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HOW THE WATCHTOWER GOT STARTED

Pastor Russell explains the history that led up to the starting of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (R5909 : page 170)

HARVEST GATHERINGS AND SIFTINGS

MANY are the inquiries relative to the truths presented in the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and THE WATCH TOWER, as to whence they came and how they developed to their present symmetrical and beautiful proportions. Were they the results of visions? Did God in some supernatural way grant the solution of these hitherto hidden mysteries of His Plan? Is the author of these writings more than an ordinary being? Does he claim supernatural wisdom or power? Or how comes this revelation of God’s Truth?

No, dear friends; we claim nothing of superiority; nor do we aspire to exalt ourself in the estimation of our brethren of the Household of Faith, except in the sense that the Master urged it, saying, “Whosoever will be chief among you let him be your servant.” (Matthew 20:27.) Our position amongst men of the world and of the Nominal Church, is certainly far from exalted; for we are everywhere spoken against. We are fully content, however, to wait for exaltation, until the Lord’s due time. (1 Peter 5:6.) In the words of the Apostle, we therefore answer, “Why look ye upon us, as though by our own power we had done these things?” We also are a man of like passions with yourselves, of like infirmities and frailties, earnestly striving by overcoming many besetments, discouragements, etc., to press along the line toward the Prize of our High Calling, and claiming only, as a faithful student of the Word of God, to be an index finger, as we have previously expressed it, to help you trace for yourselves upon the sacred page the wonderful Plan of God–no less wonderful to us, we assure you, than to yourselves.

No, the truths we present, were not revealed in visions and dreams or by God’s audible voice; nor were they revealed all at once, but gradually, especially since 1870, and particularly since 1880. This present unfolding of Truth is not due to human ingenuity or acuteness of perception, but to the simple fact that God’s due time has come; and if we did not speak, and no other agent could be found, the very stones would cry out.

We give the following history, not only because we have been urged to give a review of God’s leadings in the path of light, but especially because we believe it to be needful that the truth be modestly told, in order that misapprehensions and prejudicial misstatements may be disarmed, and that our readers may see all along the way the Lord has helped and guided us. In so far as the names and views of others who have parted company with us may be associated with this history, we shall endeavor to bring forward only such points as are necessary to an understanding of our position and of the Lord’s leadings. Nor can we name all the little points of Divine favor to which was tested, prayers were answered, etc., remembering that our Master and the early Church left no such example of boasting faith, but admonished otherwise, saying, “Hast thou faith, have it to thyself.”

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10 comments to HOW THE WATCHTOWER GOT STARTED

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Jacqueline!For women I suggest the following:Don’t join the ministry school because,unlike the Bible reading,most of the material is assigned to you so you may end up saying things you are unsure of or just plain don’t believe.Also do a lot of personal study and prayer,especially for insight, guidance and help to see and understand truth through the holy spirit.Stick to placing tracts that you know are in line with true Bible teaching,oh, I forgot to mention Bible studies(this applies to men as well)only use books that direct the student to Jesus christ….the JW’s have a couple of pretty good ones, I like these two: “The Greatest Man Whoever Lived” and “Come Be My Follower”.

    • Jacqueline

      So Anonymous let’s see. What you have just given to both brothers and sister is a recipe for FADING. You see there is another element at work when your brain wakes up and you realize that there are things really wrong here! A 47 year old governing body member and nine other money hungry men are making up stuff as they go. Scriptural support for what is said is non existent!
      The HOLY SPIRIT OF JEHOVAH SAYS come on out! We forget that this is about the will of God.
      A person will soon realize they have a formalism of religion (2Tim 3:1-5) They are not buying out the opportune time, they are wasting their time!
      You start to burst inside as you can’t hold back telling others that you by the help of the Spirit can now understand this scripture. You can grasp the will of Jesus and realize you must be a witness of him. This organization is holding you back now. You are ripping at the seams of your vocal cords, you absolutely must speak!
      That is how I and others started out, we also stopped commenting as the right words came out, we spoke truth from the scriptures. You are wasting your time and we only have so much.
      So I think that is a great strategy to start your fade. Thank you for your imput on this in a well laid out format for some don’t know how to get under the radar. Jacqueline

      • Anonymous

        Jacqueline, you’re absolutely right! After having read the SITS and I’m a regular reader of the DAWN magazine and have many of their other publications….I am indeed “bursting a the seems”! My wife and grand kids are the main things keeping me in!

        • Jacqueline

          Anonymous, I understand and family is very important and just as the servant was excused when he supported the king as he bowed to his gods (servant got on knees also) you and others are excused I believe also. Jehovah is a reader of hearts and minds. You were right on when you talked about the Christian making the adjustments for themselves. It takes a village to raise a child (grand). So for you to disturb your family unit when your heart is settled to me does not make sense. In fact it requires more strength and you might just be able to help someone else by not being Disfellowshiped. My not being read from the platform allows everyone to talk to me and visit in my home and me in theirs. Sometimes you have to outfox the fox. I spoke for a while with Barbara Anderson today and learn about the rebranding that the governing body is doing. JW.ORG on their one building left in New York dumbs down the name watchtower and Jehovah witnesses as those names are associated with disdain in the eye of the public. They will get a new unaware crowd this way. They won’t realize this is the old JW after 30 years. It is a business plan and as all non religious organizations do from time to time (like JC Penney) they re brand and re-represent themselves. You are doing fine and just posting your suggestions have probably helped many as we have thousands of visitors monthly. Help us by commenting on here, someone that doesn’t comment just watch and read might just respond. You are certainly welcome and take care of your family. I finally let go and now my family calls me more than they did before I just accepted their shunning. They saw that my head has not started to spin around and no green pea soup is coming out of my mouth so it is safe to come near me. LOL Take care. Jacqueline

          BTW: You can get a 6 month free subscription to the herald mag. http://www.heraldmag.org/

          • Anonymous

            Thank you for the encouraging words Jacqueline! You’re right about me not being too hasty and get df’d. When I go out in service, I insist on calling myself a “Bible student” rather than a “Jw” and as mentioned before I emphasize Jesus as our mediator and not men.

            • Jacqueline

              Anonymous, you trek on, one day you will pass this trial, this test of your faith and Endurance. Pass it and don’t stand condemned because you have to do it inside . Daniel and the three hebrew boys did most of their work and trials inside of Babylon. God is training you and remember the teacher is often silent when a test is going on but always in the room looking around for a dire situation where she might have to step in and brings things back under his control. When it gets tough, as it will, we are here checking for your cry for an ear or helping hand.

              In Christian Love, Jacqueline

              PS: Anonymous, you seem to know that worship is about God not us. John was isolated on Patmos when he found a door open and he saw worship in Heaven. There was not prayer or supplication but the worship and praise of Jehovah. So you are getting in shape thru adversity to learn that you must worship him by witnessing for Jesus and singing with your wife praises to God. Remember 2 0r 3 and those at the Kingdom Hall are mostly like you doing it the best they can. It is the organization that stands in opposition to Jesus by directing praise to themselves. But you have more than 2 or 3 sitting with you that are striving for Jesus.

              • Anonymous

                Thanks for the encouragement Jacqueline, it really helped!

                • Jacqueline

                  You are welcome. I have to go to my family for a week to help with children as one parent will be out of town. Also they have a meeting with the CO today at KH. Don’t know what that is about but I am sure I am involved somehow. I respect all my family members rights to totally ignore me if they like. I am over the shunning thing and have such a full life that I really don’t have time to miss anyone. I visited everyone last month for 2 weeks and got it all out in the open. I spoke to many elders about my decision. It was sort of a good-bye as I no longer am letting witness little rules stay rent free in my head. It seems when I did this more than 30 relatives visited me at my accomodations and we had parties with music and dancing at least 5 nights. Relatives came from out of town when they heard I was visiting. I was in a vacant home, isolated as the only house in that block. At first I was afraid but relatives brought air mattresses and portable furniture and it was just a blessing. I had people at the home for 2 weeks. Elders visited me that would not have been able to if I stayed with a relative. So what seemed scary at first was the way the Spirit of Jehovah wanted it. A lot of conversations took place there that needed to be aired out. Those that took their stand against me did so and I extended my love to them and said see you on the flip side and call me if you need help. One of my sons came to make sure I was not abused in any way, but it was not necessary I told him as my mother’s children are civil and love each other. There are till almost 100 relatives still in but so many have just walked away I found and I was not the influence. Just thought I would tell you that it gets better with time. Now I can do other things and not have to attend functions of my relatives as much. Jacqueline.
                  PS: My spiritual life is very full now, not enough time in the day. And I never posted my experience but today I know relatives will come on and I wanted them to know that all is okay.

  • Anonymous

    How to be a happy Jw…..if you’re a male, don’t accept any priveleges except doing a public Bible reading,when you go out in service only place tracts that talk about things you know to be truly in the Bible, do a lot of personal study and prayer, if you comment make sure it’s from the Bible, if something is said from the platform that doesn’t make sense don’t believe until you’ve proved it to yourself. These are just a few things, I’ll post others later for women

    • Jacqueline

      Thanks anonymous I think what you have suggested in right on the money. Not everyone can, will or want to leave the witnesses. So making suggestions on how to be happy within their religion is helpful, I think. Thank you will wait to see what you suggest for women. Take Care. Jacqueline

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