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J F Rutherford: 1917-1919: Information, Misinformation and Disinformation


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This forum currently contains a recent topic where the subject of the 1918 imprisonment and 1919 release of Rutherford and his associates has come up. There is a lot of misinformation under that topic. I'm no expert on the subject, but it's still obvious that even some who present themselves as experts can be misinformed.

There is plenty of documentation and verifiable information out there on the topic, and while there's no real shame in being misinformed, we should be careful not to present ourselves as experts. When a person presents themselves as an expert, their misinformation becomes disinformation. We should strive for honesty.

And it's not that going back to this history is necessarily all that important, but our publications have made it part of fulfilled Bible prophecy, and therefore any mishandling of information about it becomes all the more serious. Also, sometimes when such historical topics are brought up some Witnesses are quick to complain that there is no reason to go back and rehash that old material. Note however, that it is our recent books and Watchtower magazines that regularly bring up such material for review. The "God's Kingdom" book discusses it. Even one of the most recent Watchtowers brings it up again (October 2019 Watchtower):

*** w19 October p. 3 1919—One Hundred Years Ago ***
    While the eight brothers were imprisoned, faithful Bible Students circulated a petition calling for their release. These brave brothers and sisters gathered more than 700,000 signatures. On Wednesday, March 26, 1919, before the petition was submitted, Brother Rutherford and the other responsible brothers were released.
     In a speech to those who welcomed him home, Brother Rutherford said: “I am convinced that this experience we have all gone through is merely to prepare us for more strenuous times. . . . Your fight has not been to get your brethren out of prison. That was merely a side issue. . . . The fight you have been making has been for the purpose of witnessing for the Truth, and those who have done it have received a wonderful blessing.”
     The circumstances surrounding the trial of our brothers may give indication of Jehovah’s direction. On May 14, 1919, the appeals court ruled: “The defendants in this case did not have the . . . impartial trial to which they were entitled, and for that reason the judgment is reversed.” The brothers had been convicted of serious crimes, and these judgments would have remained on their records if they had only been pardoned or if their sentences had merely been commuted. No further charges were laid. As a result, Judge Rutherford retained his legal qualifications to defend Jehovah’s people before the Supreme Court of the United States, something he did many times after his release.

I won't personally get back to this topic for up to a day or so, but welcome anyone with information to present what they know about it, or have heard about it. We can start with our own publications and Wikipedia, of course. But anything that seems like valuable information or interesting questions could be presented for evaluation by all who are serious about such history.

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This forum currently contains a recent topic where the subject of the 1918 imprisonment and 1919 release of Rutherford and his associates has come up. There is a lot of misinformation under that topic. I'm no expert on the subject, but it's still obvious that even some who present themselves as experts can be misinformed. There is plenty of documentation and verifiable information out there on the topic, and while there's no real shame in being misinformed, we should be careful not to

When i was arrested by Civil Police and handed to Military Police and after they transported me to place where i have to serve army, they treated me as Soldier even i was in civil clothes. Later i understand that all young people who passed age of old (17) when they went to medical examination /recruitment / and been put in evidence for serving in army,  were  under the law  and considered as future soldier, especially in moment when you are literally, physically inside Military Camp.  

The case of Frank D'Onofrio makes the point that once a person is in a military unit they are under the command of others. And those others have been given the power of life and death. They can "kill the body." In the United States, as in many countries, a person could make application for exemption on religious grounds, BEFORE conscription, but once they accepted an "oath" to the military, it was supposedly too late to make that request safely. If they made a request in such a way that could be

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A short version of the story is found in a 1950 Watchtower:

*** w50 7/15 p. 217 par. 3 Postwar Enlargement of the Theocratic Organization ***
By an election held at Pittsburgh’s annual business meeting, January 6, 1917, J. F. Rutherford, the Society’s legal attorney and one of its traveling representatives, was made president of the Pennsylvania corporation, to succeed Brother Russell. He was later elected president of the New York and British corporations. . . .  Shortly after his election the United States got involved in World War I, on April 6, 1917. The publication of the seventh volume of Studies in the Scriptures July 17, 1917, proved fateful, and troublous times for the Society in the United States took on a disastrous aspect. That Bible-study help, The Finished Mystery, was an exposé of the religious systems of Christendom. So the enemy seized upon it as part of their proof that the Society’s president and other members of the organization closely associated with him were guilty of sedition against the government, and Brother Rutherford and seven others were railroaded off to federal penitentiary in the spring of 1918, under sentences of 80 years in prison, and without benefit of bail for their freedom till appeal to a higher court should be effected. After nine months in the penitentiary bail was granted them on March 21, 1919, and they were released. Later the Appeal Court reversed the judgment against them, and in 1920 the indictment against them was disposed of. Thus they were completely exonerated as innocent of the malicious charges of the enemy.

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A longer version of the story is here from a 1955 Watchtower in two parts:

Part 8—International Attempt to Destroy Society Fails

LATER in February, 1918, the United States Army Intelligence Bureau at New York city began an investigation of the Watch Tower Society’s Brooklyn headquarters. False reports had circulated that the Society had installed upon the Bethel home a powerful wireless station capable of sending messages across the Atlantic, and that this instrument was used to communicate with the German enemy. The facts are that in Pastor Russell’s lifetime a brother had presented to him a small wireless receiving set. There was no transmitter. There never was any message sent from the Bethel home by wireless. This was in 1915, before the day of radio broadcasting, when even wireless telegraphy was in its infancy. In 1918 when two Army Intelligence men were going through Bethel they were taken to the roof and shown the penthouse where the wireless receiver had been; and then, in a lower storeroom, they were shown the instrument itself, packed away. By consent the receiving set was taken away by these army men.

On Thursday, February 28, 1918, following J. F. Rutherford’s lecture the previous Sunday at Los Angeles, California, the Army Intelligence Bureau there took possession of the headquarters of the Los Angeles congregation of Bible students, confiscating many of the Society’s publications. The following Monday (March 4, 1918), at Scranton, Pennsylvania, several associates of the Society were arrested, charged with conspiracy, and were put under bond for their appearance for trial in May. Already more than twenty others had been forcibly detained in army camps or military prisons because of the war draft. Outside pressure against the Society was piling up fast.

Courageously carrying forward their work against mounting odds, the band of valiant ones on March 15, 1918, released a new, newspaper-size, two-page tract, Kingdom News No. 1, headed “Religious Intolerance—Pastor Russell’s Followers Persecuted Because They Tell the People the Truth—Treatment of Bible Students Smacks of the ‘Dark Ages.’” Millions of this tract were distributed, exposing the clergy-inspired persecution of these zealous preachers in Germany, Canada and the United States. This tract furthermore advertised the historic lecture to be delivered March 24, 1918, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music by the Society’s president, entitled “The World Has Ended—Millions Now Living May Never Die!” Three thousand heard this important lecture. For 1918 a report shows there were 7,000 engaged in placing bound books from door to door, besides uncounted others who were distributing tracts and handbills and giving personal verbal witness. In April further clergy-inspired attempts to intimidate these preachers of the Kingdom message occurred. On April 15, 1918, however, Kingdom News No. 2 appeared, being distributed by the millions of copies, with bold headlines: “The Finished Mystery and Why Suppressed—Clergymen Take a Hand.” The facts of suppression in Canada and the United States up to April 15 were laid bare to the public, exposing the clergy’s efforts to destroy the Society’s activity. In connection with such distribution a petition was circulated, addressed to United States President Wilson:

“We, the undersigned Americans, hold that any interference by the clergy with independent Bible study is intolerant, un-American and un-Christian; and that any attempt to combine Church and State is radically wrong. In the interest of liberty and religious freedom, we solemnly protest against the suppression of The Finished Mystery, and petition the Government to remove all restrictions as to its use, that the people may be permitted without interference or molestation to buy, sell, have and read this aid to Bible study.”

On May 1, 1918, began the distribution of millions of Kingdom News No. 3, which carried the headlines “Two Great Battles Raging—Satanic Strategy Doomed to Failure—The Birth of Antichrist.”

On May 7, 1918, warrants were issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York to arrest eight brothers connected with the Society’s management and editorial committee. They were J. F. Rutherford, W. E. Van Amburgh, A. H. Macmillan, R. J. Martin, C. J. Woodworth, G. H. Fisher, F. H. Robison and G. DeCecca. The next day, May 8, those warrants were served at Bethel by United States Marshal Power. Shortly after their arrest the eight were arraigned in the federal court, Judge Garvin presiding, and all were met with an indictment previously returned by the grand jury, charging that the eight above named—

“unlawfully and feloniously did conspire, combine, confederate and agree together, and with divers other persons to the said Grand Jurors unknown, to commit a certain offense against the United States of America, to wit: the offense of unlawfully, feloniously and wilfully causing insubordination, disloyalty and refusal of duty in the military and naval forces of the United States of America when the United States was at war . . . by personal solicitations, letters, public speeches, distributing and publicly circulating throughout the United States of America a certain book called Volume VII Bible Studies The Finished Mystery, and distributing and publicly circulating throughout the United States certain articles printed in pamphlets called Bible Students Monthly, Watch Tower, Kingdom News and other pamphlets not named.”

Following the arraignment the defendants were released on bail bond of $2,500 each and the trial was set for June 3, 1918. In its issue of May 11, 1918, The Tablet (Roman Catholic), Brooklyn, revealingly said:

Kingdom News Spread Around—Some May Go to Jail. Joseph F. Rutherford and some of his colleagues are likely to pass their summer months in a villa where they will be protected from mobs who insult them by asking them to buy Liberty Bonds. . . . It is quite interesting to note that Rutherford and all their ilk who take delight in going into convulsions over the [Catholic] Church are always being pursued by government officers. Anti-Catholicism and anti-Americanism seem to be twins.”

The trial began on Monday, June 3, in the federal court in Brooklyn. Affidavits were filed by the eight defendants stating their reasons for believing that Judge Garvin was biased against them and their work, which action automatically adverted the case to Judge Chatfield, who in turn referred it to United States Judge Howe, specially brought to Brooklyn from Vermont to preside at the trial. After a fifteen-day trial (later shown to contain over 125 errors, a mere few of which the appellate court ultimately chose to condemn the entire procedure as unfair) on Thursday, June 20, at 10 p.m., the jury returned a verdict of “guilty.” The next day, June 21, just after noon, Judge Harland B. Howe pronounced the sentence of twenty years’ imprisonment in the federal penitentiary at Atlanta, Georgia. The court reserved sentence as to Brother DeCecca until later. The New York Tribune of June 22, 1918, said:

“Joseph F. Rutherford and six of the other ‘Russellites’, convicted of violation of the Espionage Act, were sentenced to twenty years in the Atlanta Penitentiary yesterday, by Judge Howe. ‘This is the happiest day of my life,’ said Mr. Rutherford, on his way from the court to the jail, ‘to serve earthly punishment for the sake of one’s religious belief is one of the greatest privileges a man could have.’ One of the strangest demonstrations that the Marshal’s office in the Brooklyn Federal Court has ever seen, was held by the families and intimate friends of the convicted men soon after the prisoners had been taken to the Grand Jury room. The whole company made the old building ring with the strains of ‘Blest be the tie that binds.’ ‘It is all God’s will,’ they told each other, with faces almost radiant. ‘Some day the world will know what all this means. Meanwhile, let us be thankful for the grace of God that has sustained us through our trials, and look forward to the Great Day that is to come.’”

Twice illegally denied bail requested by them at New York, and before completion of a third effort to arrange bail through co-operation of the Supreme Court at Washington, the prisoners were removed from New York on July 4 to the federal penitentiary at Atlanta, Georgia. Rutherford, on July 3, 1918, mentions the following in a letter later published:

“We are advised that seven who opposed the Society and its work during the past year attended upon the trial and lent aid to our prosecutors. We warn you, beloved, against the subtle efforts of some of them to fawn upon you now in an attempt to get hold of the Society.”

An executive committee was appointed to head the Society during absence of its imprisoned officers and an editorial committee of five functioned to continue writing The Watch Tower, an issue of which did not fail during these years of crisis. Throughout the country in succeeding months persecution against the Bible Students continued. There were more imprisonments, indignities at the hands of mobs, raids on meeting places, burnings of books and constant vilifications from the press and pulpit. Due to wartime pressures that prevented obtaining needed operational supplies, it was necessary on August 26, 1918, to close the Brooklyn headquarters. The removal was made to an office building in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at Federal and Reliance Streets. The Brooklyn Tabernacle office and shipping center had been sold and the Bethel home closed. Thus by the summer of 1918 the once loud organized voice of the witnesses for Jehovah and his kingdom was silenced, their organized work figuratively killed, and deathlike inactivity came over the once energetic band of Christians. They came to be firmly held in bondage by their Babylonish captors.

On November 11, 1918, the first world war suddenly ended. Numerous war prisoners were being released, but no freedom was in sight for the many Bible Students still in prisons and camps throughout the country. While in the Atlanta penitentiary, Rutherford and his seven associates were busy preaching on the inside. They were permitted to conduct Bible classes each Sunday in prison, attended by about a hundred of their fellow prisoners. At Pittsburgh on January 4, 1919, a combination convention and corporation meeting attended by a thousand energetic workers was held to reconfirm the election of Rutherford and the others as officers and directors. They also passed a resolution expressing confidence in the innocence of the eight imprisoned officials. In February, 1919, country-wide agitation was started by certain newspapers for the release of Rutherford and his associates. Likewise the imprisoned men’s friends wrote thousands of letters to newspaper editors, congressmen, senators and governors, urging action. Many were aroused to express themselves in favor of the release. Then in March those friends got busy circulating a nationwide petition, which within a short time was signed by 700,000, asking the government to render justice as to these falsely accused and imprisoned men. Though never presented, this petition was “a witness to the truth”—an outstanding sign of the resurgence of the falsely accused preachers of Jehovah’s kingdom.

On March 2, 1919, Harland B. Howe, the federal district judge who was the first to deny bail after sentencing them to imprisonment, telegraphed Attorney General Gregory in Washington, at his request, ‘recommending immediate commutation’ of the sentences of the eight he named in his telegram. (Gregory’s resignation as attorney general became effective March 4, 1919.) But this maneuver to cause withdrawal of their appeal failed. Instead, on March 21, 1919, under direction of United States Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, bail for the eight was ordered by a three-judge federal circuit court at New York that also ordered them to be returned forthwith from Atlanta to New York for the hearing of their appeal on April 14. The next Tuesday, March 25, they left Atlanta by train for Brooklyn where, on March 26, they were formally admitted to bail, $10,000 each, and released. Banquet receptions awaited them, first, upon their arrival in Brooklyn, and, later, when they rejoined the happy Bethel family, then temporarily at Pittsburgh.

(To be continued)

If God is for us, who will be against us? Who will separate us from the love of the Christ? Will tribulation or distress or persecution or hunger or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . To the contrary, in all these things we are coming off completely victorious through him that loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things here nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.—Rom. 8:31, 35-39, NW.

------------

Part 9—Postwar Revival of the Witnesses

THE appeal of Rutherford and his seven associates was set for hearing and was heard April 14, 1919, by the Federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals at New York. A month later (May 14, 1919) their erroneous convictions of the preceding summer were reversed. (Next year, May 5, 1920, the eight men were completely exonerated when, in open court at Brooklyn, on order of the Attorney General, the government’s attorney announced withdrawal of the prosecution.) The appellate court’s reversal of the unjust convictions was reported on page 1 of the then published Brooklyn Eagle, May 15, 1919:

“Russellite Verdict Reversed by Appeal; ‘Trial Was Unfair.’ Judges Ward, Rogers and Manton of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the New York Federal District today reversed the convictions of the leaders of Russellism, who were found guilty last June before Judge Harland B. Howe of Vermont, sitting in Brooklyn, of conspiring to obstruct the draft, discourage enlistment and foment insurrection and insubordination among the armed forces of the Nation. The decision holds that the attitude of Judge Howe was unfair in his treatment of [three] witnesses. . . . Inasmuch as the decision sustains the legitimacy of the claim of the Russellites that their organization, which forbids members to kill, entitled its members to exemption from active service with the Army, there seems little likelihood that the leaders of the cult will ever again be placed on trial. . . . Judge Martin T. Manton dissented from the majority opinion, which was written by Judge Henry G. Ward.”

This is Judge Manton, eminent Roman Catholic, who on July 1, 1918, for no assigned reason, refused bail to Rutherford and his associates, thus forcing nine months of unjust incarceration upon them while their appeal was pending. This, too, is Manton whom Vatican City’s pope, Pius XI, later rewarded by creating him a “Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great.” Yes, this is Manton the “mighty one” who himself on June 3, 1939, was brought low and sentenced to imprisonment for shamefully misusing his high federal judgeship by accepting bribes of $186,000 for six decisions.

 

 

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

charging that the eight above named—

“unlawfully and feloniously did conspire, combine, confederate and agree together, and with divers other persons to the said Grand Jurors unknown, to commit a certain offense against the United States of America, to wit: the offense of unlawfully, feloniously and wilfully causing insubordination, disloyalty and refusal of duty in the military and naval forces of the United States of America when the United States was at war . . . by personal solicitations, letters, public speeches, distributing and publicly circulating throughout the United States of America a certain book called Volume VII Bible Studies The Finished Mystery, and distributing and publicly circulating throughout the United States certain articles printed in pamphlets called Bible Students Monthly, Watch Tower, Kingdom News and other pamphlets not named.”

causing insubordination, disloyalty and refusal of duty in the military and naval forces of the United States of America when the United States was at war . . . by personal solicitations, letters, public speeches

Please, what do you know about this?

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16 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

Please, what do you know about this?

I'm still learning about it.

The book "The Finished Mystery" was the initial focus of the investigation, but it was still only a part of the problem. When Rutherford decided to try to sell the books with a couple of offending pages cut out of the book, this was not something that the courts or any officials had asked for. It was just Rutherford's way of hoping this would appease the authorities, since specific claims about seditious statements claimed had focused on those pages. The FBI said that cutting out the pages was was not a solution.

Many of these personal solicitations and letters and public speeches were at least indirectly related to the book, The Finished Mystery. But many of them probably were of another nature, based on the evidence that the FBI collected , as some letters and solicitations were for the purposes of Rutherford giving legal advice to those who wanted to avoid being drafted, or avoid fighting even if they were being drafted.

Although it was obvious that Rutherford wanted to be able to help people avoid conscription, to avoid direct military service, and even to avoid supporting the war through alternative service (e.g. hospitals), I have never yet seen anything that would be considered out of line for an attorney trying to give "unofficial" legal advice. But in wartime, such activities are scrutinized much more closely. I think that if there had been direct proof that Rutherford had solicited or encouraged persons to write him for legal advice about getting out of military service, that this could have made sentencing and bail considerations even more difficult for them. The book itself along with other statements made by Rutherford could have been construed as encouragement to help Bible Students find ways to avoid conscription and military engagement.

Also there was a lot of communication between Rutherford and his associates related to the book, the ban on the book, and other means of getting the book published. The book was being reproduced in Watchtower format as special editions to the Watchtower. It was also being reprinted in a publication by a long-time friend of Russell and the Bible Students who published a magazine called "Overland Monthly." Additionally, there were multiple languages that the book had been translated into, and it was important to know whether any of those translations had used even stronger language against the war (than the English version). The book and the ban on the book were being discussed in those early copies of the Kingdom News tracts. Also the fact that the Finished Mystery contained a lot of information from Russell's pre-1917 writings made the FBI look into how the book was produced, and looked into the actual author of the offending parts, and whether some of the original Russell quotes would have made other Russell writings just as liable (as Russell writings were still being distributed). The FBI was also interested in whether the current 1918 meetings and assemblies themselves were still promoting similar statements to those which were found in the book.

I should mention that I am using the term FBI loosely, as the official communications of those handling the investigation includes those from among and between personnel in the Department of Justice who were not in the Bureau of Investigation, attorneys and officials outside the Department of Justice, and even the War Department.  But most of the communications I have read are from agents and officials of the Bureau of Investigation itself (under the Department of Justice). It was not officially referred to as the FBI.

As I get a chance, I might begin sharing some samples of the evidence that the FBI collected.

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There are so many pieces of evidence that I will not be presenting them in any particular order. If anyone is really interested in seeing where these pieces should be placed in a timeline, it would be good to review the order of events given in Watchtower articles above (and the Proclaimer's book, the 1975 Yearbook, "Faith on the March," "God's Kingdom Rules," etc.

Also, I have previously shared some of the pictures from the "Courage" exhibit up in Warwick on the forum:

They probably still available at the same link:

    Hello guest!

It includes a set of "slides" that highlight various events from 1918 to 1919 related to the ban on the book and related persecution and legal actions taken all over the country. Also note the timing of Kingdom News 1, 2, & 3 in the midst of this.

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spacer.pngThe "Chief" above is the same as "Mr. Bielaski" below. This was a few years before Hoover became the infamous chief of the Bureau.

Also note that there may seem to be some confusion about whether they were collecting evidence to make a case with the "Sedition Act" or the "Espionage Act." The original 1917 Espionage Act was too limited in what it covered, since it focused on activities that could fall under the more limited idea of "Espionage." Some clauses were added to it in 1918 so that a wider range of activities could be prosecuted. This wider range of activities would fall under what is sometimes called the "Sedition Act of 1918." It wasn't really a new "Act," just a way to make it easier to prosecute a wider range of activities, including speech against the war, speech that kept soldiers from wanting to fight, and speech that encouraged civilians to avoid military conscription.  Part of the reason for a confusion between the two terms might be because the full charges had not yet been defined while evidence was being gathered. But another reason is that even if the evidence was related to "sedition" the official name of the law was still the "Espionage Act" of 1917. Obviously, there was no Espionage in the sense of "spying" although spying itself is also associated with obstructing or sabotaging activities by persons who may have loyalties to another country, even if those persons are full citizens of the United States. (Persons with German last names were often looked at suspiciously, even if naturalized or US-born.)

There may be a tacit admission in the following that some attorneys, although acting as if they are in full agreement with the FBI that this book represents the worse kind of treasonable offenses, that they are also admitting that they need more evidence to make a strong enough case.

image.png

 

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Some of the following pieces of evidence will be harder to read, because a raid of various offices of the Watchtower only turned up the Carbon Copies of typewritten letters.

Here is one where Rutherford finds a piece of information that he thinks might be favorable to certain 'conscientious objectors' who make known their objection (application for exemption) immediately after being drafted.

spacer.pngspacer.pngFold3_Page_444_Investigative_Case_Files_of_the_Bureau_of_Investigation_19081922.jpg

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      Rare video of JF Rutherford at Beth Sarim
      Early life
      Rutherford was born on November 8, 1869 to James Calvin Rutherford and Leonora Strickland and raised in near-poverty in a Baptist farm family. Some sources list his place of birth as Boonville, Missouri, but according to his death certificate he was born in Versailles, Missouri.[19][20] Rutherford developed an interest in law from the age of 16.[21] Although his father discouraged this interest, he allowed Rutherford to go to college under the condition that he pay for a laborer to take his place on the family farm. Rutherford took out a loan[22] and helped to pay for his law studies by working as a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman and court stenographer.[23]
       
      Law career
      Rutherford spent two years as a judge's intern, became an official court reporter at age 20, and was admitted to the Missouri bar in May 1892 at age 22.[23] He became a trial lawyer for a law firm[24] and later served for four years in Boonville as a public prosecutor. He campaigned briefly for Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan.[25] He was appointed as a Special Judge in the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri,[23][26][27][28] sitting as a substitute judge at least once when a regular judge was unable to hold court.[22] As a result of this appointment he became known by the sobriquet "Judge" Rutherford. He was admitted to the New York bar in 1909 and admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States the same year.[29]
      Rutherford filled in for a judge total of four (4) days. Some days he filled in there weren't even any cases.

      Cases involving Rutherford
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      Watch Tower Society
       
      In 1894 Rutherford purchased the first three volumes of Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. 's Millennial Dawn series of Bible study textbooks from two colporteurs who visited his office. Rutherford, who then viewed all religions as insincere, shallow and hypocritical, was struck by Russell's sincerity and his sentiments towards Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , which mirrored his own view.[30][31] Rutherford immediately wrote to the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  to express appreciation for the books.[32] He was baptized twelve years later and he and his wife began holding Bible classes in their home.[25] In 1907, he became legal counsel for the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  at its Pittsburgh headquarters, and from around that time began to give public talks as a "pilgrim" representative of the Society.[24] As Russell's health deteriorated, Rutherford represented him on trips to Europe[33] and in April 1915 he was deputized to speak at a major debate with Baptist preacher J. H. Troy over four nights in Los Angeles before an audience of 12,000,[34] debating various subjects, including the state of the dead, hellfire and Christ's Second Coming.[35] Rutherford wrote a pamphlet, A Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens, in defense of Russell[36] and served as chairman of the Bible Students' Los Angeles convention in September 1916. 
      Around this time he produced his first work while Charles Taze Russell was still alive called "Militarism".
      Board of directors
      By 1916 Rutherford had become one of the seven directors of the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ; when Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  died on October 31, 1916 he joined vice-President Alfred I. Ritchie and Secretary-Treasurer William E. Van Amburgh on a three-man executive committee that ran the Pennsylvania corporation until a new president was elected at the annual general meeting the following January.[37] He also joined a five-person editorial committee to run The Watch Tower from the December 15, 1916 issue. Russell's will, drawn up in 1907, had named the five people he wished to run the magazine after his death;[38] Rutherford appeared only on a second list of five alternative members to fill any vacancies that arose.[39]


      Bible Student Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , who served as an aide to the executive committee, later wrote that tensions at the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  headquarters mounted as the day for election of the Society's officers approached. He wrote: "A few ambitious ones at headquarters were holding caucuses here and there, doing a little electioneering to get their men in. However, Van Amburgh and I held a large number of votes. Many shareholders, knowing of our long association with Russell, sent their proxies to us to be cast for the one whom we thought best fitted for office."[40] Macmillan, who claimed he had declined an offer from an ailing Russell months earlier to accept the position of president after his death,[41] agreed with Van Amburgh that Rutherford was the best candidate. According to Macmillan, "Rutherford did not know what was going on. He certainly didn't do any electioneering or canvassing for votes, but I guess he was doing some worrying, knowing if he was elected he would have a big job on his hands ... There is no doubt in our minds that the Lord's will was done in this choice. It is certain that Rutherford himself had nothing to do with it."[42]
      Presidency dispute
      Main article: Watch Tower Society presidency dispute (1917)
      On January 6, 1917, Rutherford, aged 47, was elected president of the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , unopposed, at the Pittsburgh convention. By-laws passed by both the Pittsburgh convention and the board of directors stated that the president would be the executive officer and general manager of the Society, giving him full charge of its affairs worldwide.[43]
      By June, four of the seven Watch Tower Society directors—Robert H. Hirsh, Alfred I. Ritchie, Isaac F. Hoskins and James D. Wright— had decided they had erred in endorsing Rutherford's expanded powers of management, claiming Rutherford had become autocratic.[44] In June, Hirsch attempted to rescind the new by-laws and reclaim the board's authority from the president.[45] Rutherford later claimed he had by then detected a conspiracy among the directors to seize control of the society.[46] In July, Rutherford gained a legal opinion from a Philadelphia corporation lawyer that none of his opposers were legally directors of the society. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  claimed the legal advice given to the ousted directors confirmed that given to Rutherford;[47] however, the pamphlets produced by the expelled board members at the time indicated that their legal advice, acquired from several attorneys, disagreed with Rutherford's.[48][49] On July 12, Rutherford filled what he claimed were four vacancies on the board, appointing Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  and Pennsylvania Bible Students W. E. Spill, J. A. Bohnet and George H. Fisher as directors.[50] Between August and November the society and the four ousted directors published a series of pamphlets, with each side accusing the other of ambitious and reckless behavior. The former directors also claimed Rutherford had required all headquarters workers to sign a petition supporting him and threatened dismissal for any who refused to sign.[51] The former directors left the Brooklyn headquarters on August 8.[52] On January 5, 1918, shareholders returned Rutherford to office.
      The controversy fractured the Bible Student movement and some congregations split into opposing groups loyal either to Rutherford or those he had expelled.[52][53] By mid-1919 about one in seven Bible Students had chosen to leave rather than accept his leadership,[54] and over the following decade they helped formed other groups including the Standfast Movement, the Layman's Home Missionary Movement, the Dawn Bible Students Association, the Pastoral Bible Institute, the Elijah Voice Movement, the Concordat Publishing Concern, and the Eagle Society.[55]
       
      Reorganization
      Administrative changes
      Following his release from prison, Rutherford began a major reorganization of Bible Student activities. At a May, 1919 convention in Ohio he announced the publication of a new magazine, The Golden Age (later renamed Awake!). Because Russell's will had decreed the Society should publish no other periodicals[73] the new magazine was at first published by "Woodworth, Hudgings & Martin", with a Manhattan (rather than Brooklyn) address.[74] Within months Bible Students were organized to distribute it door-to-door.[73] He expanded the Society's printing facilities, revived the colporteur work and in 1920 introduced the requirement for weekly reports of Bible Students' preaching activity.[75][76] He expanded and reorganized overseas branch offices[77] in what he regarded as a "cleansing" and "sifting" work.[78]

      Beginning with an eight-day convention at Cedar Point, Ohio, in September 1922 Rutherford, launched a series of major international conventions under the theme "Advertise the King and Kingdom", attracting crowds of up to 20,000.[79] Audiences were urged to "herald the message far and wide".[80] He stressed that the primary duty of all Bible Students was to become "publicity agents" in fulfillment of Matthew 24:14, especially in the form of door-to-door evangelism with the Society's publications.[81][82] In 1928 Rutherford began to teach that the Cedar Point convention and the events resulting from it fulfilled the prophecy of the 1290 days at Daniel 12:11.[83][84]
      In 1920, Rutherford published a booklet, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and a year later published his first hardcover book, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . This was followed by a further nineteen hardcover books, each with one-word titles, such as 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.  and Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . His publications reached a total printing of 36 million copies.[85] In 1925 he gained full control over what doctrines would be taught in Watch Tower Society publications, overruling the refusal by the five-man Editorial Committee to publish his article, "Birth of the Nation",[86] which contained significant doctrinal changes.[87] Rutherford later claimed Satan had "tried to prevent the publication of that article ... but failed in that effort";[88] In 1927 the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  ceased printing of Russell's Studies in the Scriptures.[89] The Editorial Committee was dissolved in 1931, after which Rutherford wrote every leading article in The Watch Tower until his death.[90] The 1933 Watch Tower Society Yearbook observed that the demise of the Editorial Committee indicated "that the Lord himself is running his organization".[91]
      Rutherford expanded his means of spreading the Watch Tower message in 1924 with the start of 15-minute radio broadcasts, initially from WBBR, based on Staten Island, and eventually via a network of as many as 480 radio stations.[92] A 1931 talk was broadcast throughout North America, Australia and France, but his attacks on the clergy resulted in both the NBCand BBC radio networks banning his broadcasts.[93]
      In 1928 Rutherford began to abolish the system of electing elders by congregational voting, dismissing them as "haughty" and "lazy", and finally asserting in 1932 that electing elders was unscriptural.[94][95] He impressed on elders the need to obey the Society's "regulations", "instructions" and "directions" without complaint.[96] Service directors, who reported back to Brooklyn, were appointed in each congregation and a weekly "service meeting" introduced to meeting programs.[97] In 1933 Rutherford claimed that abolishing elective elders was a fulfillment of the prophecy of 2300 days at Daniel 8:13–14, and that God's sanctuary (Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) was thereby cleansed.[98]
      At a 1931 Bible Student assembly in Columbus, Ohio Rutherford proposed a new name for the organization, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , to differentiate them from the proliferation of other groups that followed Russell's teachings.[92] Bible Students who opposed or abandoned Rutherford to form new groups were increasingly described as the "evil servant class" by The Watchtower, which said it was wrong to pray for those who were "unfaithful".[99][100] Four years later the term "Kingdom Hall" was introduced for the local meeting place of congregations.[101]
      In 1937, the door-to-door preaching program was extended to formally include "back calls" on interested people and Witnesses were urged to start one-hour Bible studies in the homes of householders.[102][103] In the late 1930s, he advocated the use of "sound cars" and portable phonographs with which talks by Rutherford were played to passersby and householders.[102]
      In 1938 he introduced the term "theocracy" to describe the religion's system of government, with Consolation explaining: "The Theocracy is at present administered by the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , of which Judge Rutherford is the president and general manager."[104] "Zone servants" (now known as circuit overseers) were appointed to supervise congregations. In a Watchtower article Rutherford declared the need for congregations to "get in line" with the changed structure.[105][106]
      By 1942, the year of his death, worldwide attendance at the annual Memorial of Christ's death was 140,450 though his restructuring of the Bible Student community coincided with a dramatic loss of followers during the 1920s and 1930s. Worldwide attendance of the annual Memorial of Christ's death fell from 90,434 in 1925[107] to 17,380 in 1928.[108] Memorial attendance figures did not surpass 90,000 again until Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .[108]Author Tony Wills, who analyzed attendance and "field worker" statistics, suggests it was the "more dedicated" Bible Students who quit through the 1920s, to be replaced by newcomers in larger numbers, although Rutherford dismissed the loss of the original Bible Students as the Lord "shaking out" the unfaithful.[109][110] In the 1942 Yearbook of Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Rutherford wrote that the year's achievements "would, on the face of it, show that the Theocratic witness work on earth is about done".[111][112]
       
      Character and attitudes
      Biographers describe Rutherford as tall and solidly built with a senatorial demeanor,[163] and a strong booming voice that helped make him a powerful orator.[164][165] In 1917, The New York Times stated that Rutherford "has a reputation asan eloquent, forceful speaker".[26] Watch Tower Society literature states that his personality contrasted strongly with that of his predecessor. One Witness history book says that while Russell was kind, warm and tactful, Rutherford "was warm and generous toward his associates but he was also a brusque and direct type of person, and his legal background and experiences in early life gave him a directness in his approach to problems in dealing with his brothers that caused some to take offense."[166] Another Watch Tower Society account says he did not hide his feelings, adding, "His bluntness, even when spoken in kindness, was sometimes misunderstood."[167] Fellow Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  director Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  says Rutherford "spoke as simply and directly to the people as he knew how, and he was an extremely forthright man. He was thoroughly convinced that what he had to say was the truth and that it was a matter of life and death."[168] Macmillan added, "He would never tolerate anything that would be contrary to what he clearly understood the Bible to teach. He was so strict about that, he would permit nothing that would seem to show a compromise when it came to an issue of the truth."[169] Author Tony Wills describes him as charitable and generous, and says his sympathy for the poor and oppressed was exceeded only by his hatred for the rich, the oppressors.[165] He also notes that he was a dynamic, impatient extrovert.[170] Other authors also address Rutherford's abrasiveness: James Penton describes him as blunt and moody with an explosive temper,[171] with "a streak of self-righteousness which caused him to regard anyone who opposed him as of the Devil",[172] while Alan Rogerson notes that he was a "dogmatic and insensitive person, obsessed with his own self-importance."[173]
      Rutherford's confrontation with four Watch Tower Society directors who opposed him in 1917 highlighted both the forcefulness of his personality and his determination to fight for what he believed was right. Penton claims Rutherford played "hard-fisted church politics"[174] and Rogerson accuses Rutherford of using The Watchtower as a propaganda medium to attack his opposers in what was effectively a battle for his position as president.[6] At the heart of his opponents' complaints was his "autocratic" behavior as he strove to "exercise complete management of the Society and its affairs."[175] Penton similarly describes Rutherford's actions in his first year of presidency—including his appointment of new directors, refusal to allow the Society's accounts to be examined, and his unilateral decision to publish The Finished Mystery—as high-handed and secretive.[176] In contrast, Rutherford claimed, "It was my duty to use the power the Lord had put into my hands to support the interests of the shareholders and all others interested in the Truth throughout the world ... to be unfaithful to them would be unfaithful to the Lord."[177] Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , who supported Rutherford throughout the crisis, claimed the president was extremely patient and "did everything that he could to help his opposers see their mistake, holding a number of meetings with them, trying to reason with them and show them how contrary their course was to the Society's charter".[169]

      Rutherford with Cadillac V-16 from the Watchtower publication The Messenger (1931)
      According to Wills, Rutherford emerged from prison in 1919 bitter against the world and the collusion he saw between the clergy and military that had secured his imprisonment. Soon after his release he coined the term "Satan's organization" to refer to this supposed conspiracy.[178] In Watchtower articles Rutherford was similarly scathing towards big business, politics and the League of Nations.[179] Rogerson describes Rutherford's attitude towards the clergy—his avowed enemies—as "unadulterated hatred".[72] His attacks on clergymen, particularly those of the Catholic Church, from the late 1920s were strong enough to attract a ban on his broadcasts by the NBC radio network, which condemned his "rabid attack upon organized religion and the clergy".[180] He also applied criticizing terms to those who had deserted Watch Tower ranks, calling them the "evil servant".[181] He urged readers to view with contempt anyone who had "openly rebelled against God's order or commandments"[182] and also described elective elders of the 1930s who refused to submit to Watch Tower Society administrative changes as "despicable".[183]
      Wills states that Rutherford seemed to relish his descriptions of how completely the wicked would be destroyed at Armageddon, dwelling at great length on prophecies of destruction. He claims that towards the close of his ministry Rutherford spent about half of each year's Watchtowers writing about Armageddon.[184]
      According to Penton, Rutherford's austerity—evidenced by his distaste for Christmas, birthday parties and other popular customs[185] that were described as of pagan origin or that encouraged creature worshipand were not to be observed[186]—led in turn to austerity becoming a part of Witness life. In 1938, he directed that singing be dispensed with at congregation meetings;[187][188][189][190] singing was reinstated soon after his death.[191]
      Rutherford's books and magazine articles reveal his strong views on "the proper place of women" in the church and society. In a 1931 book he linked the post-1919 rise of women's movements that encouraged equality of the sexes with satanic influence,[192] and claimed the custom of mentipping their hats to women or standing when a woman approached was a scheme of the devil to turn men from God and indicated an effeminate streak in men who practiced the custom.[187] Mother's Day was similarly described as part of a plan to turn people away from God.[193] In 1938 he urged adherents to delay marriage and child-bearing until after Armageddon,[194] which Wills claims prompted a strong community bias among Witnesses against marriage. Those who did marry, says Wills, were considered to be weak in faith.[195] At a 1941 convention in Missouri he quoted Rudyard Kipling's description of women as "a rag and a bone and a hank of hair".[187][196]

      A 1940 Rutherford booklet "exposing" a Catholic campaign of mob violence against Jehovah's Witnesses
      According to Wills, Rutherford emerged from prison in 1919 bitter against the world and the collusion he saw between the clergy and military that had secured his imprisonment. Soon after his release he coined the term "Satan's organization" to refer to this supposed conspiracy.[178] In Watchtower articles Rutherford was similarly scathing towards big business, politics and the League of Nations.[179] Rogerson describes Rutherford's attitude towards the clergy—his avowed enemies—as "unadulterated hatred".[72] His attacks on clergymen, particularly those of the Catholic Church, from the late 1920s were strong enough to attract a ban on his broadcasts by the NBC radio network, which condemned his "rabid attack upon organized religion and the clergy".[180] He also applied criticizing terms to those who had deserted Watch Tower ranks, calling them the "evil servant".[181] He urged readers to view with contempt anyone who had "openly rebelled against God's order or commandments"[182] and also described elective elders of the 1930s who refused to submit to Watch Tower Society administrative changes as "despicable".[183]
      Wills states that Rutherford seemed to relish his descriptions of how completely the wicked would be destroyed at Armageddon, dwelling at great length on prophecies of destruction. He claims that towards the close of his ministry Rutherford spent about half of each year's Watchtowers writing about Armageddon.[184]
      According to Penton, Rutherford's austerity—evidenced by his distaste for Christmas, birthday parties and other popular customs[185] that were described as of pagan origin or that encouraged creature worshipand were not to be observed[186]—led in turn to austerity becoming a part of Witness life. In 1938, he directed that singing be dispensed with at congregation meetings;[187][188][189][190] singing was reinstated soon after his death.[191]
      Rutherford's books and magazine articles reveal his strong views on "the proper place of women" in the church and society. In a 1931 book he linked the post-1919 rise of women's movements that encouraged equality of the sexes with satanic influence,[192] and claimed the custom of mentipping their hats to women or standing when a woman approached was a scheme of the devil to turn men from God and indicated an effeminate streak in men who practiced the custom.[187] Mother's Day was similarly described as part of a plan to turn people away from God.[193] In 1938 he urged adherents to delay marriage and child-bearing until after Armageddon,[194] which Wills claims prompted a strong community bias among Witnesses against marriage. Those who did marry, says Wills, were considered to be weak in faith.[195] At a 1941 convention in Missouri he quoted Rudyard Kipling's description of women as "a rag and a bone and a hank of hair".[187][196]
      Former Jehovah's Witness and former Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  member Raymond Franz claimed there was no evidence Rutherford engaged in door-to-door ministry despite his assertion that it was a requirement and sacred duty of all Witnesses. Franz claimed to have heard Rutherford's associates say his responsibilities as president "do not permit his engaging in this activity".[197] Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , however, related details of Rutherford's home preaching in 1905 or 1906 when he was baptized,[198] and a 1975 article quoted several Witnesses relating their experiences with Rutherford in the house-to-house ministry in the 1920s.[199] The official history of Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  also notes, "Rutherford personally shared with other conventioners as they engaged in the work of Kingdom proclamation from house to house."[200] On August 2, 1928 in a meeting with the Bible Student elders who had attended a general convention in Detroit, Michigan Rutherford listed his responsibilities and concluded "when I have attended to many other details, I have not had very much time to go from door to door."[201]
      Authors William Whalen and James Penton have claimed that Rutherford was to Russell what Brigham Young was to Mormon prophet Joseph Smith. Penton contends that both Russell and Smith were capable religious leaders but naive visionaries, while Rutherford and Young were "hard-bitten pragmatists who gave a degree of permanency to the movements they dominated".[202]


      1991_List_Watch_Tower_publications_written_by_Rutherford.pdf
      2012_Rutherford_Supports_Hitler_Yad_L'Achim_article.docx
      News_Clippings_Judge_Rutherford.pdf
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      References
      Leo P. Chall, Sociological Abstracts, vol 26 issues 1–3, "Sociology of Religion", 1978, p. 193 col 2: "Rutherford, through the Watch Tower Society, succeeded in changing all aspects of the sect from 1919 to 1932 and created Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. —a charismatic offshoot of the Bible student community." "The Embryonic State of a Religious Sect's Development: The Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. " Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain, ed. Michael Hill, 1972, issue 5 pp 11–12: "Joseph Franklin Rutherford succeeded to Russell's position as President of Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, but only at the expense of antagonizing a large proportion of the Watch Towers subscribers. Nevertheless, he persisted in moulding the Society to suit his own programme of activist evangelism under systematic central control, and he succeeded in creating the administrative structure of the present-day sect of Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ." The Twentieth century, vol 153, 1953 p. 14: "This latter phenomenon, perhaps the most widely spread politico-religious movement at the present time, is linked, as are so many, with a source in America, in this case Judge Rutherford, the New York founder of Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ." P.S.L. Johnson, The Present Truth and Herald of Christ's Epiphany, April 1927, p. 66: "Since the Fall of 1923 ... from 20,000 to 30,000 Truth people the world over have left the Society." Penton 1997, p. 50 Rogerson 1969, p. 37 "Postwar Enlargement of the Theocratic Organization", The Watchtower, July 15, 1950, p. 217 Beckford 1975, p. 24 Penton 1997, p. 75 Rogerson 1969, p. 64 "Testing and Sifting in Modern Times", The Watchtower, June 15, 1987, p. 17 Rogerson 1969, p. 53 Riches, by J.F. Rutherford, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1936, p. 27, "Jesus was crucified, not on a cross... Jesus was crucified by nailing his body to a tree. ...(Deuteronomy 21:22,23) ... (Galatians 3:13) ... Acts 5:30." "Flashes of Light—Great and Small", The Watchtower, May 15, 1995, p. 20. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1993, p. 319 Consolation, May 27, 1942, p. 6. It is not clear from this publication whether this included the distribution of Russell's earlier writings. "Part 1—United States of America", 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, p. 94, "...earthwide report shows that the Memorial of Jesus Christ’s death on April 5, 1917, was attended by 21,274. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , pp. 312–313: Memorial attendance figures in Rutherford's final years were 98,076 (1941) and 140,450 (1942) Penton 1997, p. 47. Dept. of Public Health, San Diego California, Joseph Franklin Rutherford, Certificate of Death issued February 6, 1942 Rogerson 1969, p. 34. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1975, p. 81 Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1993, p. 67 "Modern History of Jehovah’s Witnesses", Watchtower, March 15, 1955, p. 175. Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, Visions of Glory – A History and Memory of Jehovah's Witnesses, Simon & Schuster, 1978, chapter 6. The New York Times, January 17, 1919, Section I, p. 9, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. "Religion: Jehovah's Witness", Time magazine, June 10, 1935,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Biographies of Rutherford in the March 15, 1955 Watchtowerand 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses state that his appointment as Special Judge was in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1975, p. 83 Wills 2007, p. 131 Wills (p. 131) claims Rutherford had never doubted God's existence, but Wills does not cite a source for that claim. The Watchtower (October 1, 1997, p. 6) cites a 1913 newspaper interview wherein Rutherford describes becoming an atheist after a Baptist minister claimed Rutherford's wife Mary would go to Hell because she had not been baptized. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1993, p. 67 "British Branch report", Watch Tower, January 15, 1915, p. 26, Reprints 5616. Rogerson 1969, p. 30 Yearbook, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1991, p. 73. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1993, p. 647 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Penton 1997, p. 48 Macmillan 1957, p. 68 Macmillan 1957, p. 70 Macmillan 1957, p. 71 Pierson et al 1917, pp. 5,6 Pierson et al 1917, p. 4 Rutherford August 1917, p. 12 Rutherford August 1917, pp. 22–23 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (1959) p. 71, col. 2 Light After Darkness (September 1, 1917) p. 11 Facts for Shareholders (November 15, 1917) p. 14 Rutherford August 1917, pp. 14,15 Pierson et al 1917, p. 9 Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1993, p. 68 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (1993) identifies opposing sides as "those loyal to the Society and those who were easy prey to the smooth talk of the opposers" (p. 68). Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses (1975) dismisses the four ousted directors as "rebellious individuals who claimed to be board members" (p. 87) and men who "ambitiously sought to gain administrative control of the Society" (p. 92). Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1975, pp. 93–94 Rogerson 1969, p. 39 Wills 2007, p. 97 Pierson et al 1917, p. 11 Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose. Watchtower. 1959. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , p. viii: "After his death and after we were in the war they issued a seventh volume of this series, entitled "The Finished Mystery," which, under the guise of being a posthumous work of Pastor Russell, included an attack on the war and an attack on patriotism, which were not written by Pastor Russell and could not have possibly been written by him." Crompton, Robert. Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. 1996. pp 84–85: "One of Rutherford's first actions as president ... was, without reference either to his fellow directors or to the editorial committee which Russell had nominated in his will, to commission a seventh volume of Studies in the Scriptures. Responsibility for preparing this volume was given to two of Russell's close associates, George H. Fisher and Clayton J. Woodworth. On the face of it, their brief was to edit for publication the notes left by Russell ... and to draw upon his published writings ... It is obvious ... that it was not in any straightforward sense the result of editing Russell's papers, rather it was in large measure the original work of Woodworth and Fisher at the behest of the new president." Rogerson 1969, p. 40 Watch Tower, October 1, 1917, January 1, 1918. Wills 2007, p. 100 Rogerson 1969, p. 41 Macmillan 1957, p. 85 The initial delivery was entitled "The World Has Ended—Millions Now Living May Never Die". See:
      "Noteworthy Events in the Modern-day History of Jehovah’s Witnesses", Jehovah's Witnesses – Proclaimers of God's Kingdom", 1993 Watch Tower, p. 719, "1918 The discourse “The World Has Ended—Millions Now Living May Never Die” is first delivered, on February 24, in Los Angeles, California. On March 31, in Boston, Massachusetts, the talk is entitled “The World Has Ended—Millions Now Living Will Never Die” [emphasis added] Los Angeles Morning Tribune, February 25, 1918, as recorded in Faith on the March by A. H. Macmillan, 1957, p. 86 Macmillan 1957, p. 89 Rogerson 1969, p. 41 Macmillan 1957, p. 106 Macmillan 1957, pp. 105,106 Rogerson 1969, p. 44 Penton 1997, p. 56 The Golden Age, volume 1, number 1, October 1, 1919, cover,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Rogerson 1969, pp. 53,54 "Annual report for 1920", The Watchtower, December 15, 1920, "At the beginning of the fiscal year there were only 225 active colporteurs in the field. The number has now increased to 350, all of whom are devoting their entire time to the service ... In addition to the colporteurs there are reported to this office 8,052 class workers." Penton 1997, p. 57 Rogerson 1969, pp. 52,53 Rogerson 1969, p. 54 Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1975, p. 131 Penton 1997, p. 60 Watchtower March 1, 1925 p. 72 col 2 Watchtower December 15, 1929 pp 371–77: "Briefly, then, these prophecies and the dates of their fulfilment [sic] are as follows, to wit: The fixed "time of the end" is Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . The 1260-day period ended in April, 1918. The 1290-day period ended September, 1922. The 1335-day period of blessedness began May, 1926, and goes on for ever." The Harp of God, 1928 edition Penton 1997, p. 58 Watchtower, March 1, 1925 pp 67–74. In the content list on the cover the article is entitled Birth of a Nation, but the article itself on page 67 is entitled Birth of the Nation Penton 1997, p. 59 Watchtower, July 1, 1938, p. 201. WTB&TS, "God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached" (1973) p. 347 Wills 2006, p. 121 Yearbook, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1933, p. 11. Rogerson 1969, p. 55 Wills, pp. 149–151 Penton, p. 64 Wills 2006, pp. 177–179 Wills 2006, p. 176 Wills 2006, p. 175 Watchtower July 15, 1933 pp. 214-15: "Beginning to count from the transgression resulting by reason of the League of Nations, and the giving of notice, which must begin May 25, 1926, the twenty-three hundred days, or six years, four months, and twenty days, would end October 15, 1932...What, then, took place at the end of the twenty-three-hundred-day period? The Watchtower, issues of August 15 and September 1, 1932, brought before God's people the Scriptural proof that the office of "elective elder", chosen or selected by vote of creatures, does not Scripturally exist, and that therefore the selection of elders by such means should end." In 1971 the Watchtower Society changed the interpretation ending the 2300 days in 1944 rather than 1932. Wills 2006, pp. 167–172 Watchtower, February 15, 1933. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  chap. 20 p. 319, 721 Rogerson 1969, p. 57 "Testing and Sifting in Modern Times", The Watchtower, June 15, 1987, p. 18. Consolation, September 4, 1940, p. 25, as cited by Penton, p. 61. Wills 2006, p. 201 Watchtower, June 15, 1938. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1959, p. 110 Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1959, pp. 312–313 Wills 2007, pp. 142, 146, 157–159 1931 Yearbook, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, p. 57. Wills 2007, p. 223 Yearbook, 1942, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, p. 29. The Finished Mystery, 1917, p. 2: "POSTHUMOUS WORK OF PASTOR RUSSELL His Last Legacy to the Dear Israel of God (Matt. 20:9)" The Bible Students Monthly, December 1917, vol. 9 no. 9, p. 1: "The following article is extracted mainly from Pastor Russell's posthumous volume entitled "THE FINISHED MYSTERY," the 7th in the series of his STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and published subsequent to his death... In this posthumous volume, which is called his "last legacy to the Christians of earth" is found a thorough exposition of every verse in the entire Book of Revelation." Tony Mills, A People for His Name, 2007, pp 97–8: "While he keeps faithfully to Russell's comments in most cases, there are a few times when he goes beyond Russell's plainly stated interpretation. In some of the chapters of Revelation on which Russell left no comments his imagination wandered free. He ridicules John Wesley, whom Russell admired, and his Methodist movement. He calls Europeans "the most cruel, bloodthirsty, quarrelsome, rapacious people on earth," a thought Russell denied. He ridicules Calvinists by saying that they have "lost their manhood, reason and common sense." He ridicules politics, patriotism, religion and almost everything the world holds holy, without (as Russell was careful to do) presenting the good along with the bad." Bible Students Tract Society, Notes and Comments on the Finished Mystery, Feb. 1919, pp 6–7: "Thus we have Bro. Woodworth's distinct statement that none of these interpretations of Revelation are Pastor Russell's, but another's [sic] (presumably his own)... Have Pastor Russell's interpretations been followed? To this we reply that in many cases they have not. On the contrary, entirely contradictory ones are frequently given." The Time is at Hand, 1889, p. 183: "Reckoned from the beginning of the seventy years desolation under Babylon, the great cycle [50x50] ends with the year A.D. 1875." Millions Now Living Will Never Die!, 1920, p.88 : "A simple calculation of these jubilees brings us to this important fact: Seventy jubilees of fifty years each would be a total of 3500 years. That period of time beginning 1575 before A.D. 1 of necessity would end in the fall of the year 1925." The Watch Tower April 15, 1916 p. 127: "We cannot help it that many of the dear friends continue to tell what THE WATCH TOWER believes, and to misrepresent its teachings. Our kindest thought must be that they are not giving much heed to its teachings. Otherwise they would know from its columns that we are not looking forward to 1925, nor to any other date. As expressly stated in THE WATCH TOWER, we are simply going on, our last date or appointment having been passed more than a year ago...we have no different time in mind from the Scriptures on the subject and do not expect to have any." Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices, 1920, Appendix of Notes pp 133–155: "Thirty-nine years have passed since the publication of this little booklet; and during that time some of the teachings herein contained have come to be seen in clearer light – even as the details of a mountain become more discernible the closer one draws to it. In harmony with these clearer understandings we suggest the following alterations in appendix form, leaving the text intact out of deference to the honored and beloved writer of the booklet." Watchtower, December 15, 1922, p. 394. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Watchtower June 1, 1927 p. 166. Light by J. F. Rutherford, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1930, p 226. The Golden Age May 7, 1930 p. 503 The Golden Age March 14, 1934 p 380 "Prior to Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  and years thereafter we thought that our Lord's return dated from 1874; and we took it for granted that the parousia or presence of our Lord dated from that time. An examination of the scriptures containing the word parousia shows that the presence of the Lord could not date prior to Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ." Wills 2007, pp. 154,155 Rogerson 1969, p. 47 "Can This World’s Armageddon Be Avoided?", Watchtower, December 1, 1966, p. 730. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1993, p. 124 Wills 2007, pp. 181, 182 Penton 1997, p. 69 J.F. Rutherford, Prophecy, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1929, pp. 319, 328–333 J.F. Rutherford, Vindication, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1931, pp. 9–14, 65–68, 135. Wills 2007, p. 143 "Character or Covenant – Which?", The Watchtower, May 1, 1926 Watchtower, January 1, 1927, p. 7. Watchtower July 15, 1933 p. 214 col 2 The Golden Age, December 14, 1927, "The Origin of Christmas", pp 178–79 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, 1974, p. 147 Vindication book 1, 1931, pp 158–60: "On the face of it the arrangement of "Mother's Day" seems harmless and calculated to do good. But the people are in ignorance of Satan's subtle hand in the matter, and that he is back of the movement, to turn the people away from God... Neither the man nor the woman should be worshiped for doing right, because such doing of right is their duty. Creature worship of any kind is wrong and an abomination in the sight of God." George Chryssides, Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses, 2008, p. 21 Jehovah's Witnesses: Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, 1993, p. 199 Wills 2007, p. 38 J. F. Rutherford, Favored People, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, as cited by Wills, 2007, p. 129. Rogerson 1969, p. 46 Thy Kingdom Come The Messenger, August 5, 1928 p. 1: "When the Lord spoke of hiding his people in his secret place he was not talking about any chambers in the pyramid, built by the Devil himself." The Watch Tower, November 15, 1928 Great Pyramid Passages, 1924, reprint by Portland Area Bible Students, 1988, pp i–xxxviii The Messenger, August 5, 1928 p. 2: "It sure did set the tongues wagging at the Fair Grounds and resulted in another overhauling of the old trunk wherein are kept a few choice relics of what, until recently, we honestly believed the Bible teaches." Light book 1 and 2, 1930 Light book 1, 1930, p. 106 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , 1917 Gruss, p. 172 The Watch Tower, Nov 15, 1916, p. 343 Penton 1997, p. 72 Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1959, p. 140 Yearbook, 1936, p. 22, "The saluting of or salutation to a flag means this: 'I depend on what the flag represents for my salvation. Those who know and serve God in spirit and in truth look to Jehovah God for salvation, and not to any man or any man-made organization. It therefore follows that the saluting of any flag by those who are in covenant with Jehovah God to do his will constitutes the breaking of that covenant with God, and such covenant breakers are guilty of death." Wills 2007, pp. 214–224 American Bar Association's Bill of Rights Review, Vol 2, No.4, Summer 1942, p. 262. Riches, 1936, p. 27: "Jesus was crucified, not on a cross of wood, such as is exhibited in many images and pictures, and which images are made and exhibited by men; Jesus was crucified by nailing his body to a tree." Herbert H. Stroup, The Jehovah's Witnesses, Columbia University Press, 1945, p. 16. Penton 1997, p. 47 Wills 2007, p. 131 Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1959, pp. 68, 69 Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1975, p. 83 Macmillan 1957, pp. 150,151 Macmillan 1957, p. 77 Wills 2007, p. 107 P.S.L. Johnson's Harvest Siftings Reviewed (1917, p.17) relates an incident in which an enraged Rutherford rushed at him in a confrontation in Brooklyn Bethel, grabbed at his arm and "almost jerked me off my feet". Johnson complains that in an earlier hearing of complaints against him, Rutherford treated him to "sneers, sarcasm and ridicule. His face expressed more contempt than that of any other face upon which I have ever looked."(p.14) Penton 1997, pp. 47–48 Rogerson 1969, p. 35 Penton 1997, p. 51 Pierson et al 1917, pp. 3,4 Penton 1997, pp. 51, 53 Rutherford August 1917, p. 17 Wills 2007, p. 132 Wills 2007, pp. 131–138 Yearbook, 1930, p. 38 The term was drawn from the account of the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  and "evil servant" of Matthew 24:45–51. Watchtower, February 15, 1933, p. 55. Watchtower, March 15, 1938, p.87 Wills 2007, p. 154 J.F.Rutherford, Vindication, Vol I, pp. 188, 189, as cited by Wills, p. 139. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1975, p. 147 Penton 1997, p. 66 Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1959, p. 215 Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1993, p. 241, "singing in local congregations was largely dispensed with in about 1938" The Watchtower, May 1, 1938, p 139, "At all study meetings...the one presiding at the study might well, as a prelude to the meeting, briefly state God’s purpose which is now being performed... two minutes might well be devoted to such at the beginning of all meetings for study [by] the one presiding... A few words like the above pronounced at the beginning of the study would be far more beneficial than to occupy the same time in singing songs, which often express much that is out of harmony with the truth" "Music’s Place in Modern Worship", The Watchtower, February 1, 1997, pp 26–27, "In 1938 singing at congregation meetings was largely dispensed with. However, the wisdom of following apostolic example and direction soon prevailed. At the 1944 district convention, F. W. Franz...announced the release of theKingdom Service Song Book for use at the weekly service meetings." J.F.Rutherford, Vindication, Vol I, pp. 155–159, as cited by Wills, p. 139. J.F.Rutherford, Vindication, Vol I, pp. 155–157, as cited by Wills, p. 139. Watchtower, November 15, 1938, p. 346. Wills 2007, p. 138 Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, Visions of Glory – A History and Memory of Jehovah's Witnesses, Simon & Schuster, 1978, chapter 3. Raymond Franz, In Search of Christian Freedom, Commentary Press, 2007, pp. 191–192 "Part 1—United States of America", 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, 1975 Watch Tower, p 83 "Part 2—United States of America", 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, 1975 Watch Tower, p 133 "Conventions Proof of Our Brotherhood", Jehovah's Witnesses – Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, 1993 Watch Tower, p 260 The Messenger, August 3, 1928 p. 5: "Frequently some elder says: "The president of the Society does not go from house to house selling books. Why should I?" ... When I have looked after the management of the work at headquarters with its many departments; when I have given attention to a voluminous mail; when I have managed thirty odd branch offices in different parts of the earth and kept in close touch with them by correspondence and examination of their reports, and given advice and counsel as to what shall be done; when I have given attention to may [sic] legal matters that have arisen against members of the Society by reason of the opposition of the enemy; when I have given counsel to the various parts of the radio work; when I have prepared copy for The Watch Tower and other publications; and occasionally written a book or booklet and followed its progress through the manufacturing thereof; and when I have attended to many other details, I have not had very much time to go from door to door." Prof. William J. Whalen, Armageddon Around the Corner: A report on Jehovah's Witnesses, John Day, New York, 1962, as cited by Penton, pp. 75–76. St. Paul Enterprise January 16, 1917 p. 1 "Advertise the King and the Kingdom! (1919–1941)",Jehovah's Witnesses – Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, 1993 Watch Tower, p 89 "Advertise the King and the Kingdom! (1919–1941)", Jehovah's Witnesses – Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, 1993 Watch Tower, p 75 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , The Messenger(Watchtower): 6, 8, July 25, 1931. (17MB) 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, 1974 Watch Tower, p 194, "In time, a direct contribution was made for the purpose of constructing a house in San Diego for Brother Rutherford’s use." New York Times Deeds San Diego Home To Kings of Israel; Judge Rutherford in the Interim Occupies the House and Drives the Cars March 19, 1930 p. 31 Watchtower, December 15, 1947, as cited by Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , 1993, p. 76. Penton 1997, pp. 72,73 The Watchtower, May 15. 1937, p 159 Jehovah's Witnesses and the Third Reich by M. James Penton, University of Toronto Press, 2004, p 368; though Salter's letter was dated "April 1, 1937", Penton writes, "Salter had broken with the Watch Tower Society and had been excommunicated from the Witness community at the time he wrote the letter." Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , "I, at your orders would purchase cases of whiskey at $60.00 a case, and cases of brandy and other liquors, to say nothing of untold cases of beer. A bottle or two of liquor would not do... [Rutherford] sends us out from door to door to face the enemy while he goes from 'drink to drink,' and tells us if we don't we are going to be destroyed." Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Tony Wills (2007), Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Lulu.com, pp. 202–204, ISBN 978-1-4303-0100-4 Society directors defended Rutherford in an October 1939 Watchtower article, accusing Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  of lies and "wicked slander" and claimed he was a "Judas" trying to cause division. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  successfully sued the board of directors for libel, collecting $15,000 plus court costs. See Penton, pp. 80–83 and Wills, pp. 202–205. Penton 1997, pp. 72,73: "Although Jehovah's Witnesses have done everything possible to hide accounts of the judge's drinking habits, they are simply too notorious to be denied. Former workers at the Watch Tower's New York headquarters recount tales of his inebriation and drunken stupors. Others tell stories of how difficult it sometimes was to get him to the podium to give talks at conventions because of his drunkenness. In San Diego, California, where he spent his winters from 1930 until his death, an elderly lady still speaks of how she sold him great quantities of liquor when he came to purchase medicines in her husband's drugstore." Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1993, p. 89 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. pp. 64.ISBN 094559406. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , p. 90 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , The Evening Independent (St Petersburg, Florida): 18, January 26, 1942 Consolation, May 27, 1942. Consolation, May 27, 1942 Penton 1997, p. 74 "San Diego officials line up against New Earth's princes",Consolation, May 27, 1942, pp. 6,9 "No Will Left By Rutherford, Says Secretary", San Diego Union, February 18, 1942 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. Leonard & Marjorie Chretien (1988), Witnesses of Jehovah, Harvest House, pp. 49, ISBN 0-89081-587-9 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , June 28, 2008 Mallios et al. (2007), Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Arcadia Publishing, pp. 112, ISBN 978-0-7385-4714-5 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Time, May 4, 1942 "Announcements", The Watchtower, October 1, 1966, p 608 "San Diego's Officials Line Up Against Earth's New Princes",Consolation (Watchtower): 9, 14–16, May 27, 1942 Van Amburgh, W. E. (2005), Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , An enlarged replica of the International Bible Students Association's original 1924 book, Lulu.com, pp. 45, 46, ISBN 1-4116-5971-6, retrieved July 12, 2009 Bibliography
      Beckford, James A. (1975). The Trumpet of Prophecy: A Sociological Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-16310-7. Johnson, Paul S.L. (November 1, 1917), Harvest Siftings Reviewed, retrieved July 21, 2009 Macmillan, A.H. (1957), Faith on the March, Prentice-Hall Penton, James M. (1997), Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses (2nd ed.), University of Toronto Press, ISBN 0-8020-7973-3 Pierson et al, A.N. (September 1, 1917), Light After Darkness, retrieved July 21, 2009 Rogerson, Alan (1969), Millions Now Living Will Never Die, Constable, London, ISBN 0-09-455940-6 Rutherford, J.F. (August 1, 1917), Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, retrieved July 19, 2009 Rutherford, J.F. (October 1, 1917), Harvest Siftings, Part II, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, retrieved July 19, 2009 Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society (1975), 1975 Yearbook, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society (1959), Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society (1993), Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society Wills, Tony (2006), A People For His Name, Lulu Enterprises, ISBN 978-1-4303-0100-4 External links
      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. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  at 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.
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    • Eric Ouellet

      L'amour de Jéhovah nous modèle vers l'excellence de notre être 
      Ô Jéhovah, tu es notre Père. Nous sommes l’argile, et tu es notre Potier ; nous sommes tous l’œuvre de ta main. Isaie 64 :8  » Un potier a le pouvoir de faire avec l’argile le récipient qu’il désire. L’argile n’a pas son mot à dire. Il en va de même de l’homme par rapport à Dieu. Il n’est pas plus en droit de contester les actes de Dieu que l’argile du potier, qui, de ses mains, lui donne forme (lire Jérémie 18:1-6).
      Jéhovah a montré sa capacité d’agir sur l’Israël antique comme le potier agit sur l’argile. Nous notons cependant une grande différence. Le potier peut transformer sa motte d’argile en n’importe quelle sorte de récipient. Mais Jéhovah façonne-t-il arbitrairement les personnes, ou les nations, faisant les unes bonnes et les autres mauvaises ? D’après la Bible, ce n’est pas le cas. Jéhovah a doté l’homme d’une faculté très précieuse : le libre arbitre. La manière dont il exerce son autorité souveraine ne nous prive pas de cette faculté. Chacun doit décider s’il se laissera façonner par le Créateur (lire Jérémie 18:7-10).
      Et si un humain refuse obstinément de se laisser modeler, comment le Grand Potier exerce-t-il son autorité ? Pense au sort d’une argile qui devient impropre à l’usage que le potier veut en faire. Eh bien, il peut soit en faire un autre récipient soit la jeter ! Toutefois, quand l’argile est inutilisable, c’est généralement de la faute du potier. Mais en ce qui concerne notre Potier, ce n’est jamais le cas (Deut. 32:4). Quand une personne ne cède pas au modelage de Jéhovah, c’est toujours de sa faute à elle. Le Grand Potier exerce son autorité sur les humains en s’adaptant à la manière dont ils réagissent à son modelage. Ceux qui réagissent bien sont façonnés en récipients utiles. Par exemple, les chrétiens oints sont des « vases de miséricorde » qui ont été façonnés en « récipient[s] pour un usage honorable ». En revanche, ceux qui s’opposent obstinément à Dieu finissent par être des « vases de colère devenus dignes de destruction » (Rom. 9:19-23).
      Jéhovah modèle les humains notamment en les conseillant ou en les corrigeant. Voyons comment il exerce son autorité sur ceux qu’il façonne en nous intéressant aux deux premiers rois d’Israël : Saül et David. Quand David a commis l’adultère avec Bath-Shéba, il a causé du tort tant à lui-même qu’à d’autres. Jéhovah ne s’est pas retenu de le reprendre avec fermeté, il fut ainsi avec les hommes qui furent sous Sa direction. Par le prophète Nathân, il lui a adressé un message sévère (2 Sam. 12:1-12). Comment David a-t-il réagi ? Touché en plein cœur, il s’est repenti et a bénéficié de la miséricorde divine (lire 2 Samuel 12:13).
      Par contre, Saül, le roi qui a précédé David, a mal réagi aux conseils. Par l’intermédiaire du prophète Samuel, Jéhovah lui avait formellement ordonné de vouer à la destruction tous les Amaléqites et tout leur bétail. Mais Saül a désobéi. Il a épargné le roi Agag ainsi que les meilleures bêtes. Pourquoi ? Notamment pour s’attirer des louanges (1 Sam. 15:1-3, 7-9, 12). Quand il a été conseillé, il aurait dû être malléable, se laisser façonner par le Grand Potier. Mais il a résisté. Il s’est justifié, prétextant qu’il avait agi à bon droit parce que les bêtes seraient offertes en sacrifice. Il a minimisé le conseil de Samuel. Il a donc été rejeté par Jéhovah. Il ne méritait plus d’être roi et n’a jamais retrouvé de bonnes relations avec le vrai Dieu (lire 1 Samuel 15:13-15, 20-23).
      DIEU N’EST PAS PARTIAL
      Jéhovah offre la possibilité d’être façonné non seulement à des individus mais aussi à des nations. En 1513 av. n. è., les fils d’Israël, libérés de l’esclavage en Égypte, sont entrés dans une relation d’alliance avec Dieu. Étant sa nation choisie, Israël avait l’honneur d’être modelé par lui, d’être en quelque sorte sur le tour du Grand Potier. Cependant, le peuple n’a pas cessé de faire ce qui est mauvais aux yeux de Jéhovah, allant même jusqu’à rendre un culte aux dieux des nations voisines. Maintes et maintes fois, Jéhovah a envoyé des prophètes pour le ramener à la raison, mais il n’a pas écouté (Jér. 35:12-15). Son obstination lui a valu d’être sévèrement repris. Comme des « vases » devenus « dignes de destruction », le royaume du Nord, formé de dix tribus, et celui du Sud, formé de deux tribus, ont été vaincus l’un par l’Assyrie et l’autre par Babylone. Quelle leçon puissante ! Nous ne tirerons profit du façonnage de Jéhovah qu’à condition de bien y réagir.
      Jéhovah a également offert aux habitants de Ninive, la capitale assyrienne, la possibilité de tenir compte de ses avertissements. Il a dit à Jonas: « Lève-toi, va à Ninive la grande ville, et proclame contre elle que leur méchanceté est montée devant moi. » Ninive était vouée à la destruction (Jonas1:1, 2 ; 3:1-4).
      Cependant, quand Jonas a annoncé son message de condamnation, « les hommes de Ninive se mirent à avoir foi en Dieu ; ils proclamèrent alors un jeûne et se revêtirent de toiles de sac, du plus grand d’entre eux au plus petit d’entre eux ». Leur roi « se leva de son trône, ôta son vêtement officiel de dessus lui, se couvrit d’une toile de sac et s’assit dans la cendre ». Réceptifs à la tentative de modelage de Jéhovah, les Ninivites se sont repentis. Jéhovah n’a donc pas fait venir le malheur sur eux (Jonas 3:5-10).
      Bien qu’étant une nation choisie, Israël n’a pas été exempté de la correction. Les Ninivites, quant à eux, n’étaient pas dans une relation d’alliance avec Dieu. Pourtant, Jéhovah leur a adressé un message de condamnation et leur a fait miséricorde quand ils sont devenus de l’argile malléable entre ses mains. Ces deux exemples ne prouvent-ils pas que Jéhovah « ne se montre partial envers personne » ? (Deut. 10:17).
      JÉHOVAH EST RAISONNABLE ET SOUPLE
      La manière dont Dieu est disposé à nous modeler indique qu’il est raisonnable et souple. Témoin des situations où il prononce des jugements justes mais les révise ensuite selon la réaction des concernés. Au sujet du premier roi d’Israël, les Écritures déclarent que Jéhovah a « regrett[é] d’avoir fait régner Saül comme roi » (1 Sam. 15:11). La Bible dit encore que, lorsque les habitants de Ninive se sont repentis et sont revenus de leur voie mauvaise, « le vrai Dieu regretta le malheur qu’il avait parlé de leur causer ; et il ne le causa pas » (Jonas 3:10).
      Le terme hébreu traduit par « regretta » se rapporte à un changement de point de vue ou d’intention. Jéhovah a changé de point de vue à l’égard de Saül : il l’avait choisi pour être roi, mais il a fini par le rejeter. Ce changement s’est produit non parce que Jéhovah avait fait un mauvais choix, mais parce que Saül a manqué de foi et est devenu désobéissant. Le vrai Dieu a éprouvé du regret dans le cas des Ninivites : son intention à leur égard a changé. Quel réconfort de savoir que Jéhovah, notre Potier, est raisonnable et souple, compatissant et miséricordieux, prêt à réviser son jugement quand un transgresseur se réforme !
      NE REJETONS PAS LA DISCIPLINE DE JÉHOVAH
      Aujourd’hui, Jéhovah nous façonne principalement par sa Parole, la Bible, et par son organisation (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). Ne devrions-nous pas accepter tout conseil ou toute correction que nous recevons par ces moyens ? Quelles que soient les années que nous avons passées à servir Dieu, ou nos attributions de service, continuons d’accepter les conseils de Jéhovah, laissons-nous façonner en vases pour un usage honorable. 
      Le Grand Potier est notre Père. Et ne l’oublions jamais, « celui que Jéhovah aime, il le reprend, comme un père reprend le fils en qui il prend plaisir ». Alors, « ne rejettons pas [...] la discipline de Jéhovah, et n’ayons pas son blâme en aversion » (Prov. 3:11, 12).

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    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Hello Eric, merci pour tes bons sujets. Bonne journée Michel
      OUI certains jours.mp4
      · 1 reply
    • Eric Ouellet

      Bâtissons chaque but de notre vie avec amour
      L'homme à toujours chercher le sens véritable de l'amour. L'homme réfléchissant à cette vertu, il sépara cette qualité en trois phases et uni en une seule.  Les millénaires passèrent et l'homme à compris que les trois phases de l'amour sont des étapes que l'on ne peut trépasser.
      La première partie est appelé" L'Éros."
      L'éros fut le premier chemin que Dieu entama dans son Esprit ( pensée en action) (verbe) intérieur avant de faire ce monde magnifique que nous vivons. L'Éros est le feu qui nous anime dans le début d'une pensée qui nous traverse l'esprit.
      L'Amour éros est une énergie très puissante, car d'elle, d'une seule image non réalisée, l'éros active cette image en rêve, uni à notre pensée et propulse dans notre vision, un rêve ultime qui nous pousse à chercher au fond de nous, le sentiment qui nous anime puissamment.
      Nous recherchons en nous d'autres images pour connaitre d'avantage cette vibration qui se manifeste, telle un feu ardent.
      D'un rêve, l'amour de ce but te pousse à créer et fonder ce rêve dans ta réalité, construire le but ultime de ta vie.
      La flamme de Yah, s'anime en toi ( Chant de Salomon)
      Le désir sexuelle ne fait pas parti de cet Amour.
      L'Éros te propulse dans tout les côtés des variantes d'un but non réalisé, dont tu ne connais point comment construire ce but qui s'anime en toi; et même comment pourrais-je réaliser ce but?
      Quand le rêve d'un projet d'avenir est dans l'Éros, il ne faut pas qu'il devienne en nous une obsession intense. Nous ne savons pas comment contrôler notre feu intérieur de ce but, de cette vision qui anime nos pensées, jour après jour et souvent dans les images de notre sommeil, elles peuvent envahir nos nuits.
      L'amour " Éros" nous confrontes à plusieurs désirs qui nous anime et qu'avec le temps nous apprenons à assembler le casse tête de la réalisation de notre vie, les pièces maîtresses de notre rêve qui nous poussent sans cesse à trouver les outils et l'instructions nécessaires à notre cheminement qui s'accomplit pendant une grande période de notre vie, pour atteindre l'objectif premier de notre vie, le vrai but que nous voulons accomplir.
      Quand notre but est assemblé, telle un film intérieur, de sa première image (début), à son dénouement et cela jusqu'à son accomplissement , alors notre rêve se voit construit dans notre esprit alors nous sommes prêt; nous pouvons commencer la deuxième étapes de l'amour qui construit notre but.
      L'AMOUR PHILIA UNE ÉTAPE TRÈS IMPORTANTE DE L'AMOUR
      La connaissance de l'amour apporte à réaliser le rêve de notre but vers la réalisation de notre projet en ce monde au bonheur de chacun.
      Les étapes de réalisation de chaque but, doit être construit avec l'Amour philia à (suivre)...

      · 1 reply
    • Eric Ouellet

      Pour guérir notre personnalité, une petite recette intérieure doit être préparé avec minutie et avec conviction, en voici la composition:
      En premier, prend le temps de prendre conscience de l'amour que tu t'attribues à toi même. L'amour désintéressé, celle qui te lie en toi le mérite vrai de la beauté intérieure, celle de la lumière qui vibre dans ton coeur. Cette amour doit être le fondement de ta personnalité, car plus tu consacres le temps nécessaire à épanouir tes forces et que tu perpétues cette puissance universelle envers autrui. Ainsi, tu t'élèveras au-dessus de la souffrance et Il te guidera vers le chemin de l'accomplissement de ta vie.
      En deuxième, prend le temps de travailler la qualité de la patience. La patience est une vertu primordiale à ta personnalité, car elle te fait comprendre les étapes de la vie et que pas à pas, une chose à la fois tu redresseras tes faiblesses. La patience te guidera vers la maîtrise des étapes à la victoire des buts, que tu entreprends. Cette vertu t'aidera à accepter les erreurs de ta personne et de celle des autres.
      Troisièmement, trouve en toi la joie de vivre. La joie est une petite qualité à quatre lettres. Elle se situe en toi, car chaque moment de ton quotidien elle se manifeste et elle vibre de tout ton être. Elle se manifeste, dans les moments où tu vois un coucher de soleil éblouissant, dans les activités avec tes amis qui te sont chère. Quand tu réussis un travail qui t'inspire et que tu réussis l'accomplissement avec brio. À plusieurs moment la joie se manifeste et tu dois prendre conscience de ces moments, car il font parti de la positivité de ta vie. Elle t'aide à oublier les épreuves que tu dois traverser.
      Quatrièmement, une clé primordiale doit être insérée en toi, celle de la confiance. La confiance est la synergie de l'amour désintéressé. Sans la confiance ton amour vacillera avec le temps. Bâtir la confiance est un travail acharné à ton travail personnel. Cette vertu t'aide à prendre conscience de tes mérites, de te rassurer que les actions que tu fais son juste et t'empêche de regarder constamment en arrière. La confiance te donnera la force d'avancer vers l'horizon de la lumière et croire en toi. 
      Cinquièmement, le courage, est le courant qui aide à te reprendre dans les moments difficiles où la vision de tes buts que tu entreprends devient très ardu. Il t'aide à ne pas baisser les bras dans les moments où tu ne vois plus la manière de franchir une étape, un examen de conscience qui illumine ta pensée à trouver une solution réfléchit et te dire, je vais être capable de réussir. Le courage est le deuxième souffle dans ta course vers le sommet de ta personnalité intérieure.
      Sixièmement, La force fait partie du courage, l'un ne va pas sans l'autre. Le courage est le souffle, l'oxygène qui activera ta force intérieure. La force t'aide à gravir les montagnes et même à certaine étape de ta vie à soulever les montagnes pour trouver les trésors qui y sont enfouis. La force te donne la chance à balayer les nuages de la tempête et de retrouver la chaleur du soleil du bonheur venant de Dieu.
      La septième étapes , la maîtrise de soi, une vertu qui est au sommet de ces étapes intérieures. La maîtrise de soi est l'étape ultime de ta vie  (les actions justes) car par cette vertue plus rien ne fera barrière dans le chemin que tu auras voulu suivre, car les épreuves que tu auras surmonté, te guidera à devenir maître de toi même et ne faire qu'un avec toi même, unis à Dieu et à son Roi.
      La maîtrise de soi te donnera un trésor inestimable qui est celui de l'harmonie. Équanimité ( équilibre parfait) dans tous les sens de ton âme. Tu trouveras la beauté ultime de chaques éléments de la vie, ta conscience sera dans ta pensée comme un métronome parfait; La vrai vie celle de nos rêves deviendra réalité, nous deviendrons un être de lumière. La lumière qui sommeillait en toi jaïllira de toute ta personne.
      Même dans la nuit des plus grandes tempêtes, tu seras un phare éblouissant de Dieu.
       
      SUIVRENT LES INSTRUCTIONS DE NOTRE DIEU JÉHOVAH NOUS MÈNE VERS LE VRAI BONHEUR CELUI DE LA VIE ÉTERNELLE.
      2 Timothée 3: 16-17, Proverbes chapitre 1-3,Galantes 5:22,23  1Corinthien 13: 4-(8 premier phrase)
       



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