This page contains links that address many of the statements in the book “The Facts on Jehovah’s Witnesses” (1988 edition, Harvest House Publishers), by John Ankerberg and John Weldon. While we are not associated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the book has much to do with Charles Taze Russell, and what he taught, and what the Bible Students believe, and many things are presented as “facts” when they are not actually “facts”. Some other matters of doctrine also need to be addressed, as such pertains to Russell and the Bible Students. It is from this standpoint only that we address what is in the book. We do not defend the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” organization, although members of that organization may find the links provided to beneficial.
Was the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” organization begun by Charles Taze Russell, as implied on the book?
No, Russell actually preached against the kind of authoritarianism that the JW leadership has assumed.
Was Russell the Founder of What is Now Jehovah’s Witnesses?
A brief examination concerning Martin and Klann’s statement that Charles Taze Russell was the founder of what is now the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Reply to: “Charles Taze Russell founder of Jehovah’s Witnesses was a Mason”
A reply to a video that uses several forms of misrepresentations in connection with the false allegation that Russell was a Mason.
Russell — Founder of the JWs?
Does Russell’s Presidency of the Watch Tower mean that he is founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization?
Russell Was Not the Founder of the JWs
A response to some claims being made concerning Russell and the “Jehovah’s Witnesses”
Founder of a False Religion?
This is a response to some false claims being made concerning Charles Taze Russell.
Is Russell Responsible for the JWs?
It is being claimed that if it not been for Charles Taze Russell, there would never have been any “Jehovah’s Witnesses, and from this, it is concluded that Russell is responsible for the creation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization.
Did Russell obtain his beliefs from the Seventh-Day Adventists?
No, no evidence supports that Russell obtained his beliefs from the Seventh-Day Adventists. He did learn the basics of scriptural doctrine from many “Second Adventists”, but not from the Seventh-Day Adventists.
Did Russell believe in an “authoritarian leadership” such as exists with the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization?
No, he did not. Russell actively preached against such authoritarianism, recognizing only the authority of the Bible.
See the searches of Russell’s writings for the phrase “only authority” and some other related links.
Did Russell write a “a new Bible” which he claimed “came from God”?
No, he did not. The Studies in the Scriptures were designed to do just what the title suggests, offer studies of the Holy Bible. Russell never claimed, and even disclaimed, that any of his own conclusions presented in those studies were inspired by God, any direct revelation from God, or that they were infallible. He sought to distinguish his own conclusions from the Bible itself.
Ankerberg and Weldon cite as proof The Finished Mystery, page 387, as cited by Edmond Gruss in his book. The Finished Mystery, however, was not written by Russell, nor did Russell have any control of claims made in that book.
Nevertheless, when we look on page 387, we do not find the claim stated as that which was presented. What we read on page 387 of The Finished Mystery is this statement:
Pastor Russell paid no attention to the words or opinions of man, however learned or pious, whether men of modern days or the “early fathers” of postapostolic times. He listened to the word direct from the mouth of God, spoken by holy men of old as moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21.)
There is nothing wrong in this statement, and this should be attitude of any true Christian, to listen to the word direct from the mouth of God, spoken by holy men of old as moved by the Holy Spirit, that is, the words of God in the Bible itself. What this is saying is that Russell listened to the Bible rather than the words and opinions of men. We agree with this; this was indeed what Russell endeavored to do. It is what Russell proclaimed all Christians should do.
At the time of this writing, we do not have Edmund Gruss’ book, Apostles of Denial: An Examination and Exposé of the History, Doctrines, and Claims of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. We can only say that if Gruss is making the claim that it states that Russell was claiming to have received the Studies in the Scriptures through direct revelation from God, such a claim is not true.
Ankerberg and Weldon then state that Russell claimed that his writings, the Studies in the Scriptures, were “necessary for properly understanding the Bible.” This would seem to contradict the thought just presented that Russell had written a new Bible. Why would there be any concern about “properly understanding the Bible” if Russell’s works were themselves a “new Bible”?
Do the leaders of Watchtower Society of today “claim the same authority” that Russell claimed?
Actually,the Watchtower leaders of today claim authority that Russell never claimed, and they have usurped a form of authority that Russell actually preached against. Furthermore, to enforce that authority, they have rejected the good news of great joy for all the people that Russell preached, and replaced it with bad tidings of great woe of eternal destruction for most of the people. Both in organization and gospel, the JWs are preaching almost the opposite of what Russell taught.
The Rock-Built Church
Sermon by Russell that shows that he did not believe in the JW kind of authoritarian organization.
The True Church
Sermon by Russell: This sermon proves that Russell did not believe in sectarianism, and, while not condoing denominationalism, he believed that there could be Christians in all of the denominations that profess to be Christian. As one can see by reading this, Russell certainly did not believe in an organization such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses have today, which they style “Jehovah’s organization.”
A Statement from Morton Edgar Regarding Rutherford’s “Organization.”
This statement includes Morton Edgar’s description of Rutherford’s new organization as compared with what Russell taught.
Did Russell claim that he was “inspired by God”?
No, search as one may through the works of Russell, you will not find any place that he says that he was “inspired by God.” Some present some things he said which they twist to make what he said mean other than what he was saying, but Russell never once claimed to be inspired of God; indeed, he many times stated that he was not a prophet and that his writings were not infallible.
Did Russell teach that he or the Watch Tower is “God’s sole channel” on the earth?
No. This teaching did not come from Russell. Ankerberg and Weldon refer to Frederick W. Franz’s book, Crisis of Conscience, which discusses this matter. However, long before Franz wrote his book, several authors amongst the Bible Students showed the fallacy of this argument.
See (we do not necessarily agree with all conclusions given by these authors):
The Grace of Jehovah (A Dawn Publication)
Did Russell teach that “divine guidance only comes through the Watchtower”?
No, he did not. While Russell believed that the Watch Tower Society of his day was being especially used by God, we have not found anything that he said that would mean that divine guidance only comes through the Watch Tower. Indeed, we find many statements that would indicate otherwise.
Did Charles Taze Russell claim that the Watchtower Society to be on the only organization on through which God works?
No, this cannot be found in his writings; this was a teaching introduced later.
Did Charles Taze Russell prohibit others from participation in military service?
No, Russell never made any such prohibition. At the same time Russell presented the scriptural argument as to why a Christian should have no interest in the wars of this world. Russell left each Christian, however, to decide for himself on this matter. CLICK HERE to search Russell’s works on mostholyfaith.com using Yahoo’s search engine. When looking at the list of links given, please note if the words are actually those of Russell, or if they are of someone else, as not all that appears in the results are actually words of Russell.
Did Russell prohibit saluting the flag?
While Russell was alive, this was not an issue. There were no laws in the United States (or any other country that we know of) that required anyone to salute or pledge allegiance to the flag. It was not until after World War I that such an idea became compulsory in the United States. At any rate, like with military service, we feel sure that Russell would not have set forth any prohibition concerning such, and would have allowed all to make up their own minds regarding such. Russell did present the scriptural arguments that a Christian should remain neutral toward the world’s affairs, and that the Christian’s allegiance to God is superior to that of man. CLICK HERE to search Russell’s works on mostholyfaith.com through Yahoo for the word “allegiance”.
Did Russell prohibit celebrating holidays?
As with other similar issues, Russell did not try to usurp authority over others in such matters. He did not set forth a lot of rules for others to follow, as we now find amongst the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Likewise, we do not believe that God has given anyone on earth such authority to lay down such rules. Nevertheless, we do believe that each Christian should consider many scriptural principles, especially as related to idolatry, that may be involved in the many celebrations.
Did Charles Taze Russell believe that Christianity “is an apostate religion”?
Absolutely not! Russell taught: “Christianity was established by Jesus and His Apostles. The unbelief of few or many cannot change Christianity.” (Watch Tower, September 15, 1915, page 279) At the same time, Russell rejected man’s creeds and man’s self-assumed “orthodoxy” that are taught to represent Christianity, but fail to be in full harmony with Biblical Christianity.
Did Charles Taze Russell teach that Christians should hate their enemies so as to desire them to be eternally destroyed without any benefit from the ransom sacrifice of Jesus?
Russell actually taught that we should pray for the coming time when Satan will abyssed and that our enemies will then be blessed by God’s Kingdom. Russell taught that every man, woman and child would be blessed because the ransom for all.
CLICK HERE to search Russell’s writings for the words “hate” and “enemies”.
CLICK HERE to search Russell’s works for the words “love” and “enemies”.
Did Charles Taze Russell teach that the Christian God is “the devil himself”?
No, he did not.
Ankerberg and Weldon give as reference for proof of this something alleged to have been written by Russell on page 410 of the book, The Finished Mystery. This was not, however, written by Russell, thus this is falsely being attributed Russell. Nevertheless, when reads what is actually said there, we still do not find any statement that the Christian God is “the devil himself.” The book speaks of the trinity “god” that the clergy have set up, as being Baal, as “the devil himself.” While we doubt that Russell would have ever stated it in this manner, the idea of a triune God, and the idea that God would enforce an eternity of suffering beyond human description on his creatures, is not expressive of the Biblical Christian God at all; it is indeed of the devil, and the dogma negates the purpose of Jesus’ obedience to the only true Christian God as revealed in the scriptures. The dogma surrounding the trinity doctrine actually negates and replaces the Biblical basis of the redemption in Christ.
We wrote something on this for our WordPress site on Charles Taze Russell:
Did Charles Taze Russell teach that Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 3:14,15), is one person, and not three persons?
Yes, he did. Indeed, this is the way the Bible presents the only true God all the way through the Bible; not once do we find any reference at all that describes Jehovah as more than one person. A comparison of Exodus 3:14,15 and Deuteronomy 18:15-19 with Acts 2:2,3 and Hebrews 1:1,2 show that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is presented as one person.
Do “Christians” believe that “the one true God exists eternally as three persons”?
We can say that there is a very large sect of Christianity that believes this, although it should be apparent that the Christian authors of the Bible had no knowledge of such an idea. The Christian Bible writers never once expressed the idea that “the only true God exists eternally as three persons.” The sect of Christianity that teaches this had to call upon their imagination and add many assumptions to any scripture in order to have the scripture appear to support the added-on dogma.
1 Timothy 2:5,6
Ankerberg and Weldon give this verse as proof that there is only one true God.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
1 Timothy 2:6 who gave himself as a ransom for all; the testimony in its own times.
The scripture at 1 Timothy 2:5 is indeed a very good verse to show that there is only one true God; however, if this verse proves there is only one true God, who is that only one true God that is given in this verse? Jesus is not included there as the only true God, but only the God and Father of Jesus is spoken of in the as the “one God”. Thus, these verses proves the only true God to be one person. The word “God” is used only of one person, not three persons. In fact, Jesus is excluded in these verses from the being the “one God”, since Jesus is described as the mediator between the “one God” and man.
There is One God
Deuteronomy 4:35; Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10
Deuteronomy 4:35 – To you it was shown, that you might know that Yahweh he is God; there is none else besides him. — World English
Deuteronomy 6:4 – Hear, Israel: Yahweh is our God; Yahweh is one. — World English
Isaiah 43:10 – You are my witnesses, says Yahweh, and my servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. — World English
Ankerberg and Weldon present Deuteronomy 4:35; 6:4 and Isaiah 43:10 in reference to the “one God” in 1 Timothy 2:5. Actually, putting these scriptures together with 1 Timothy 2:5 proves that Jesus is not Yahweh, or a person of Yahweh, and that Yahweh is the “only God” spoken of in 1 Timothy 2:5, who is presented in the latter verse, not as three persons, but as one person.
1 Corinthian 8:5
1 Corinthians 8:5 For though there are things that are called “gods,” whether in the heavens or on earth; as there are many “gods” and many “lords;”
1 Corinthians 8:6 yet to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we to him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him.
Paul, by his words recorded in 1 Corinthians 8:6, identifies God, not as more than one person, but only as one person, “the Father”; Jesus, although mentioned, is not included in “God” in this verse. In context, Paul says that not only are those that are called gods and lords (especially idol-gods — Leviticus 19:4; 1 Chronicles 15:26; Galatians 4:8), but also that there are many gods and lords (angels, rulers, judges, etc. See our study: Hebraic Usage of the Title for “God”); in reference to the church, however, there is only one God, and that one God is identified only as one person, and not three persons, and Jesus is identified as the one Lord (appointed so by the one the God — Acts 2:36; 4:11,12; 5:31; Matthew 28:18; John 3:35; 5:22,27; Ephesians 1:17,20-22) of the church. A truly grand testimony that Paul does not view the “God” of a Christian as being more than one person, and that he did not believe that Jesus is included in the “one God” of the church.
See also the study:
One God, One Lord
Jesus, in his prayer, identified his God and Father (Ephesians 1:3, 1 Peter 1:3), not as being one of three persons of the only true God, but as being the “only true God”, and then Jesus excludes himself from being that only true God by stating that he had been sent by that “only true God,” his God and Father. Another excellent scripture that shows that Jesus did not present the only true God as three persons, nor did he ever present himself at being that only true God, or a person of that only true God.
See our study:
Did Jesus Really Say that the Father is the Only True God?
2 Corinthians 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. — World English.
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. — King James Version.
Paul does not identify “God” as three persons, but as only one person; Paul does not identify Jesus as “God”, nor as a person of “God”. He does not identify the Father as one person of “God”, as though there were any others who are also persons of “God”.
Colossians 1:3 is another very good scripture that shows that Paul did not view the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as three persons. “We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, praying always for you.” (World English) Paul identifies “God” not as three persons, but as one person, and he identifies Jesus as separate from “God”, not as a person of “God”.
“And that every tongue would confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God, the Father.” — World English.
Paul does not say here that “the Father” is one person of God, and that Jesus is another person of God; he identifies only one person as “God”, and he identifies Jesus as “Lord”. Jesus is made “lord” by the unipersonal God; Jesus is not a person of “God”. — Acts 2:36; 4:11,12; 5:31; Matthew 28:18; John 3:35; 5:22,27; Ephesians 1:17,20-22; Philippians 2:9.
1 Peter 1:2
Aaccording to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied. — World English.
Peter does not describe the Father here as being one person of the three persons of “God”; he describes “God” unipersonally as “the Father” and, rather than describe Jesus as person of “God”, Peter distinguishes Jesus from “God”. The idea that the Father is one three persons of God has to imagined, assumed, added to, and read into, what Peter stated.
Does this scripture mean that Jesus was actually what the Jews’ cause to kill him ascribes him to be, a sinful man making himself equal to God? Certainly not!
Answered Thomas and he said to him: The Lord of me, and the God of me! — Westcott and Hort Interlinear.
Was Thomas here giving glory of Jesus as being the Most High standing there before him? We have no reason to think so.
Because Thomas used the definite article twice (which is not needed in Koine Greek if only one person is addressed — See John 20:17), some view the way that Thomas expressed himself as first directed toward Jesus as the Lord of Thomas, and then to the Father as the God of Thomas. If Thomas was actually address Jesus when he used the Greek word (usually transliterated as THEOS), then rather than to imagine, assume, and add to this that Jesus must be a person of the only true God, in keeping with what has been revealed in the scriptures, we should conclude that Thomas was addressing Jesus his “mighty one”, not as the Most High.
See our study:
Does Isaiah 9:6 state that Jesus is a person of the Most High?
Isaiah 9:6 is found as Isaiah 9:5 in the JPS: – For a child is born unto us, a son is given unto us; and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called Pele-joez-el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom.
There is no mention in Isaiah 9:6 about the Messiah as being one of three alleged persons of God; nor does anything there say that Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Any such thought has to be imagined, assumed, added to, and read into, what is stated. Most translators, however, have ignored that only a singular name is being referred to, and not a series of names. The singular name, although the name is that of the Messiah, actually describes the God and Father of the Messiah. — Ephesians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3.
See our studies:
Does John 1:1 refer to Jesus as the only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
No, it doesn’t. The Greek word for “God” is used there of the Logos, but the context and the rest of Bible demonstrates that it was not being used of the Logos to mean “the only true God”.
See our studies:
Doesn’t Romans 9:5 show that Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
No, it does not. The context shows that Paul is showing the works of the unipersonal God “through Christ Jesus”. Paul continuously uses the word “God” in reference to the God and Father of Jesus. — Ephesians 1:3.
See our study:
Romans 9:5 – Who is Over All
Does Titus 2:13 tell us that Jesus is the God of Abraham, or that Jesus is a person of the God of Abraham?
No. Evidence supports that the text has been altered from what Paul actually wrote to Titus; nevertheless, even in the popular text, the use of “God” by Paul would not have been out of harmony with the thought that Jesus is our Mighty Savior, without assuming that it means that Jesus is the God of Abraham, and/or to further assume that Jesus is a person of the God of Abraham.
See our study:
The Great God
2 Peter 1:1
Doesn’t 2 Peter 1:1 say that Jesus is our God, and thus we have reason to imagine and assume that Jesus is the God of Abraham, and further to imagine and assume that Jesus is a person of the God of Abraham?
No. Before one can imagine and assume that Peter was saying that Jesus is the God of Abraham, and before imagining and assuming that Jesus is a person of the God of Abraham, one has to first imagine and assume that Peter meant his words to be understood as referring to Jesus as “our God”. Not all translators would imagine and assume that Peter is referring to Jesus as “our God”. See our study:
John 14:13 (John 15:26)
Does John 14:13 (Evidently this was meant to be John 15:26) give one reason to imagine and assume that God’s Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) is a person of “God” to whom the Holy Spirit belongs?
No, the Greek masculine is used in John 15:26 in order to harmonize with the Greek masculine word of Comforter, which is being used in connection with God’s Holy Spirit. Usually, the Greek uses neuter forms in connection with the Greek word for spirit. There is nothing in the verse that gives us any reason to imagine and assume that God’s Holy Spirit is a person, and then to further imagine and assume that the God’s Holy Spirit is one three persons, all of whom are then imagined and assumed to be the one God of Abraham.
See our study:
Doesn’t the Bible refer to God’s Holy Spirit as “eternal”, thus that it possesses one of the attributes that is being alleged to belong only to God, and thus from this we need to imagine and assume that God’s Holy Spirit is a person of the Eternal God?
No, in Hebrews 9:14 we do find the expression “eternal spirit”, but there is nothing at there that offers any hint at all that the “spirit” being referred to is a person, much less that the “spirit” is a person of God. “God” is presented in Hebrews 9:14, not at three persons, but as one person.
It is being claimed that God’s Holy Spirit “is … God” and Acts 5:3,4 is cited as proof of such. Actually, there is nothing in Acts 5:3,4 that says that the Holy Spirit that belongs to God is God. There is certainly nothing there that says that God’s Holy Spirit is a person of God to whom the Holy Spirit belongs.
See our study:
Do the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19 designate the only true God (John 17:3) as three persons? No, we find nothing there of the sort. See our studies:
2 C0rinthians 13:14 – Is “God” Presented as Three Persons?
Actually, no, “God” is presented as one person.
See our study:
The Bible teaches the one true God exists eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
Ankerberg and Weldon make the above claim on page 13, stating that from verses given (referred to above) “it is clear” that the Bible teaches such. Actually, there is absolutely nothing at all “clear” or otherwise in the verses given that shows that the Bible teaches the one true God exists eternally as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The verses consistently present the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as one person, and never once does the Bible present the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as more than one person. As shown in our studies, “God” in the verses given, when in reference to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is always referring to one person, the God and Father of Jesus.
Ankerberg tell us that incomplete comprehension by man concerning what he believes to be truth (the trinity) is not a reason to reject what the Bible teaches. We agree that man’s incomplete comprehension is not a reason to reject any truth that the Bible teaches, but the Bible does not teach the trinity doctrine, thus this is irrelevant. Rejection of the trinity is not due to allowing human reason to judge God’s Word, but it from allowing God’s Word to be found true, and rejecting what man, by use of human imagination, has to add to and read into God’s Word to make God’s Word appear to support what man has imagined to be truth. Since the Bible never, not even once, presents the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as more than one person, and since such a thought has to imagined, assumed, added to, and read into, any scripture thought to teach such, the idea that the only true God is more than one person is therefore unscriptural. Not only this, it contradicts the very basis of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus as revealed in the Bible, and negates the role Jesus fulfilled while in the days of his flesh, all of which is revealed in the Bible. The evidence of scripture should force any who would submit to the scriptures that the only true God — the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — exists as only one person, separate and distinct from His son.
Ankerberg and Weldon present a series of scriptures for which they make the bold statement “that assuming that God is not three persons makes it impossible to understand” these passages of scripture. First of all, the default assumption, or reasoning, is not to assume that God is three persons, but rather that God is one person, for that is the way He is presented throughout the Bible. But usually, the trinitarian apologists make it appear the other way around.
However, one does not have to inject triune God theology into any of hese scriptures in order to understand them. Indeed, injection of the triune God assumption into some things said in these scriptures seems to add confusion to the scriptures. We present the scriptures below and places online where we have examined the scriptures.
Matthew 28:19 – See our discussions on this verse:
2 Corinthians 1:21,22 – See our discussion regarding these verses:
2 Corinthians 13:14 – See our discussion:
Ephesians 2:18 – See:
Ephesians 3:11-16 – See:
More to follow, God willing; check back later…