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I created this page to give me an alternative place to share my thoughts. My primary blog — also called, "Ruminations" — is located on another site, where I've posted since 2007.

One distinction about this page is that I hope to use it for both secular and spiritual things. God has gifted me in many skill sets — and has given me the privilege to learn from people across a diverse range of life experience; so I wanted to create a space where I could share some of what I've learned.


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The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

Watchtower Doctrines Inherited From Charles Taze Russell and Certain Other Adventists

Since the time of Charles Taze Russell the publications of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society - the parent organization of Jehovah's Witnesses - have stated publicly that they believe their understanding of God's Word to superior to the understanding of any and all other religious groups. Russell, and subsequently the witnesses have consistently alleged that their superior prophetic insight derives from direct divine revelation from Jehovah God. In their view, Jehovah communicates exclusively with the small remnant of older Witnesses - known collectively as the Faithful and Discreet Slave (class), of Matthew 24:45. In The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree, Bishop Johnson - a former Jehovah's witness of twenty-three years - argues that the Society's doctrines are NOT the product of divine revelation, but are consistent with similar doctrines taught by other Adventist groups, and might have actually been borrowed from Adventist sources known to Russell.

A look inside ...

The Society's practice of Date Setting and Time Chronology is the primary reason that causes many scholars to conclude that Jehovah's Witnesses should be considered "Adventists." Date setting was an important feature identifying the early Second Adventist Movement. But no Adventist group has a history of date setting as vivid as that of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. This practice can be traced back to the beginning, as the foregoing paragraphs will show. In a subsequent chapter we will follow the history of prophetic speculation back from the beginning of the Society's history down to modern times. For the moment, a few remarks are sufficient to describe how Russell "inherited" many - if not most - of his concepts regarding prophetic time from men who were leaders in the nineteenth century Adventist movement.

Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence was indeed Charles Taze Russell's own magazine, but it was certainly not his first publication. I have already mentioned that Russell published the pamphlet The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return, but three years before he started publishing the Watch Tower, Russell had also become the Assistant Editor of a very important Second Adventist journal, Herald of the Morning. (Originally, called Midnight Cry and Herald of the Morning. Actually, "Midnight Cry" was not dropped from the name until the September 1875 issue ) This position came about as a result of his acquaintance with its editor, Nelson H. Barbour.

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