning with him in heaven they could pass on to mankind the life-giving benefits of his sacrifice.

Same as the 1985 edition of "Reasoning from the Scriptures:"

  • Thus those who are granted to have "life in themselves" like Christ will share with him in imparting to mankind the life-giving benefits of the ransom sacrifice.

In 1986, this expression was no longer applied just to the anointed but could include those who come out of the Millennium. (w86 2/15).

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Manna and worms......

 

This observation of the very foundation of the jw religion today is very relevant and should be to all jws. The thinking of CTR is still very much the thinking of the gb. Just as JW Insider stated, CTR established himself as the supreme authority, God's mouthpiece, so too do the gb and their attitudes towards the R&F. How can you publish something like 'just do what we say, no matter if you think it is crazy from a human logical standpoint', and not see the parallels? 

Cognitive dissonance,    that's how. 

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49 minutes ago, Shiwiii said:

Manna and worms......

 

This observation of the very foundation of the jw religion today is very relevant and should be to all jws. The thinking of CTR is still very much the thinking of the gb. Just as JW Insider stated, CTR established himself as the supreme authority, God's mouthpiece, so too do the gb and their attitudes towards the R&F. How can you publish something like 'just do what we say, no matter if you think it is crazy from a human logical standpoint', and not see the parallels? 

Cognitive dissonance,    that's how. 

You do realize how religious leaders position were in scripture? perhaps those who lead, speak and give insight to the tribes they lead? It is not outlandish for Jehovah's Witnesses to have religious leaders. As it was said by the Son of Man, in context, one shepherd to one flock, such ones together in Christ, as one, and such ones adhere to the teachings and learn of God the Father accordingly, such ones do not tolerance interfaith teachings that are clearly not of the church, let alone such ones do not take in the traditions of man into the church, I believe I mentioned something along the lines before.

Also it is worth to note that even those who do not agree with JWs, they agree with CTR, on the other side of the spectrum, there is hypocrisy though coming from the non-religious camps.

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2 hours ago, Space Merchant said:

You do realize how religious leaders position were in scripture? perhaps those who lead, speak and give insight to the tribes they lead? It is not outlandish for Jehovah's Witnesses to have religious leaders. As it was said by the Son of Man, in context, one shepherd to one flock, such ones together in Christ, as one, and such ones adhere to the teachings and learn of God the Father accordingly, such ones do not tolerance interfaith teachings that are clearly not of the church, let alone such ones do not take in the traditions of man into the church, I believe I mentioned something along the lines before.

Also it is worth to note that even those who do not agree with JWs, they agree with CTR, on the other side of the spectrum, there is hypocrisy though coming from the non-religious camps.

My point was the similarities between the way ctr and the gb act according to what Jw Insider wrote. ctr is rejected in modern jws/wt and is considered "old light", however the actions of both are very similar. Now if you are saying that religious leaders are to lead the collective body, I have no disagreement, but the actions of those leaders are what I would consider something to inspect. The inspection should be done on a personal level and not by the collective group following the leader, so that ones who do not agree with the practices of said leader are free to deviate without repercussion. My example of this is those who were called Pharisees, religious leaders of the time, but far from the mark. The repercussion involved in deviation from their leadership resulted in death. now that is not exactly the case today, but it kinda is. 

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2 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

ctr is rejected in modern jws/wt and is considered "old light", however the actions of both are very similar.

You'll have to quote CTR then. One thing for certain, of which you quote it has to be deemed true, otherwise I have to pay a visit to ol' Res L who is well aware of who CTR is and has 55 year worth of information on the man, and he defends him.

2 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

Now if you are saying that religious leaders are to lead the collective body, I have no disagreement, but the actions of those leaders are what I would consider something to inspect.

Like I said, they are Restorationist, they do whatever it means to stick to scripture, no matter what, hence they stem away from mainstream Christianity itself. For over time, they learn and apply. I believe I made some mention to something of the like in the Christmas response you make a while back, for what they use to do, they learn, and they abandon and or stop doing something that is no longer required and or they act upon what they know by means of scripture, just as what those have done who predates JWs, as well as many denominations that are out there.

Such ones in their current state, anything that is not of the church is accursed, and I made mention before about interfaith and expelling, for if you spread interfaith in their community, you will be removed.

But what is there to expect what is already known? Moreover, why do we take one sided response over a faithful member of said faith? But history tends to repeat itself.

But, it would be a big problem if the religious leaders did not do what the bible teaches, what God's Laws is all about, and today, regarding God's Laws, people want this faith in particular to abandon some laws and copy the mainstream churches of Christendom, when it is known Restorationist, be it a group or an individual, do not adhere to mainstream Christianity at all.

2 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

The inspection should be done on a personal level and not by the collective group following the leader, so that ones who do not agree with the practices of said leader are free to deviate without repercussion.

This would be the case, but religious leaders, even in bible times tend to speak for the flock, be is they themselves or as a collective group, even in the New Testament, example, Paul and Barnabas to those in Antioch, another would be Paul addressing issues in the church congregations, hence the epistles sent to these groups, in a sense they provide example, guidance and direction.

As for agreeing or disagreeing with practices, it is clear that anything outside of the professed faith is on the grounds of interfaith spreading, so if one claims to have found the Christ and show a total disregard to who the Father is, or speak of something not practice by the faith, you can be expelled from the church. It is known, even outside of the JW faith that anything Interfaith and or against practices and or teachings, i.e. same sex-marriage, abortion, military service and you are a current member, such will get you expelled, the same goes for faith bashing, Christian Infighting and a list of other things.

The same thing applies to outside of religion in general, any conduct that is not of the culture or practices of a person and or people, they will deal with you of how they see fit, in the US, it is the typical kick you out response, sometimes physically.

3 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

My example of this is those who were called Pharisees, religious leaders of the time, but far from the mark. The repercussion involved in deviation from their leadership resulted in death. now that is not exactly the case today, but it kinda is. 

You'll have to quote the verse in context because there has been a lot of Pharisees, some of them, like Nicodemus, were expelled from their position, even martyred, for clearly Nicodemus made himself known when Jesus was no more, even before that, when Jesus was alive, he had to visit Jesus during the night. One also recognizes those who remove themselves from anything accursed and go on to learn what the truth is, again I bring up Nicodemus because not only he is mentioned solely in the Gospel of John, but he was involved in one of the most unique conversation (Being Born Again) that Jesus ever had, be it, only him and Nicodemus was speaking, the same man also played a role in Jesus' burial.

To some degree, it is the still like this but to an extreme, Christians have been killed for professing what is true. The whole well incident several weeks back, those were Christians down there, and clearly, the people who did that, didn't like their not radicalized belief, elsewhere, we have those who tend to go at it physically when they claim Jesus is God and anyone who is not for that sort of teaching is not saved, at times, such ones inflict injury to those who do not, even to people who have no idea what a bible is or what it says. Screaming in Synagogues and saying outlandish things by twisting verses will not help anyone's case, and this enabled such ones to teach an accursed doctrine, example homosexual churches now have the guns by means of scripture to try and belittle you.

So in a sense, it is a mixed bag of M&M'sand Skittles when it comes to true teachers and false teachers, for the false ones tend to out number the true ones.

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I don't even know what to think about your post. It addresses nothing I mentioned and goes off on some tangent to which has almost no relevance to the topic at hand. Basically JW Insider mentioned ctr and his self proclaiming and I'm sure some of that post was in reference to how the gb handle things currently, I just agreed and elaborated a little. You've said nothing to contradict the statements made in this thread, but it was nice reading. 

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45 minutes ago, Shiwiii said:

I don't even know what to think about your post. It addresses nothing I mentioned and goes off on some tangent to which has almost no relevance to the topic at hand. Basically JW Insider mentioned ctr and his self proclaiming and I'm sure some of that post was in reference to how the gb handle things currently, I just agreed and elaborated a little. You've said nothing to contradict the statements made in this thread, but it was nice reading. 

I have, just that I tend to add many examples and details when met with a response, the habit is to prove information, regardless. If I have not said anything pertaining to sections of your comment, I would not have mad a response, let alone broken them down to make a direct response to each. Plus it is not a surprise of how my comments are structured, I am quite lecture-sque type, I like information in full and well detailed.

If you want some thing very brief, Restorationist of this kind, Bible Students/Jehovah's Witnesses/Bible Thumpers/other minorities that hold a Restorationist view follow very closely of what the bible speaks of regarding Teachers/Prophets, how such ones are to take care of their flock, in this case, the church. They tend to act as guidance and to teach as well as make decisions for the flock, in some cases, even regarding a person who has sinned. Such ones do not take kindly to interfaith silliness and it results in expelling for anything that is not of the faith results in expelled, what Jesus had entrusted to begin with.

And no contradictions, simply truth and getting a word out for those who were attacked for their views vs the one sided opponent of said faith. CTR himself adhere to what the bible says and clearly over time, he, as did others, learn, they adapt, etc. That is what a Restorationist are known for after all, and this is why what I have said is actually fact, that is, if both sides are being heard instead of one side, which seems to be the case, hence why the breakdown of of tour response.

That being said, it is also the very reason why the church leaders of JWs act the way they do, Restorationist tend to go on the far more ancient side of Christianity vs modern, such ones tend to not stem too close to how mainstream Christians act, and should a change be made, they live up to it so that it matches conduct and what the bible says.

This is why it is important to understand where such ones are coming from.

Fact: Restorationism, the belief that Christianity has been or should be restored along the lines of what is known about the apostolic early church, which restorationists see as the search for a more pure and more ancient form of the religion. Fundamentally, "this vision seeks to correct faults or deficiencies (in the church) by appealing to the primitive church as a normative model."

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I find this OP by JWI thought provoking. It seems that some of the reply posts have taken the thread a bit off topic, as so often happens on forums, but his original point highlights that much of what CTR taught might be taken, especially by someone at the time (and others looking at things retrospectively), as likely to indicate that his religious movement would falter. However, it did not. Against the predictable odds it succeeded and grew mightily. The implication here seems to be that the group he spawned are unique and therefore have the true God's blessing.

As for the topic going somewhat astray, one would have to lay that partly at JWI's feet since he himself spaced out his posts in four units and hardly kept to his originally stated theme here. Est-ce juste, mon frère?

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