Thursday, March 9, 2017

Are We Really Bible Students?

While I am in general agreement with what is stated, I do not agree with some of the ways that Brother Carnegie presented the matter. Much of what the brother presents is along the same line of thoughts I have had. I do agree that if something is not specifically presented in the Bible, we should not make a fellowship issue over such; this, however, does not mean that conclusions given that are NOT specifically stated in the Bible are not true, it only, as Brother Russell once stated, means that we should leave room for others to disagree.

One of the greatest authoritarian sectarianism that is found in "Christendom" is that of the self-appointed "orthodoxy" who are united in adding to, and reading into the Bible a doctrine not found in the Bible, but additionally proclaim that this added-on doctrine is the central doctrine of their alleged "Christianity" sect. I am speaking of the trinity doctrine. These self-proclaimed orthodox leaders demand that one has to bow before and accept as a means of salvation their added-on trinitarian dogma, and proclaim that any who do not do so are not Christian, and are not saved, which, in general would mean that any who accepts Christ apart from accepting the added-on dogma will spend eternity in some place of eternal conscious suffering, which represents another doctrine that is not found in the Bible. True Bible Students will be careful that they do not begin to promote such a similar idea.

See my study regarding: Sectarianism.

I agree that one should not make dogma out of assumed types that are not definitely presented in the Bible, and demand that one accept such speculations in order to be recognized as consecrated, or of the body of Christ, etc. See my studies related to: Covenants

As far as the Jubilee cycles, chronology and time prophecies are concerned, I believe that it is fine to accept these, but not do so dogmatically. Indeed, this is what Brother Russell himself stated. Once we cross the line and begin to view chronology, time prophecies and cycles as being dogma, then we have set such as idol that we are demanding that others must accept.

Many promote Brother Charles Taze Russell as being the "faithful and wise servant" of Matthew 24:45 and Luke 12:42; some -- based on this teaching -- often attribute authority to Brother Russell that Brother Russell himself disowned, which is somewhat self-contradictory.

Regarding the Faithful and Wise Servant see:

A point that is often overlooked is that when Jesus spoke of not knowing the day and hour, he was speaking, not of the beginning of the parousia, but rather pf the time when the present heavens and earth pass away. Christ returns sometime before the passing away of Adam's crooked generation. However, this is not a matter of dogmatism, but rather a conclusion that I myself believe to be in harmony with the Bible. See my studies: 

I do agree that many have used time prophecies to say that the work is over, that there are not many "crowns" left, and thus such an attitude has lead many to a laxity in obeying Jesus' command to make disciples of peoples of all nations. The narrowness of accepting as dogma that no one can be called in this time except that another has lost his crown often leads to such such laxity.
See my studies: 

Brother speaks of 1914 as having been alleged to "end everything". I am not sure what he is speaking of; there was a general expectation that the church would be completed and changed into spirit beings when the time of trouble was to begin, if that is what is meant by expecting the end of everything. Of course, the change of the remainder of the saints to spirit beings would NOT actually "end everything". I believe that the choice of words "end everything" is highly misleading. I know many believe that Brother Russell was proclaiming that the end of the world was to come in 1914; however, Brother Russell himself denied this. Brother Russell did not believe that 1914 was to "end everything". One could say, at least from his statements before 1904, that Brother Russell believed that 1914 would be the end of Gentile rulership, but the beginning of the blessing of the earth, but this would hardly mean the end of everything. He was not expecting the "end of everything" but rather at that time he thought peace would come to the world in 1914. Nevertheless, from 1904 onward, Charles Taze Russell was not expecting 1914 to be the end even of Gentile rulership, but rather that it was to beginning of the time of trouble, thus, from 1904 and afterwards, Russell was no longer expecting the end of Gentile kingdoms, nor was he expecting peace to come to the world in 1914.

Was Jesus telling his disciples 'not to be time calculators?' Absolutely not! This idea would be one of the very speculations that the brother is speaking of, which is not actually stated in the scriptures, but is often assumed by what is stated. Such an idea would mean that all the prophecies of the Bible pertaining to time should be disregarded. Such would not be in harmony with Jesus' command to watch, for the command to watch certainly would include study of those time prophecies. We should always give heed to the sure word of prophecy, including those prophecies dealing with time and events. (2 Peter 1:19) Nevertheless, in studying those time prophecies, one should also realize that no prophecy designates the day and hour in which the present heavens and earth will pass away. Being watchful as regards the study of time prophecies, however, does help one realize the possibility that the present heavens and earth could pass away at any time, and thus one should always be prepared for such to happen. Additionally, one should also realize, as did Brother Russell, that one's understanding of time prophecies could be in error, and thus not be dogmatic related to conclusions derived from time prophecies. Certainly, none should set themselves or anyone else as being an "authority" that all others should submit to; such an attitude often ends up in judging others along the lines of the assumptions presented, which would actually judging according to the flesh.

I agree with most of what Brother Carnegie states about the vision of Habakkuk 2:1-4. These verses have often been taken out of context and misapplied to Brother Russell's chart of the ages. The tablets or "tables" of Habakkuk 2:2 is not referring to a chart, but rather to whatever a table of wood or perhaps stone, upon which Habakkuk was to write his prophecy. The tablets or tables spoken of there was a never intended to be a command to Brother Russell to write a chart of the ages.

Brother Russell himself warned against placing his writings on par with the Bible. Judge Rutherford and his associates ignored that warning, and proclaimed Russell to have been a prophet, which presented a self-contradiction, since Brother Russell himself many times denied being a prophet. Rutherford and his associates, however, in the "Seventh Volume" (which was not written by Russell), claimed that their alleged prophet was guiding the work of the WTS from beyond the vail, which, in effect, meant that it was being claimed that Rutherford and his associates had that authority of a prophet that they were falsely claiming for Brother Russell. As best as I can tell, however, the majority of the Bible Students eventually rejected "The Finished Mystery".

See my study: 

I also agree that there is nothing in the Bible about a "Harvest Message" as such. Nor does the Bible speak of a "Harvest Messenger". Nevertheless, the message to be proclaimed by the saints on the earth remains the same even during the harvest as before the harvest. -- Matthew 24:14; 28:19.

Regarding the Harvest:

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