Matthew Chapter 24
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.”
Verse 47 “Verily I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods.”
“He [the Lord] shall make him ruler over all his goods.” This Scripture has been grossly misunderstood. Many brethren use as a cliché the statement that Pastor Russell was not only the seventh messenger and a steward with a worldwide ministry, but that nothing is due to be understood except what he said, that we should not search any further or have any other ideas, for he was ruler over all of the Lord’s goods. The “goods” are considered to be all the truth. This very subtle error has bound many to close their minds to any reasoning on multiple subjects.
Moreover, experience shows that many do not even know the Pastor’s thoughts, as in the *Reprints, for example, or even the *Volumes.
(See the next post for a more through explanation of these.)
“Stewardship” means a responsibility for publishing truths abroad, but not the whole Bible. Several arguments support this statement:
1. We are to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, and the Pastor did not write on every Scripture (Matt. 4:4).
2. The Pastor was not an apostle. Although he had the honor of being the special seventh messenger, we cannot equate his words with those of the Apostle Paul or any of the other apostles. Therefore, in order for us to accept his writings, they must be verified by a “Thus saith the Lord.”
3. In the second foreword to the Fourth Volume, he said that the Book of Revelation would become meat in due season. Originally he intended to write on Revelation, but he realized that the book had not sufficiently opened to him as a whole and thus stopped with the Sixth Volume. He firmly believed from the Scriptures that Revelation would become meat in due season, yet some brethren have ridiculed a study on Revelation because the Pastor did not write on it.
They think the six Volumes are all that we need. Others say the Pastor wrote on Revelation piecemeal and we have to put all of the fragments together. Yet the Pastor even made the statement that someone else would have to write on the Book of Revelation.
Someone else did, in fact quite a few brethren have undertaken this task both on an individual level as well as in class projects, notably among whom were Brother Frank Shallieu in his book, “The Keys of Revelation”, the New Albany class, the Southern Wisconsin class, and several others have comprised commentaries on Revelation as well.
Pastor Russell did not have a monopoly on the light of truth. Proverbs 4:18 tells us that “the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day.” The light continues to increase. However, the type of ministry the Pastor introduced is unique in that he literally furnished the keys to open up Scripture. His suggestions opened so many topics. He did not explain all the details, but he supplied clues to enlarge the concepts previously fettered by sectarianism.
Sometimes the Lord blesses an individual who is yearning to understand a particular Scripture and has been applying himself diligently—even for years—by opening that Scripture to him. The understanding is a reward (for due diligence), yet others tend to regard it as pride. Such an attitude is foolish, for the Lord does reward various individuals by opening their minds on certain points of truth, doctrine, etc.
A systemized teaching is one thing (where many Scriptures are taken and woven into a pattern), but the clarification of individual Scriptures is another matter. Nourishing, succulent tidbits are available to those who hunger and thirst for understanding.
The Pastor was a faithful and wise servant whom others, if they were wise, discerned for his superiority. During his ministry many were awed, but as soon as he died, problems occurred and the Truth movement became fragmented.
The Pastor often collated or put forth the thoughts from other individuals. For instance, one chapter in the First Volume is not his at all, and in the “Man of Sin” chapter in the Second Volume, he freely took the thoughts of Gratton Guiness. He said this himself, and he encouraged brethren to send thoughts and comments to him, many of which were published in the Reprints.
Thus even “as it is written”, “the whole body is joined and knitted together by what every joint supplies according to the effective working (of the holy spirit in them, through their own personal studies) by which every part contributes its share causing growth of the body (both in the graces and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ) for the edifying of itself in love.” (Eph 4:16; Compare with Col 2:19)
Although it was Pastor Russell who first introduced the Great Pyramid as a Biblical subject to the brethren, it was John Edgar who came along a little later, and who possessed a far greater knowledge of the subject itself who applied the keys the Pastor had laid out. The Pastor wrote that the Pyramid was a confirmation of the Bible and that it proved many points of the chronology which were already advocated and taught in the Holy Scriptures. He was the pioneer even though the Edgar brothers corrected him on some points. The pioneer in any great endeavor should be respected, be it Russell, Sir Isaac Newton, or whoever. But others came along subsequently and were very braggadocio with regard to their claims for fame.
In Young’s Analytical Concordance the word “goods” means “the thing existing,” in other words, the Pastor was ruler over the truths existing IN HIS TIME, that is, concurrent with his ministry. In his day, the Pastor was the most dominant personality in connection with the Truth movement—and properly so.
Continued with next post.
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