Before Herzl there was Russell. In 1895 Theodore Herzl published
Der Judenstaat and two years later organized the world's
First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland. Undoubtedly, Herzl
impacted the world Jewish community much more profoundly during
his brief and glorious career, but Charles Taze Russell was already
encouraging Jews to find a national home in Eretz Israel in 1879.
His was not a popular Christian message at the time. Most Christians were
then as now still trying to make Jews into Christians.
Bible Students today have followed Pastor Russell's legacy of enthusiastic,
non-proselytizing Zionism. However, at times due to inaccurate media coverage,
Bible Students have been wrongly confused with other Christian denominations
with their different beliefs and different agendas for the Jewish People.
These misrepresentations have been fed and repeated over the years by some
of the clergy, who -- quite frankly -- have been bent on tarnishing the
historical Zionist record of the Bible Students. This antagonism probably
is to be expected because Bible Students feel the Jewish People own a
separate destiny, unique and distinct from Christians. The other significant
difference is that while most Christians worship a three-in-one god, Bible
Students only worship one God -- "Hear O Israel! The LORD our God,
the LORD is One."
The following pages will hopefully clarify and document the historical
Zionist and non-proselytizing position of Bible Students. Bible Students
historically encouraged Jewish leaders to become Zionists even before
they dared to hope for the rebirth of the State of Israel. Furthermore,
as evidenced by current activities, Bible Students expect to remain
encouraging friends in an increasingly unfriendly world.
Christianity Becomes Churchianity
Was Christianity meant to conquer Judaism? Christianity was never meant
to be a world religion. The Greek word translated "church" in
Christian Scripture is ekklesia and means "that which is
called out." They are called out of the world from every nation
and people. They are an extreme minority called out of the world. In Jesus'
words, his church was to be a "little flock." Christianity was
not to conquer to world, but Christians were to be called out of the world.
But life for the Christian minority in the second century was brutally
cruel. The pagan religious leaders and civil rulers demanded allegiance
to their multiple gods. By the third century many Christian leaders felt
a need to compromise Christian doctrine to make Christians more acceptable
to the rulers of the Roman Empire. For starters, they embraced Plato's
"Immortality of the soul." There was also the urgent need for
multiple gods...The "trinity" soon became a hallmark of Christian
doctrine. Then Christians succeeded beyond their most extravagant hopes:
In the fourth century, Emperor Constantine declared Christianity the
religion of the Roman Empire! It did not matter it was for his own
political reasons, but Christians became a lot more comfortable in the
world. Thus, the Christian church ("that which is called out")
diverted from its basic definition. In no way could it be called a
When still a "little flock," Christians never claimed to be
the guardians of eternal salvation for all mankind. But through the
centuries following, the church's glorious reign over the nations was
written in blood. Historians call it the "Dark Ages" (although some
recent revisionism in history texts call those centuries in politically
correct language, the "Middle Ages"). The world church persecuted
any and all who rejected its claims -- whether Christian "heretics"
or Jews. Millions who were consigned to eternal damnation were then
supposedly justifiably tortured in this life. The Protestant Reformation
of the sixteenth century helped religious freedom very little. Very soon
the Protestant churches found it expedient to retain much of the
"Dark Age" dogmas, especially the trinity and eternal damnation
for all who rejected their gospel.
Bible Students Emerge
So entrenched were the creeds of the Protestant denominations that the
Age of Enlightenment did not impact their seminaries until the mid 1800s.
Then finally the dam broke. A tidal wave of infidelity swept over the
Christian world in the latter half of that century. Modernist theology
was born. The only response permitted within the precincts of conservatism
was to blindly defend the old creeds of the "Dark Ages." Something
had to be done.
Pastor Russell Founded the Bible Students
A return to the studying of the Bible itself emerged as the only solution.
In 1870 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, a Bible class for systematic Bible
Study was formed. Soon Charles Taze Russell was selected as its Pastor.
Gradually other earnest Christians were forming independent Bible classes
and Pastor Russell became the leader of thought and activity among these
congregations. In 1879 Zion's Watch Tower was formed --later known as the
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. (This organization is not to be mistaken
for the Jehovah's Witnesses who organized in 1931.)
Pastor Russell never claimed to originate Bible truths, but rather to
recover the truths held by the first century church. Wearied with the
Dark Age theories of Christendom, he inspired hope and faith in the hearts
of the masses. A prolific writer, his major accomplishment was a six-volume
series of systematic theology, Studies in the Scriptures. By 1909 this
series was one of the world's three most widely circulated works, surpassed
only by the Bible and The Chinese Almanac. "In American literature,
Mr. Russell stands first." 1
To thousands of congregations around the world, he was a beloved Pastor.
Tens of thousands of individuals were encouraged by hearing his
hope-inspiring lectures. Hundreds of thousands were greeted by his smiling
face as they weekly opened their local newspapers to read his faith-inspiring
sermons. In the last three years of his life some eight million people saw
and heard this dynamic speaker on film as Pastor Russell who introduced his
epic motion Picture, The Photo-Drama of Creation -- the crowning
feature of his ministry. Never before had sound and color been incorporated
into motion pictures. Pastor Russell broke all records in not only technology
but also in attendance which was consistently astronomical. But even more
important was the content of his encouraging message.
On October 31, 1916, newspaper headlines across the country shocked the
nation...Pastor Russell, the globe-trotting preacher on a transcontinental
speaking tour, finished his work. Pastor Russell was dead. An era of
excellence in the communication of Christian faith and hope had come to
an end. But clearly now, Christianity was no longer defined as the
Churchianity of the centuries.
Bible Students and the Jewish People
For nearly a century Bible Students have enjoyed a continuous reputation
documented as pro-Zionist, non-proselytizing friends of the Jewish People.
All segments of the Jewish community have taken notice of the Bible Students
and have joined in this documentation: Israeli government leaders, members
of the Knesset, former Soviet Refusniks, journalists, authors as well as
other secular, academic and religious leaders.
An unprecedented phenomenon occurred in the Jewish press back in 1910.
Anglo-Jewish newspapers and the Yiddish press carried articles by a
Christian minister! It happened to be the Bible Student -- Pastor Charles
Taze Russell. Thus began the litany of accolades of Bible Students by
Jewish molders of thought that has continued until now -- and the momentum
Bible Students' Record in the Christian Community
Bible Students are a small but international Christian fellowship. Yes,
small but very active. In fact, it is their code of activism -- complete
consecration to their ideals -- that keeps them small. But the Bible
Students do impact the Christian community. Bible Students continually
challenge false dogmas in particular, like the "trinity" and
"eternal damnation" -- for all who do not accept the Christian
message Before death.
The consequences of these two dogmas have been devastating for
the Jewish community. The trinity concept, three gods in one, of
course, incited the false accusation of deicide -- God killers! --
that Christians have leveled at the Jewish people. These two vicious
dogmas fanned the sparks of anti-Semitism into a blazing, fire that
burned down through the Christian era. During the Holocaust, many
Christians saw no problem with cooperating in that horrific slaughter
of six million Jews. What was their rationalization? God has already
damned Jews eternally.
Bible Students, however, have made some inroads. After a century of
aggressively challenging these two dogmas, many clergy and scholars in
a number of denominations no longer hold that non-Christians are eternally
lost. Although Bible Students have not similarly impacted the clergy on
the trinity issue, many of the laity in various denominations are
questioning this mind-boggling and hate-inciting dogma.
A Dual-Covenant God
People are what they believe. If a Christian believes his God will
eternally punish every Jew that refuses to come into the Christian
covenant, that Christian will react to that belief in one of two ways:
Either he will copy the hatred he attributes to his God and anti-Semitism
will justifiably follow -- or he will attempt to convert every Jew
possible to salvage him or her from a horrible fate.
Back in the 1880s Bible Students were the first Christian group to embrace
the dual-covenant concept. And we urge all Christians to realize that this
is the teaching of the Judeo-Christian Bible. God has a separate covenant
with the Jewish People that guarantees them a glorious destiny. He has a
different covenant with Christians. The problem is that most Christians
wrongly believe that the Jewish covenant has ended and the only other option
for salvation is for Jews to come into the Christian covenant.
Bible Students are gratified, though, to see that finally in the last
decade a few Protestant denominations have accepted the dual covenant
concept. For example, the 1996 Southern Baptist resolution to target
Jews for conversion was opposed by a small but vigorous minority within
the Southern Baptism Conference. Why? They had recently affirmed the
dual-covenant concept and formed a semi-independent alliance called the
"Alliance of Baptists." 2 The vast majority of Christian
churches, however, owes the Jewish people a public apology for the vicious
persecution of the Jewish People down through the Christian era -- including
the Holocaust. These crimes of anti-Semitism in addition to their other
inflammatory beliefs are the direct result of the failure to recognize the
Early Advocates of Zionism
Bible Students were the first to appreciate and act upon the commission of
Isaiah 40:1: "Comfort, oh comfort My people." (TANAKH, Jewish
Publication Society) And they took this commission very seriously. In 1891
Charles Russell, the Pastor of Bible Students congregations around the world,
proposed to Baron Rothschild and Baron Hirsch a practical plan for Zionism
that involved the purchasing of all government lands (lands not held by
private owners) in Palestine from the impoverished Ottoman Empire of Turkey.
(Years later Herzl made similar proposals). Pastor Russell prefaced his
proposal with the prediction of a massive exodus of Jews from Russia and
Eastern Europe. As he predicted, history records over 3 million Jews
emigrated from Russia and Eastern Europe by 1924.
Pastor Russell closed his proposal as follows: 3
But please note, my dear Sir, that the sacred Scriptures predict the
return to Palestine, and not a further wandering to the ends of the earth --
to America or elsewhere. And, furthermore, It is my humble opinion that
Israel will find no rest for the sole of his foot until he finds it in the
land of promise; and I pray you therefore, not to waste your efforts in
assisting emigration elsewhere, but concentrate them in the direction
where God has indicated success. God bless you.
In 1910 Pastor Russell received the following unprecedented letter from
a committee of Jewish leaders: 4
Jewish Mass Meeting
September 20, 1910
Pastor C. T. Russell, Brooklyn. N. Y.
Dear Sir: Your sympathetic interest in the Jewish people for
years past has not escaped our notice. Your denunciations of
the atrocities perpetrated against our race in the name of
Christianity has added to our conviction that you are a sincere
friend. Your discourse on "Jerusalem and Jewish Hopes" has
struck a responsive chord in the hearts of many of our people.
Still we doubted for a time if any Christian minister could
really be interested in a Jew as a Jew and not merely from a
hope of proselyting him. It is because of this feeling that
some of us request you to make a public statement respecting
the nature of your interest in our people and we desire you to
know that the statement you did make was very satisfactory. In
it you assured us that you are not urging Jews to become Christians
and join any of the sects or parties of Protestants or Catholics.
That statement, Pastor Russell, has been widely published in the
Jewish journals. We feel, therefore, that we have nothing to fear
from you as a race. On the contrary, in that statement you mentioned
that the foundation of your interest in our people is built upon
your faith in the testimonies of our Law and the messages of our
Prophets. You may well understand how surprised we are to find a
Christian minister acknowledging that there are prophecies of the
Bible still unfulfilled, which belong to the Jew and not to the
Christian, and that these prophecies, according to your studies,
are nearing a fulfillment of momentous interest to our Jewish race
and, through us as a people, to the nations of the world.
These things, Pastor Russell, have led to the formation of a Jewish
Mass Meeting Committee, which, by this letter, requests you to give
a public discourse, especially to our people. If you will kindly
accept this invitation, will you permit us to suggest a topic for
your address, which, we believe, will be very interesting to the
public and especially to the Jews, namely, "Zionism in Prophecy"
As for the meeting: We suggest Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock, October 9.
We have secured an option on the Hippodrome, New York's largest and
finest auditorium, for that date, and we hope that this date and the
place will be agreeable to your convenience. We assure you also of a
large audience of deeply interested Hebrews, besides whoever may come
of the general public.
Trusting to hear from you soon, we subscribe ourselves,
Yours, respectfully, Jewish Mass Meeting Committee
Who was this gracious Committee? The following leaders of the Jewish
community were members of this committee: Dr. Jacobs, Editor of the
American Hebrew; W. J. Solomon, of the Hebrew Standard;
J. Brasky, Associate Editor of the Hebrew Standard; Louis Lipsky,
Editor of the Maccabean; A. B. Landau, Editor of the Wahrheit;
Leo Wolfsohn, President, Federation of Roumanian Societies; J. Pfeffer,
of the Jewish Weekly; S. Diamont, Editor of the Jewish Spirit;
S. Goldberg, Editor of the American Hebrew; J. Barondess, of the
Jewish Big Stick; Mr. Goldman, Editor, Hayom, the only
An enthusiastic summary of the speech and description of the meeting was
published in The New York American, October 9, 1910, which is quoted
The unusual spectacle of 4,000 Hebrews enthusiastically applauding a
Gentile preacher, after having listened to a sermon he addressed to them
concerning their own religion, was presented at the Hippodrome yesterday
afternoon, where Pastor Russell, the famous head of the Brooklyn Tabernacle,
conducted a most unusual service.
In his time the venerable pastor has done many unconventional things.
His religion is bounded by no particular denomination, and encompasses, as
he says, all mankind. His ways of teaching it are his own. But he never
did a more unconventional thing than this -- nor a more successful one.
He won over an audience that had come -- some of it, at least -- prepared
to debate with him, to resent, perhaps, what might have appeared like a
possible intrusion. "Pastor Russell is going to try to convert the Jews
to Christianity," was the word that many had received before the meeting.
"He wants to proselyte us."
...In the crowd which filled the big showhouse were scores of rabbis and
teachers, who had come to speak out in case the Christian attacked their
religion or sought to win them from it. They had questions and criticisms
ready for him. He was received at first in a dead silence.
But the Pastor did not seek to convert the Jews. To their unbounded delight,
he pointed out the good things of their religion, agreed with them in their
most important beliefs as to their salvation...
It was not long before all reserve, and all possible doubt of Pastor
Russell's entire sincerity and friendliness were worn away. Then the
mention of the name of a great leader [Herzl] who, the speaker declared,
had been raised by God for the cause -- brought a burst of applause.
From that moment on the audience was his. The Jews became as enthusiastic
over him as though he had been a great rabbi or famous orator of their
own religion. He hailed them as one of the bravest races of the
earth -- having kept their faith through the persecutions and cruelties
of all other people for thousands of years. And he predicted that before
very long they would be the greatest of the earth -- not merely a people,
any longer, but a nation...
Persecution would be over and peace and universal happiness would triumph.
As he brought his address to a conclusion the Pastor raised his hand
again to his choir. This time they raised the quaint, foreign-sounding
strains of the Zion hymn, "Our Hope," one of the masterpieces of the
eccentric East Side poet Imber.
The unprecedented incident of Christian voices singing the Jewish anthem
came as a tremendous surprise. For a moment the Hebrew audience could
scarcely believe their ears. Then, making sure it was their own hymn,
they first cheered and clapped with such ardor that the music was drowned
out, and then, with the second verse, joined in by hundreds...He made a
friend, they all declared, of everyone who had heard him.
Can we imagine a Christian minister so boldly telling this Jewish audience
that the "work of Zionism" in Palestine in 1910 was of God?...And
those that had faith would actually go to Palestine to do that work or at least
"go to Palestine sympathetically...by financial assistance...[for the]
establishment there of great enterprises...?" Pastor Russell also warned
those of "insufficient faith to use their means in forwarding the
Lord's work at this important juncture [or they] will find themselves
pictured by the Prophet Ezekiel, who declares (7:19) that in this great Day of
Trouble 'their gold shall be removed; their silver and their gold shall
not be able to deliver them.'" 5 To Pastor Russell the
"work of Zionism in Palestine [Eretz Israel]" was "the Lord's
work" -- the Lord's doing -- and certainly this is still true today.
(One wonders how much of the Holocaust could have been avoided if the
work of Zionism in Eretz Israel had flourished between 1910-1940?)
Pastor Russell did not stop with the Hippodrome in New York. He had similar
mass meetings in Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Kansas City and Cincinnati.
In England he addressed 4,600 Jews in London's Royal Albert Hall. Other
meetings followed in Shoreditch Town Hall, Manchester and Glasgow. Traveling
then to all the major Jewish centers in Europe addressing Jewish audiences,
Pastor Russell carried with him his message of comfort and faith.
The Herzl Year Book provides the statistics of the continual
stream of encouraging printed literature he provided for the Jewish
...[H]is preachings on the subjects of Judaism and Zionism appeared in
107,000 copies of Anglo-Jewish newspapers and weeklies, and in 650,000
copies of the Yiddish press. He even considered it worthwhile to publish
a Yiddish paper of his own, Di Shtimme, which aroused interest and
echo among the Jews of America, Europe and Russia. In 1912 he wrote and
published a brochure about the Jews, bearing the name Comfort to the
Jews (with reference to Isaiah 40:1-2)...In one passage he demonstrates
again his anti-missionary tendencies:
A voice is sounding from the wilderness and Jews everywhere are hearkening
to it. It does not call them to become Christians, but to remain Jews and
to realize as Jews the ideals set before them by the Lord in the Law and
by the Prophets.
Written to a basically Christian audience, Pastor Russell stated in an
article that appeared in the Overland Monthly in 1911 under the
title, "Jews Not to be Converted to Christianity":
The Jew who ceases to be a Jew ceases to look in the proper direction
for the blessings God has promised to him. And this is true, whether it
be by becoming a Presbyterian, an Episcopalian, a Romanist or an unbeliever
-- an infidel. In the Jewish Law and promises are the proper incentives for
the Jewish life. The Jew has in his Law and in the prophecies everything.
Jacob De Haas, editor of the Boston Jewish Advocate was at first
critical of Pastor Russell. After an interview with Pastor Russell, Mr.
De Haas published an article in the Jewish Advocate (May 26, 1911),
entitled, "What Pastor Russell Preached." The article also appeared
in the Bible Student Monthly as follows: 7
Pastor Russell is not a missionary to the Jews, he has no desire to
convert them to Christianity in any form, in fact, he could not be an
ordinary Christian and be Pastor Russell at the same time...
Of course, the Pastor believes in the Nazarene, but it is not the common
conception and what concerns us most, his Christ is for the Christians,
not, for the Jews. He does not believe in the Trinity and regards the
doctrine as contrary to all Scriptures...
So Pastor Russell neither practically nor theoretically favors the
conversion of the Jews. But our interest in him does not quite end there.
The removal of the Fundamental cause for suspicion brings him, as a
matter of fact, on an entirely new plane of relations with Jews. He is
the possible philo-Semite.
This endorsement by De Haas was of major significance since De Haas was
a personal confidant of Herzl and in His original entourage. In fact,
Jacob De Haas was sent by Herzl to activate Zionism in the United States.
In 1912 He convinced Louis Brandels, "the most distinguished figure in
American life to become a Zionist." 8
Regarding the significant Land issue, Pastor Russell's position is
reflected in a statement he made while Palestine was yet part of the
Ottoman (Turkish) Empire. In 1911 he proclaimed:
The message to them [Jews] now is that the land is theirs -- that their
period of chastisement is at an end and that shortly divine blessing will
come to them -- not as Christians, but as Jews.
In November 1914 after showing that the "sevenfold" or "seven
times" period of gentile possession of the Land (Leviticus 26:23-42)
had expired, Pastor Russell said: 9
Now we are able to tell them [Jews] that the Gentile Times have expired,
and that they may go up and take possession of the land. We do not know
how soon they will take possession. According to their faith it will be
The Pastor also stated that every effort should be made to buy the land
from a nearly bankrupt Turkey since if Turkey lost Palestine in the war,
it would be a total loss.
When Pastor Russell died October 31, 1916, the Herzl Year Book
Russell himself, according to the testimony of the American Jewish Press
from the years 1910 to 1916 maintained excellent and friendly relations
with the leaders of American Jewry to his last days.
Historians observe that Zionism was at its lowest ebb between 1904 and 1917.
But Pastor Russell just before his death was gratified to observe that he
did much to revive it. The work of Pastor Russell on behalf of the Jewish
People can best he summed up by recognizing that never before had the
Jewish People opened their hearts to a Christian minister...And never
before had a Christian minister brought such heartening comfort to the
Pastor Russell's Tradition Continued by Bible Students
During the 1920s and early '30s, various Bible Students took seriously
their responsibilities to comfort and encourage the faith of Jewish People
in Biblical Zionism. Then in 1936 the dark foreboding clouds of the
Holocaust began to gather in the sky over Germany. In the United States
many Christian groups were seething with hate -- spewing out the venom of
anti-Semitism. In this sinister climate, a gentile stood up whose voice
of protest was heard louder than any other. It was a Bible Student again,
Professor Franklyn Hudgings. His book, Zionism in Prophecy, in 1936
launched him on a most rewarding speaking circuit. Large Jewish audiences
came to hear him and enthusiastically received his message of Zionism.
Some of the reviews by eminent rabbis on the front and back covers of his
book read as follows:
This unusual work, "Zionism in Prophecy," is dedicated to the true
interpretation of Israel's prophets. It shows that no one can honestly
claim belief in the Bible and at the same time approve, or even remain
silent, when Israel falls the victim of anti-Semitic persecution which
is often masked by the cloak of religion. -- Rabbi Max Kirshblum,
Executive Director, Mizrachi Organization of America (Orthodox Jewish
...With deepest appreciation of Dr. Wise and the entire United Palestine
Appeal Committee -- Mendel N. Fisher, Campaign Director, United Palestine
The attitude of many Gentiles toward Jews has been at the best anomalous.
Hence it is an exalting experience to encounter a Gentile writer who has
an honest, impersonal and truly devout attitude of favor toward Zionist
striving. Such a man is the author of "Zionism in Prophecy"...On
every ground his utterances are worthy of perusal by both Jews and non-Jews
everywhere. A little more of his spirit would help to solve more than
one world problem. -- Rabbi Abraham Burstein, Managing Editor, The
Dr. Hirsch Loeb Gordon, the well-known writer, Hebraic scholar and Talmudist,
wrote in the Foreword of Zionism in Prophecy: 11
In addition to those great prophets of Israel who were chosen mouthpieces
of Jehova[h], there also were some ancient Gentile sages with prophetic
vision, among whom was Balaam, also the faithful Job.
Now, after a lapse of thirty-three centuries, there arises another Gentile
-- one to expound the prophets, and to encourage the tribes of Israel in
their present fervent quest for the holy land...Certainly this Gentile
voice from America is now being raised in the midst of darkness -- at a
time when beastly persecutions are being heaped upon Jewry in various
parts of the world.
With assimilation spiraling upward, anti-Semitism escalating, militia
hate groups organizing, the media bashing Israel, Holocaust revisionism
spreading, evangelical churches covertly targeting Jews for conversion --
something had to be done! Someone had to speak out. Members of the
Bible Students Congregation of New Brunswick launched an ongoing
campaign of rebuttal. Editorial ads, newspaper articles and opinion
pieces were placed in numerous papers.
Israel: Appointment With Destiny -- Highly Acclaimed
Since 1989, Israel: Appointment With Destiny, along with Pastor
Kenneth Rawson's live presentation, has received overwhelmingly positive
receptions with synagogues, churches, Jewish Federations, B'nai B'rith
chapters, Hillel units and yeshivas across the United States. Since it
is regularly updated to keep abreast with history in the making, it is
still in continuous demand.
In 1992 the premier showing of this production in Israel was shown in
Jerusalem and was received enthusiastically by 1,200 Israelis. At the
Knesset, the Hebrew version of the production was presented as a gift to
the Israeli Government. Many Knesset members expressed their personal
appreciation for the Bible Student efforts on behalf of Israel and the
The Russian version of the video of Israel: Appointment With Destiny
is now being distributed to counter assimilation in Russia and establish
Jewish roots in Israel. This production puts them in touch with their
Jewish heritage. In over 1,000 Jewish Community Centers in the former
Soviet Republics, Israel: Appointment With Destiny
will be distributed and shown. There is a sense of urgency because U.S.-based
Christian evangelicals are pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into
missionary drives targeted at the unsuspecting, unrooted Jew. Therefore,
Bible Students are endeavoring to enlarge the scope of this effective video
production. Romanian, French, Spanish and German versions have been produced
or are in the process of production.
Israel: Appointment With Destiny has been highly commended also in
Israel by the Prime Minister's Bureau, the Minister of Religious Affairs
as well as several Russian Refusniks. It has been highly acclaimed in the
Baltimore Jewish Times, The Jewish News (Detroit), The
Jewish Press, The Jerusalem Post and different Federation
Publications as well as other Jewish newspapers. Religious leaders,
publishers, editors and academic leaders in the Jewish community in the
U.S., Israel and Europe have all joined in the accolades.
Newspaper Ad Campaign
Over the years, especially in the last several years, Bible Students have
placed numerous editorial ads combating Anti-semitism and Israel-bashing --
including a quarter-page ad on the New York Times OP/ED page,
"First Holocaust Revisionism -- Now Land Revisionism!" Some
examples of other ads placed: "The Vatican's Hidden Agenda"
and "The UN is Wrong: Jerusalem is not 'Occupied Territory'!"
When Bible Student youth on Ohio State University campus found themselves
staring at the college paper's vicious full-page (free) editorial by
Bradley Smith on Holocaust revisionism, wheels started to turn...The
Jewish community of Columbus was outraged. One of the students at OSU,
who was also a Bible Student, spoke at a protest rally of Jews. What else
was done? The Bible Students congregation in Columbus was the only
Christian group that spoke up -- and they shouted! The next issue of
Ohio State Lantern carried a full-page (paid) ad by the Bible
Students refuting Bradley Smith's lies and proving the fact of the
But this action was not enough. Bradley Smith had a national campaign going.
The Bible Students in Columbus followed up by attempting to place a
full-page ad or an editorial in every campus paper which carried Smith's
venom. The Jewish leaders of Columbus expressed to the Bible Students
their appreciation -- many with tears in their eyes.
As long as there is anti-Sernitism, Israel bashing and Holocaust revisionism,
Bible Students will stand by their Jewish brethren. As long as there is
assimilation and proselyting going on, Bible Students will be reminding
their Jewish brethren of their roots and their glorious destiny.
Pastor Russell not the Founder of Jehovah's Witnesses
"Jehovah's Witnesses" are obviously not Zionists. Why do some
claim Pastor Russell -- an ardent Zionist -- was the founder of the
Jehovah's Witnesses? Both Pastor Russell and the Bible Students have
been the victims of not only sinister actions of misrepresentation, but
character assassination. Human nature being what it is, religious zealotry
can, unfortunately, beget malicious acts reasoning that the end justifies
the means. Centuries ago bigotry resulted in Christians not only
persecuting Jews, but Christians persecuting Christians. Our world is
supposed to be more "civilized," but bigotry still flourishes. Now
intolerance often takes the form of character assassination and sinister
misrepresentation. Some clergy are intent on misrepresenting Bible Students
and their Pastor as "Jehovah's Witnesses."
David Horowitz -- award-winning author, journalist, editor, former President
of the UN Correspondents Association and Nazi hunter -- sets the record
straight. Because of the conflicting information about Pastor Russell and
the Bible Students, Mr. Horowitz researched the history. He discovered that
not only was Russell pro-Zionist and non-proselytizing, but that he was an
activist, traveling throughout the United States and Europe to encourage
the Jewish People to cherish their Jewish roots and to support Zionism.
Absolutely fascinated about the history, he wrote a book on Pastor
Russell and the Bible Students. In his book, Pastor Charles Taze
Russell: An Early American Christian Zionist, he writes: 12
Contrary to some publicity made concerning "Jehovah's
Witnesses", Pastor Russell is not the founder of this religious
group. He has never associated with "Jehovah's Witnesses"
nor did he ever claim the name. Pastor Charles T. Russell died in 1916.
The "Jehovah's Witnesses" came into existence later .
Associating Pastor Russell with "Jehovah's Witnesses" leaves
the decidedly mistaken view that their teachings and beliefs are alike.
Such is not the case.
Examples of Misrepresentation
A case of misrepresentation occurred when an article by a Bible Student
minister in which Pastor Russell was mentioned briefly appeared in
The Jerusalem Post. Immediately, two evangelical ministers wrote
in letters to the Editors labeling and discounting Pastor Russell and
the Bible Students as Jehovah's Witnesses. The Bible Students did not
have to defend themselves. David Horowitz jumped into the fray to refute
this misrepresentation: 13
The attempt...to stigmatize [the Bible Student] Pastor...as a Jehovah's
Witness was absurd. As Editor of the World-Union Press,
writer of a syndicated column (appears in the Jewish Press and
18 other Jewish papers), Editor of the United Israel Bulletin,
past Editor of the American Examiner (now the Jewish Week),
past President of the Foreign Press Association, I have frequently written
against the missionary work of Jehovah's Witnesses among the Jewish people
and commended...the Bible Students for their work of strengthening the
Jewish people in their Jewish faith. My book, Pastor Charles Taze
Russell: An Early American Christian Zionist which was highly commended
by Benjamin Netanyahu and Jeane Kirkpatrick, shows that Pastor Russell, who
enjoyed close ties with the leaders of American Jewry, was not a Jehovah's
Witness. He was pro-Zionist and non-proselytizing. Jehovah's Witnesses are
anti-Zionist and proselyte the Jewish people.
Furthermore, Horowitz' clarification of Russell's beliefs and work was
highly commended by Benjamin Netanyahu when he was the Israeli Ambassador
to the United Nations: 14
David Horowitz sets the record straight about the beliefs and achievements
of Charles Taze Russell. A recognition of Pastor Russell's important role
as an early American Christian advocate of Zionism is long overdue. Mr.
Horowitz has performed an admirable service in restoring to public knowledge
the story of this important Christian Zionist.
How and Why Jehovah's Witnesses Were Founded
An unfortunate scrap of history provides the answer as to the origins
of "Jehovah's Witnesses." After the death of Pastor Russell in 1916,
the purpose of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society changed drastically.
Joseph Rutherford, whom Pastor Russell had recently dismissed from his staff,
seized legal control of the Watch Tower, dismissed the majority of the Board
of Directors and established dictatorial control. The Watch Tower became the
central head and authority over all congregations willing to yield their
sovereignty. Basic doctrines of the new "society" seriously
digressed from the teachings of Pastor Russell and the writings of Pastor
Russell were discarded. The methods of conducting the evangelistic work
were altered. The more sensational digressions, such as refusing blood
transfusion and saluting the flag, caught the public's eye.
But many individuals and whole congregations refused to surrender their
Christian liberty or accept the new teachings. As early as 1917, the exodus
from the newly declared sovereign headquarters began. By 1918 one-fourth of
the Bible Students left Rutherford and his dictatorial policies and continued
to respect the teachings of the late Pastor Russell. 15
In the struggle between Rutherford and the Bible Students, William Schnell
was in the upper echelon of the Watchtower and made some very insightful
observations. At the time he finally wrote his book, Thirty Years a
Watchtower Slave, he was neither a Jehovah's Witness or a Bible Student.
Schnell noted that further doctrinal changes and aggressive promotions by
Rutherford resulted in a large increase in new members, but this also
generated opposition from the Bible Students of Pastor Russell's era.
These Bible Students endeavored to reverse Rutherford's revisionism of
doctrine and practice. Rutherford's reaction is described as
Between 1925 and 1931 Rutherford embarked on a campaign to purge Russell's
followers. By 1931 over three-fourths of those formerly associated with the
Bible Student movement in Pastor Russell's day remained faithful to his
teachings by completely separating from Rutherford.
Regarding those who left, Schnell remarked, "That is precisely what the
new Watch Tower Society wanted and what they had hoped to accomplish."
17 Speaking of the new converts Schnell said: 18
These, of course, were in the majority after the bloodletting of
three-fourths of the Bible Students had been so adroitly accomplished.
Further, Schnell observed: 19
The old Bible Students, spiritbegotten...individuals, true Christians,
would never have stood for such subversion of thinking and practices.
Being Students of the Bible, they had been warned by what Paul had said
in 2 Tim. 4:3: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound
The lineage of the Bible Student congregations of today traces back
through these separatist Bible Students to Pastor Russell their founder.
A description Schnell gives of the Bible Students reveals why Rutherford
could not subdue them:
Bible Students had been of such rugged individuality type that they
claimed they had fled various [church] organizations in order to become
and remain free and unencumbered in their quest of Bible studies and
living as Christians. They felt that the organizations from which they
had fled had become too rigid and stilling, a condition which they
considered detrimental to their course as Christians. In fact, in those
days Bible Students were the most rugged individualists ever to appear
since the days of the early Church. Their motto of "nonconformity"
became a byword in the 80's and 90's of the last century.
The picture is clear. The historical data reveals beyond a doubt that
Bible Students founded by Pastor Russell and Jehovah's Witnesses founded
by Judge Rutherford are two separate movements.
Yet there is one point that tends to be confusing and contradictory. Why
do Jehovah's Witnesses sometimes refer to Pastor Russell as their founder?
Certainly it is not because they agree with his basic teachings. In fact,
they so vigorously disagree with his basic teachings that they have time
and again categorized Bible Students as the "evil servant" class
who will be annihilated eternally. (Bible Students, on the other hand,
have nothing but joyful expectations for the Witnesses' eternity.)
What is the sin of Pastor Russell and his Bible Student movement that
make them so evil? What is the abominable sin that they have committed
that merits eternal destruction? The answer is simply that Bible Students
still hold on to the Biblical teachings of Pastor Russell! That means
that, therefore, they reject Jehovah's Witnesses' doctrines. To Jehovah's
Witnesses, the basic teachings of Bible Students are gross error -- worthy
of eternal Judgment.
The absurd contradiction emerges, however, when Jehovah's Witnesses claim
Pastor Russell as their founder. Where did the Bible Students get their
so-called gross errors but from Pastor Russell? If he taught gross error,
how can Jehovah's Witnesses claim Russell as their founder? Why do they
claim him anyway?
For one reason and one simple reason alone is this claim made -- "historic
depth." As a Christian church, the Jehovah's Witnesses are neophytes.
Since the Jehovah's Witnesses only began in 1931, they need historic
credibility. Imagine in the 1930s, '40s or '50s, saying, "Our Christian
group only began in 1931." To claim Pastor Russell as their founder,
however, would project them back into the 1800s as a Christian group. (After
all, a number of Christian churches had their beginnings in the 1800s.) As
evidence of their sensitivity to historic depth, they do a
"one-upmanship" on all religious groups by claiming that Able,
Adam's son was the first Jehovah's Witness. This is really reaching for
historic depth! But a pretense of historic depth means nothing.
The historic facts are clear. Pastor Russell founded the Bible Students in
the 1870s. Judge Rutherford founded the Jehovah's Witnesses in 1931.
Just to illustrate the point, the Lutherans and Roman Catholics have a
common lineage simply because the Lutherans broke away from the Papacy.
But they are two separate churches. The Lutherans believe Martin Luther's
teachings and the Catholics believe the teachings of the popes. Just
because the Lutherans' lineage goes back to the popes does not mean the
popes are the founders of the Lutherans. The popes are the founders of the
Roman Catholics who believe their doctrines.
A few similarities of belief between Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses
exist. As well, one might speak with a Baptist regarding their doctrine and
then with a Presbyterian. There would be obvious similarities. But to say
that the two are the same because of their obvious similarities is inaccurate.
Just as Baptist and Presbyterians believe in eternal torment, Bible Students
and Jehovah's Witnesses believe in eternal annihilation. But this similarity
does not make them the same group!
In any case, it is well to observe that Bible Students feel most Jehovah's
Witnesses are noble-minded people and are just as likely as other people to
enjoy the blessings of God's eternity. (We, only wish they shared such
kindly feelings towards us!)
There are many books about the Watchtower organization, even by former
Watchtower members. But none have the insight of Schnell, an insider
during those crucial years of terminating the old movement and creating
This loose-knit Bible Student movement of "rugged individualists,"
as Schnell called them, is prospering worldwide. Yes, Bible Students are a
small movement of "rugged individualists" banded together in
congregations that zealously guard their congregational autonomy. But if
you have a small band of individualists, each of his own volition, fully
consecrated to a vision of Truth, then you have activists (tempered by a
Christlike ideal of love). Thus, Bible Students as they did in Pastor
Russell's day impact the world to a degree that far exceeds their size.
Schnell was a "born again" fundamentalist Christian at the time he
wrote his book. As such, he did not like some of the basic doctrines
of Pastor Russell and the Bible Students. Yet his writing reflected a
profound admiration for their Christian maturity.
Jehovah's Witnesses founded in 1931
Now that three-quarters of the Bible Students of Pastor Russell's
era were purged and the remainder of the Bible Students submitted to
the doctrinal changes, a new movement could be founded.
In 1931, fifteen years after Pastor Russell's death, Jehovah's Witnesses was
founded. Its founder, Joseph Rutherford, presented a startling resolution
entitled "A New Name," which was adopted at their international
convention on July 26, 1931. The resolution first observed that neither
"Russellites" nor "Bible Students" were any longer
appropriate names (certainly not, as over 75 per cent of Bible Students
from Pastor Russell's era had already separated). Henceforth they would
call themselves "Jehovah's Witnesses." 20 Joseph
Rutherford, not Pastor Russell, founded Jehovah's Witnesses. Pastor Russell
died in 1916. Jehovah's Witnesses was founded in 1931. Pastor Russell
founded the Bible Students who still affirm his teachings. Rutherford
rejected Russell's teachings, purged those Bible Students loyal to Russell's
ideals from his movement, rejected the name Bible Students and named his
new movement "Jehovah's Witnesses."
We Are What We Believe
Actually, "Jehovah's Witnesses" is a scriptural concept repeated
three times in chapters 43 and 44 of Isaiah. The Prophet Isaiah is
obviously speaking of the Jewish People, and the Bible Students have
always understood it that way. Who else was once delivered from Egypt,
at one time offered sacrifices and were to be regathered from all over
the world to their homeland?
I give Egypt as a ransom for you...Because you are precious to Me...Fear
not, for I am with you: I will bring your folk from the East, will gather
you out of the West; I will say to the North, "Give back!" and to
the South, "Do not withhold! Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters
from the end of the earth...That men may say, 'it is true!' My
witnesses are you -- declares the LORD...And no strange god was among
you. So you are My witnesses--declares the LORD....But hear, now O
Jacob My servant, Israel whom I have chosen! Thus said the LORD, your Maker,
Your Creator who has helped you since birth...Do not be frightened, do not
be shaken! Have I not from of old predicted to you'? I foretold, and you are
My witnesses." -- Isaiah 43:3-5,10,12; 44:1,2,8
The Jewish People are the true "witnesses" of Jehovah. What are the
implications of someone else taking over this name'?
The stage was now set for "replacement theology." When Rutherford's
second volume of Vindication was published, it proclaimed that
"fleshly Israel," the Jews, was eternally rejected as the people
of God and replaced by the New Israel -- Rutherford's Jehovah's Witnesses!
Rutherford thereby embraced replacement theology -- that traditional
error of both Roman and Orthodox Catholics as well as the historic
Protestant denominations. Replacement theology, of course, applies all
the scriptures that speak of future blessings to "Israel" as promises
applicable to Christians only. And Rutherford's extension of this
distortion applied these scriptures exclusively to Christians who are
Jehovah's Witnesses. (However, it is interesting to note that all scriptures
pertaining to punishment of "Israel" are retained by replacement
theology as applicable to the Jewish People.)
Just as replacement theology justified, if not inspired, anti-Semitism for
over 1900 years of Christian history, the inevitable naturally happened.
Judge Rutherford sent a condoning letter to Hitler. How did this happen?
In June of 1933 an extremely distressing incident occurred. The following is a
quote from the 1934 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses: 21 22
In June, the president [Judge Rutherford] of the Society visited Germany to
take some action to get the Society's property restored to our [Jehovah's
Witnesses'] possession and to carry on the work further. Knowing that the
enemy has misrepresented the facts to the [Nazi] government, a Declaration
of Facts was prepared, and on the 25th day of' June, 1933, more than 7,000
of Jehovah's witnesses assembled at Berlin and unanimously adopted the
resolution, millions of which were printed and distributed throughout
Germany. That resolution [in part] is as follows, to wit:
It is falsely charged by our enemies that we have received support for
our work from the Jews. Nothing is farther from the truth. Up to this
moment there never has been the slightest bit of money contributed to our
work by Jews. The greatest and most oppressive empire on earth is the
Anglo-American empire. By this is meant the British Empire, of which the
United States of America forms a part. It has been the commercial Jews
of British-American Empire that have built up and carried Big Business as a
means of exploiting and oppressing the peoples of many nations. This fact
particularly applies to the cities of London and New York, the stronghold
of Big Business. This fact is so manifest in America that there is a
proverb concerning the city of New York which says: "the Jews own
it, the Irish Catholics rule it, and the Americans pay the bills."
We have no fight with any of these persons mentioned but, as witnesses for
Jehovah and in obedience to his commandment set forth in the Scriptures, we
are compelled to call attention to the truth concerning the same in order that
the people may be enlightened concerning God and his purpose [emphasis
"This Declaration was mailed to every high officer of the government
[Nazi Germany] from the president down to the members of the counsel"
explains the book, Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose,
published by Jehovah's Witnesses in 1957. 23 This mailing to every
"high officer," of course, included Hitler who was chancellor
appointed by the president.
In addition to defaming the League of Nations, the Declaration also
concurred with the Nazi government when it said: 24
The present government of Germany has declared against Big Business
oppressors [of America and Britain] and in opposition to the wrongful
religious influence in the political affairs of the nation. Such is
exactly our position...
But then Judge Rutherford (who was really only a lawyer) made a fatal
mistake in his case by saying: 25
Instead of being against the principles advocated by the government of
Germany, we stand squarely for such principles, and point out that Jehovah
God through Christ Jesus will bring about the full realization of these
But by stating that only God could accomplish the "realization of these
principles," he implied Hitler could not! This slip was not good. Hitler
came down harder than ever on the Jehovah's Witnesses.
The Nazi crackdown on Jehovah's Witnesses, however, began before Rutherford's
self-defeating Declaration of anti-Semitism. Of course, 1933 was only
two years after Rutherford started his new movement of Jehovah's Witnesses
based on replacement theology. Rutherford's new anti-Jew, anti Zionist
position was not yet known by the German government. To the Nazi government,
Rutherford's Bible Students were still known as the zealous, Jew-loving
Zionists from Pastor Russell's day.
Setting the Record Straight
As one progresses through the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in
Washington, D.C., one is filled with an overwhelming weight of depression
because of the record of unbelievable atrocities on the Jewish People.
Then, after almost left in a total stupor of shock, one comes upon yet
another section entitled, "Other Enemies of the State." Here
gypsies, Freemasons, homosexuals -- and Jehovah's Witnesses are mentioned.
In another display of the badges the Nazis forced people to wear in
addition to the Star of David -- is one badge which simply says.
At the section on Jehovah's Witnesses, one learns why they were persecuted
by the Nazis. Incredibly, one of the main reasons cited in the exhibit why
Jehovah's Witnesses offended the state was because they believed in Zionism
-- the return of the Jew to his homeland by God as prophesied in the Bible.
In any case, by the time the intelligence that Rutherford's new movement of
Jehovah's Witnesses believed Jews were eternally rejected of God reached
Hitler -- der Fuhrer thought it was a sham, a cover-up.
The Bible Students
But there was another side of the coin. The Bible Students were also in
Germany -- completely separated from Rutherford's new movement. Many of
them had separated from Rutherford's Jehovah's Witnesses as far back as
1918. These Bible Students were the true Zionist-believing Bible Students.
And they willingly suffered persecution from Hitler because they would not
disown the Jewish People or their Christian faith.
Thus the Jehovah's Witnesses were a completely new creation of its
founder Joseph Rutherford. His doctrine of replacement theology, as
with other so-called Christians, carried the cruelest implications for
the Jewish People. Rutherford's blatant anti-Semitism which congratulated
and encouraged the greatest Jew-hater of all times -- Adolf Hitler -- was
not able to save his own people.
From Rutherford's perspective, the Jewish People are not and never will
be the people of God: That favored lot was lost forever. What makes
Jehovah's Witnesses a different movement completely detached from Pastor
Russell's is its claim that Jehovah's Witnesses are the new Israel. (The
original Israel are now actually considered Gentiles alienated from God.)
The only way for any Jew to return to God, according to the Jehovah's
Witnesses to this day, is by becoming a Christian -- a Jehovah's Witness
Christian to be exact.
How diametrically opposed was this view to Pastor Russell's message to the
Jews (as already observed):
A voice is sounding from the wilderness and Jews everywhere are hearkening
to it. It does not call them to become Christians, but to remain Jews and
to realize as Jews the ideals set before them by the Lord in the Law and
by the Prophets.
Salvation: Narrow vs. Broad
Pastor Russell's Bible Students get flak from both evangelical Christians
and Jehovah's Witnesses. Shortly after their founding in 1931, Jehovah's
Witnesses developed a "narrow salvation" theology similar to
evangelical Christians. Both have taught anyone who rejects their Messiah
is eternally lost. This places both evangelicals and Jehovah's Witnesses
poles apart from Pastor Russell and the Bible Students' "broad
salvation" theology. This salvation by fear is so essential to the
growth of evangelical churches that they lash out at anyone who opposes
their cruel, narrow concept for gaining eternity. And Bible Students
continually oppose it -- loudly and clearly.
In response, some evangelical clergy today use the same old, worn-out
vilifications that doom-and-gloom ministers in Russell's day desperately
concocted. Why? Sheer jealousy! The people clamored to hear him. Pastor
Russell's "opposition" lamented that his writings had a
"greater newspaper circulation every week ... than the combined
circulation of all the priests and preachers of North America."
26 The evangelical clergy not only hated his Gospel of love, but
also his popularity. They felt helpless before his worldwide acclaim.
"Since the days of Henry Ward Beecher and Dr. Talmage," The
Christian Globe (May 5, 1910) states, "no preacher has occupied so
prominent a position in the United States as Pastor Russell of Brooklyn
Tabernacle holds today." Again, The London Graphic (April 8, 1911)
describes Pastor Russell: "The advent of Pastor Russell brings to this
city and country a man of international reputation, who is known
almost as well in Great Britain as he is in America...who is reputed
to be the most popular preacher in America [emphasis added]." To this
day, there is a hill in India still named "Russell's Hill" where
thousands had flocked to hear him.
Why this popularity? Because Pastor Russell's message gave hope in contrast
to those doomsday preachers. Every Jew, Hindu. Moslem, etc., even Christian,
who does not accept their particular brand of Christianity before
death, is, they say, damned to an eternity of torment. These preachers of
inevitable doom both in Russell's day and today hold in contempt the Gospel
of love taught by Pastor Russell and the Bible Student movement he founded.
Christian Groups Who Support Israel
Regretfully to say, many in the International Christian Embassy who support
Israel and other sincere Christians groups who support the settlements in
Samaria and Judea are actually evangelical doomsdayers. They believe every
Jew (or anyone else) who does not accept Jesus before they die are damned
eternally. How ironic that some evangelicals attempt to stigmatize Bible
Students by calling them Jehovah's Witnesses -- when in reality on the
basic doctrine of salvation, evangelicals are closer to Jehovah's Witnesses
than are Bible Students! Then too, many Christian groups are very interested
in supporting Israel because they feel that in that way they will help
hasten the time when Jesus would come again and set up his Kingdom. But
in the final analysis, though, the Jews through the centuries, the Jews
who died in the Holocaust and most Jews living when Jesus would return,
they say, would be lost anyway. (Not much of a destiny for the Jewish
But most evangelicals and Jehovah's Witnesses do believe in some sort of
future Kingdom of God on earth -- the Messianic Age. But will they ever
be surprised how Israelitish the Messianic Age will be when they see
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, King David and all of Israel's faith heroes
of old leading the nation of Israel as a light to the Gentiles!
Arise, shine, for your light has dawned, The Presence of the LORD
has shone upon you...And nations shall walk by your light, Kings,
by your shining radiance...The riches of nations shall flow to you...Aliens
shall rebuild your walls, their kings shall wait upon you -- For in anger
I struck you down, But in favor I take you back. Your gates shall always
stay open -- Day and night they shall never be shut -- To let in the wealth
of nations, With their kings in procession. For the nation or kingdom that
does not serve you shall perish; such nations shall be destroyed.
-- Isaiah 60:1-3,5,10-12
Can the Jewish community of today have the faith enough to believe this
vision of the Messianic Age -- when the nations of the world are threatening
or at best pressing down on them? Can the Jewish community of today
appreciate that the purpose of this extraordinary place in the Messianic
Age is to help the nations learn about Israel's God?
In the days to come, the Mount of the LORD'S house shall stand firm above
the mountains and tower above the hills; and all the nations shall gaze
on it with joy. And the many peoples shall go and say: "Come, let us
go up to the Mount of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that
He may instruct us in His ways, and that we may walk in His paths,"
For instruction shall come forth from Zion, the word of the Lord from
Jerusalem... -- Isaiah 2:2-3
Lest there be any question regarding who is teaching whom in Jerusalem,
can the anyone doubt the Prophets?
Peoples and the inhabitants of many cities shall yet come -- the
inhabitants of one shall go to the other and say, "Let us go
and entreat the favor of the Lord, let us seek the LORD of Hosts;
I will go, too." The many peoples and the multitude of nations
shall come to seek the LORD of Hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the
favor of the LORD. Thus said the LORD of Hosts: In those days, ten men
from nations of every tongue will take hold -- they will take hold of
every Jew by a corner of his cloak and say, "Let us go with you,
for we have heard that God is with you." -- Zechariah 8:20-23
The Gentiles shall one day appreciate the Jewish People's destiny.
Jehovah's Witnesses and Evangelicals and all Christians alike, for the
most part, will change their views and enthusiastically rejoice with
the fulfillment of God's promises to Israel. But for now -- We as Bible
Students will not be silent in our encouragement while standing by the
Jewish People. We as Bible Students will not be silent until the time
when Jerusalem is established forever in God's Kingdom...
For the sake of Zion I will not be silent, for the sake of Jerusalem
I will not be still, till her victory emerge resplendent...Nations
shall see your victory...You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of
the LORD, and a royal diadem in the palm of your God. Nevermore shall
you be called "Forsaken"...For the Lord takes delight in you,
and your land shall be espoused...Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have
set watchmen, who shall never be silent by day or by night. O you,
the Lord's remembrancers, Take no rest and give no rest to Him,
until He establish Jerusalem and make her renowned on earth.
-- Isaiah 62:1-4,6-7
1. Brete Harte, The Overland Monthly February 1909
2. Moment, October 1996 / Tishri 5757, 50.
3. Herzl Year Book, Volume 5, edited by Raphael Patal (New York: Herzl Press, 1963), 184.
4. Ibid., 184, Footnote.
5. Charles T. Russell, "Zionism in Prophecy," Pastor Russell's Sermons, (Brooklyn: People's Pulpit Association, 1917), 482.
6. Ibid., 188.
7. Reprints (Chicago: Chicago Bible Students, Book Republishing Committee), 1966, 4735.
8. Arthur Hertzberg The Zionist Idea, (New York: 1966), 515-516.
9. Reprints, 5568.
10. Herzl Yearbook 189.
11. Franklyn Hudgings, Zionism in Prophecy, 4.
12. David Horowitz, Pastor Charles Taze Russell: An Early American Christian Zionist (New York: Philosophical Library, 1986), 73.
13. The Jerusalem Post, February 11, 1993.
14. Horowitz (back jacket).
15. Herzl Year Book 190.
16. William Schnell, Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1963), 40,41.
17. Ibid,, 41.
18. Ibid., 42.
19. Ibid., 43.
20. Ibid., 39.
21. Jehovah's Witnesses: Proclaimers of God's Kingdom (Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1993), 155,156.
22. 1934 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses (Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1933), 130,131.
23. Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose (Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1959), 130.
24. 1934 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, 134.
25. Ibid., 135.
26. Ibid., 135.