Sunday, February 14, 2016

Temporary Post

We're combining parts of several chapters into one. This is work in progress, unfinished, and it will change. Don't repost it anywhere. Don't rely on it. However, I want you to see where we are going, what current work is. 

The Russell myth is that the Watch Tower movement was Adventist. We show in this chapter the beliefs and denominational origins of Watch Tower evangelists. You will note that they were not Adventists.

I'll take this down in a day or so. If you copy it for personal use or to further our research, please do not share it off this blog.

New Workers Enter the Field

            Mostly ignored by historians are adherent’s the efforts to spread the message through the religious press. Finding examples from the period before The Plan of the Ages was published is difficult. Most believers addressed doctrine and did not reference Russell or his associates or any of their publications. This is not surprising since affiliation was fluid and loose. Many – most in this period – who read and circulated Zion’s Watch Tower saw sectarian organization as a “mark of Babylon.”
            An article by G. W. Cone entitled “Is Christ on the Throne of David” appeared in the November 30, 1882, issue of American Christian Review, a Disciples newspaper not generally read by One Faith or Adventist believers. A copy was passed on to John B. Cox of Crawfordsville, Indiana, and he wrote a lengthy reply. His review was published in the January 4, 1883, issue. He refuted Cone’s contention that the kingdom promises were fulfilled during Jesus’ lifetime, referencing the Emphatic Diaglott’s rendering of Colossians chapter one and citing an many other verses to prove future, literal fulfillment. He concluded by saying: “We have an abundance of evidence to show that Christ is not yet seated on the throne of David, but is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on High, and in the fullness of time will descend from heaven and take the Throne of David and rule the nations of the earth.”
            A debate followed with Cone asserting Whitbian views and Cox reaffirming pre-millennialism. In the February 1, 1883, issue, Cox focused on the earthly nature of Christ’s kingdom: “It will at once be seen that if the Church is the Kingdom, then the Kingdom is flesh and blood. This theory of the Church-Kingdom is contrary to teachings of the apostle Paul.”
            Substituting ridicule for scriptural reasoning, Cone wrote a blustering reply which filled nearly the entire front page of the February 15th issue. He sneeringly referred to the Millenarian (and Watch Tower) conception of Christ’s kingdom as the “imaginary kingdom established in Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital” and the twelve apostles as the cabinet. He assigned cabinet posts to the various apostles. The editors of the Review tired of the debate, but Cox was allowed one last reply which was published in the March 29, 1883, issue. Cox refocused the debate on the Bible’s message. “The kingdom of God and of his Christ is too sacred and important a subject for us to indulge in joviality,” he wrote. Mildly rebuking Cone for resorting to ridicule, Cox restated Millenarian belief: 

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