The Cult Series continues: Jehovah’s Witnesses

What? Your kidding, right? You missed this past Wednesday evening’s service? Well, I miss a few too, every now and then (sheepish grin). Nevertheless, let me tell you what you missed.

You’re probably not sitting at Gospel Light if there is not an excellent music special to go along with the service. Our music special was by our fearless music leader himself. With Julia G. at piano, Mateo V. sang “Hallelujah, What a Savior” with sincere love for his “Savior”.Before most Wednesday evening services, Pastor Vince Giardino prepares a prayer list composed of things to be thankful for and things & people to pray for. As is usual, Pastor canvased the congregation for additional items for the list. When all the requests had been made, Gabriel G. stood at the pulpit and we prayed with him to God, beseeching our Lord for His will to be done.

“Hinging on Heresy” is the name of the series on cults being conducted at Gospel Light on Wednesday evenings. Bernie W. was our teacher and Jehovah’s Witnesses was his topic. Part One of his PowerPoint presentation dealt with a detailed history of how this cult came into being. The name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” was based on Isaiah 43:10, “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord”, and was first adopted in 1931. But before that date, there is a long and convoluted history involving the gradual development of this cult and the beliefs of it’s founder, Joseph Russell. “Pastor Russell”, born in 1852, broke from the Adventist religion, and along with Nelson Barbour, created bible student groups that eventually evolved into Jehovah’s Witnesses. Just a few highlights from Bernie’s presentation included:

→ In 1981, the Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society was formed. Jehovah’s Witnesses have some of the largest printing presses in the world and distribute an inordinate amount of printed material.

→ By 1888, 50 people were going door-to-door full time. Door-to-door is now the major emphasis of the cult, rather than prayer, meditation, or bible study.

→ Russell produced a four part 8-hour film entitled “The Photo-Drama of Creation” which incorporated sound, moving film, and color slides. The presentation was show worldwide.

→ Russell was a 33 degree Free Mason. Bernie pointed out that “one thing common in all cults and occult religions is that one of the founders is a high degree Free Mason”.

→ In 1916, Charles Russell died. Near his burial plot is a 9-foot stone pyramid memorial emblazoned with the cross of Free Masonry.

→ Joseph Rutherford, formally the Watch Towers Society’s legal counsel, succeeded Russell in 1917 and introduced his own organizational and doctrinal changes to the cult.

Please join us for the continuation of this series on Wednesday evenings at GLBBC. Upon completion, Bernie’s Jehovah’s Witnesses presentation will be available at the Gospel Light Cult Series Library on this blog web site.

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