Re: does Jesus live etherially?
Sep 19, 1995 06:59 PM
Don't get me started...OK...I am already going.
The WatchTower Organization and Founders have made many false
declarations that Armegeddon would begin and Jesus Christ
would return in 1873, 1874, 1914, 1917, 1925, 1957 and 1975.
When Charles Taze Russell first began preaching in the 1870s, he came
upon the idea that Christ would return invisibly. He seems to have
adopted this from the dispensationalists, who to this day believe in
some sort of "two stage coming" doctrine, in which Christ returns
invisibly and does certain things, then returns visibly and completes
the description of events in the Gospel accounts at the Battle of
Armageddon. This idea was also adopted by a fringe Second Adventist
named Nelson Barbour. Barbour developed a great many ideas about
Bible chronology related to the Second Coming, predicting in 1869
that Christ would return in 1873. When that didn't happen he changed
the date to 1874. After that didn't happen either, he decided to adopt
the "invisible presence" doctrine and then claimed that Christ had
indeed returned in 1874; we just needed "the eyes of faith" to see it.
Barbour also said that the Battle of Armageddon began in 1874, and that
the "times of the Gentiles" (of Luke 21:24) would end in 1914. In 1876
Russell learned about all this, adopted Barbour's ideas lock, stock and
barrell, and began teaching them himself. Barbour wrote a book, which
Russell financed and more-or-less co-authored, in 1877 called _Three
Worlds and the Harvest of this World_, in which all these ideas were
set forth in detail. After a doctrinal split, Barbour changed many of
these ideas and went off into obscurity. Russell began publishing
_Zion's Watch Tower_ magazine in 1879 to more fully expound these
ideas, which included one that "the Harvest" began in 1874 and would
end in 1914 when God would destroy the Gentile nations. Russell also
referred to this period as "the day of the Lord" and "the day of
Jehovah." Over the course of time Russell modified his beliefs, as
various minor events he predicted did not occur, but he retained his
belief that "the Gentile times" would end in 1914.
In 1914, WWI broke out and Russell took this as a sign that all of his
hopes were fulfilled. Two years later he died, and the Watchtower
Society, under the direction of Joseph F. Rutherford, began making major
changes in doctrine and policy. Over the next thiry years, all of the
ideas Russell pinned to 1874 were changed to 1914, including the idea
that Christ returned invisibly. This last idea was not changed until
the year 1943. During this time the ideas about "the day of the Lord"
and "the day of Jehovah" changed a number of times, and I don't know
much about it. The notion remained that "the Gentile times" ended in
1914, and the "signs in sun, moon and stars" of Luke 21:25-28 began to
be seen at that time. They also applied Luke 21:29-33 as beginning in
1914, and pointed to the many problems mankind suffers from as proof.
It is this latter idea that was changed in 1993.
As you can tell I have done alot of study in this area and I could go
on for hours. I can simply wrap it up with:
The Scriptures have not yet been fulfilled.
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