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THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF PASTOR C.T. RUSSELL

This passage is taken from page 274 of the book, “Pastor C.T. Russell: Messenger of Millennial Hope”  which you can find by clicking this link.

Already in 1907, Pastor Russell had executed his Last Will and Testament, which was amended slightly the following year and once more in 1910.  Even earlier he had donated his considerable fortune, the copyrights of his books and all his personal possessions

to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, the parent organization which directed the work of the movement. The greater part of the five-page Will was, therefore, devoted to detailed instructions as to how he desired the work of the ministry to be conducted after his decease.

It was commonly under stood that in his life time the Pastor was filling the Scriptural office of “that Wise and Faithful Servant” and “the Seventh Messenger” to the church, for which there was no successor. Therefore, it was imperative for him to outline in detail how he desired the work to be directed in the event of his departure.

The Watch Tower journal, which dealt with the foundational matters of faith, doctrine and Christian living, was the primary concern addressed in his Will. In the Pastor’s mind, it was important

that the publication be placed under the supervision of not just one individual, but collectively in the hands of a group of competent brethren. Accordingly, he directed that a self-perpetuating Editorial Committee of five, the names of whom he supplied along with possible alternates, be set up to have full charge of the religious aspect of the work.

Only incidental reference was made to the Watch Tower corporation, which he considered the necessary legal arm to carry on the business end of the work.  For that purpose, he had already stipulated in its Charter that it would be under the supervision of a Board of Directors consisting of seven members.  These were to have full control of the affairs of the corporation, with the officers selected by the Board and responsible to it.  It was under stood by all that only in the Pastor’s life time would the President of the corporation (Pastor Russell) be able to appoint (technically, to elect) the Board of Directors, in that he was its founder and controlled the necessary voting shares to per form this responsibility.

Thus it was expressly to prevent any “spirit of ambition or pride or head ship” from developing after his demise that these safeguards were planned, both for the corporation and the journal, and specified in his Will and other documents.  Both in letter and in spirit, it was obvious that the Pastor did not desire nor anticipate that any one individual would succeed him or be placed in charge of the work.  But how differently would the actual events unfold from what he had purposed!  In the words of two observers close to the scene of action in those days:

“To have even surmised that there was an incipient apostasy in the midst of the directorate of the corporate structure … was unthinkable.  Yet, there it was, already to be revealed almost as soon as Pastor Russell had left these earthly scenes.”

Here is a link to the text of Pastor Russell’s 1907 Will

7 comments to THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF PASTOR C.T. RUSSELL

  • max

    To Anonymous and Humbleman, thank you for your trplies. All given a chance during the Millenniem. Maybe we will be neighbors living here on earth. It will be so exciting. Death and tears done away with. Can’t wait ,how about you two?

  • HUMBLEMAN

    Hi Bro Max. here are a few things to think about. Jesus was a Ransom for ALL 1 Timothy 2 v 6.. John 5 v 28-29 tells us ALL will be resurrected. when a person dies they die because of Adamic sin. so because Christ died for the whole world this means All people will be saved from Adamic death. Those who accept Christ during this Gospel age. have all ready been released from Adamic death they have passed from death to life and do not come under judgement as regards life and death john 5 v 24. how ever the house of God will be judged as to what rewards they will recive. now onto JUDGEMENT DAY. The bible tells us there will be a day in which God will judge Mankind. Acts 17 v 31 Matthew 10 v 15 Matthew 12 v 36 2 peter 3 v 7-8 to name a few. This day i believe is the great Day of Jehovah. there has been many days of Jehovah through out the bible Armageddon is also the day of Jehovah. but it is also a battle ON THAT GREAT DAY The great day being the 1000 years the day has to be long enough so that all the dead can be judged. now here is something that is very very important you have been taught by the WBTS that the parable of the sheep and the goats happens at the Battle of Armageddon. my Believe & the beliefs of the rest of the bible students is that this takes place over a 1000 year period. now this makes a big difference as to when it occurs because you have been told if you don’t do good to Christs brothers you will go to second death at Armageddon that my dear brother this is fear fear fear that has been instilled in 7.5 million people. have a good think about this and search the scriptures. when Christ comes at Armageddon he is coming to battle REV 19 v 11-21 at this point he is not sat on his Glorious throne this will take place after Armageddon at the Great white throne Judgement REV 20 v 11. this brings to mind the scripture where Jesus promised his disciples those who have stuck with him through trails will also judge the 12 tribes of Israel. Matthew 19 v 28. the 12 tribes picturing the world of mankind as they also will come under the new covenant. Jeremiah 31 v 31. Now we have concluded from the scriptures the Great white throne Judgement happens After Armageddon we can also conclude that Jesus promised his faithful they would also judge with him. Rev 20 v 4-6. Now lets look at Matthew 25 v 31 we can conclude that the son of man sits on his glorious throne once he has destroyed all the governments and abyssd satan. then in verse 46 it says the goats go to Everlasting cut off but the sheep Everlasting life. this sounds very much like Rev 20 v 11-15 the same period in time the world of mankind do not inherit the kingdom during this age the inherit it in the age to come. know you are probably thinking to your self but Matthew 25 says because they didn’t do Good to Christ brothers well Max i agree it does say that. but look at it this way Jesus is the Son of God. in Revelation 21 v 7 it says to those on earth .

    He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son

    once someone becomes a son of God they also become Christ brother.

    I really hope this helps you Max of anyone else who reads it. i am in no way saying this because i want to prove Jws wrong. i am genuinely saying this because i love all my brothers and sister. much christian love bro Humbleman 🙂

  • max

    To Peter K. and Anonymous;

    Thank you for the replies. Russell’s will. We must first establish that Jesus taught us to do what he himself did. His Father’s will! No one else’s. Pauls writings were inspired by Jehovah God. C.T. Russell’s were not. Also Paul inspired account did not do away with the previous writings of others before him. And there was nothing wrong in having people write after Paul was done. 2 Timothy by Paul was written in 65 C.E. John had 4 writings in 96 and 3 in 98 C.E.
    So thats leaves the question. When Jesus who is in charge, no one else, decides who will lead, and gives,or appoints over all his belongings, who did he go with? Will give three choices. JF Rutherford, Fh Robinson or Isaac Hoskins.
    AS we know the first has great increase and shows some left of the little flock but also has a great crowd from all the nations.
    The second went in 1925 and pursued universalism. The third Joined PBI, BUT LEFT THEM IN 1937 AND PASSED AWAY IN 1957. He has started Watchers of the Morning. So two are no longer there,one is.
    Now to desires all to get saved. “Because he has set a day in which he purposes to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed and he has furnished a quarantee to all men in that he had resurrected him from the dead.” Acts 17:31 IF THEY ARE ALL SAVED WHY HAVE A JUDGEMENT?

    • Anonymous

      Max, first of all these are not my words, but the apostle Paul said them under inspiration, therefore there must be a reason he said it in that manner and not the other way around. No one disputes that there won’t be a judgment, however, when this judgment is to be, is disputable. JWs believe that they are the only ones to live through Armageddon since they are the only ones that have the “truth” by means of their GB who is the FDS on earth today. But from what I’ve read in the scriptures I don’t think that is the case. Many scriptures indicate that knowledge of God is not something that will be made complete in this system. Again Paul states in 1 Cor. 8: 1-3 that those that think they know, don’t know as much as they should. He again reiterates this in 1 Cor.13:8-12. The apostle John seems to back up this thought in 1 John 3:2. The reason Satan is bound for a thousand years is, “to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended.” (Rev. 20:1-3 NIV) God knows us, as Paul stated, He knows what we would have been had not for the influence of Satan, He knows we are mere imperfect dust. Therefore, I believe, without being dogmatic, that ALL mankind will be given a chance during the Millennium, under Jesus’ reign to come to a complete knowledge of the real truth. Then those who accept will be the sheep that Jesus speaks of in the parable of Mat. 25: 31-46 and those who don’t accept will be the goats. I believe that this is what Paul had in mind when he said to Timothy in 1Tim 2:2-4,” that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants ALL people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

  • Anonymous

    Fran, you have it backwards; 1Tim 2:4 states,”who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” Doesn’t that make more sense?

  • Fran

    Nonsense. How did Jesus feel (when after dying and ascending to heaven) that it was Paul that spearheaded the preaching work? His fathers will was still being done (Gods will is that all men should come to an accurate knowledge of the truth and gain everlasting life) You seem to be holding Charles Taze Russell in large eteem.It feels like you are worshipping him, a mere man.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Fran – The Apostal Paul did not act in opposition to Jesus’ will, but J.F. Rutherford acted in opposition to brother russell’s legal will.

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