At this time, light began to shine again in Christianity, according to the Watch Tower Society's version of it's history, and God's approval settled on Russell, leading him to proclaim such "good news" as Christ's invisible return with Kingdom power in 1874 and Armageddon's outbreak in 1914 and that God is known as Jehovah. Russell formed the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and throughout the years produced a number of articles that advocated the worship of Jesus Christ as Lord and King. For example;
It's important for Jehovah's Witnesses and neutrals alike to note that such material was viewed as "spiritual food" at the "proper time" and contributed to the view among the Bible Students (as Jehovah's Witnesses were then known) that Russell was the "faithful and discreet slave" (Matt 24:45-47). We're led to believe that the content of the spiritual food produced by Russell in the pages of the Watchtower magazine, and other publications, was a contributing factor in Jesus Christ choosing the Watch Tower Society (or the "anointed" Witnesses who associate with this corporation) as the "faithful and discreet slave" class.
So, there was a time when Jehovah's Witnesses worshipped Jesus Christ, just as was the case in the 1st Century, as borne out by the inspired text of the New Testament (Matt 2:11, Matt 14:33, John 9:38).
Through time, the Witnesses adopted a legal charter that outlined the purpose of their organisation. The charter was updated in the 1940s and referenced again in the 1970s before being amended in 1999.
Included in this charter is the following;
...and for public Christian worship of Almighty God and Christ Jesus...Part of the darkness that StandFirm attests Christians have fallen into is the belief that Jesus should be worshipped. To quote;
If the first-century Christians did not believe something then we should not believe it either on the basis of Acts 20:30, 1 Timothy 4:1, Matthew 13:24-30, etc.
I submit that what you've fallen for is not new light but actually old darkness.
So, according to StandFirm, he believes that worshipping Jesus is tantamount to going after the teachings of demons. In other words, to worship Jesus Christ is actually twisted and demonic. Of course, he fails to provide scriptural direction that Acts 20:30, for example, pertains to worshipping Jesus.
But that isn't the point. The point is, the founder of the Watch Tower Society believed that Jesus is to be worshipped. For the first 70 or 80 years of its existence the Society taught, was indeed set up to promote, the worship of Jesus Christ. In fact, the publication "Reasoning from the Sciptures" states on page 214, subheading;
"Does the fact that worship is given to Jesus prove that he is God?"
This is puzzling. The "Reasoning" book is current Witness literature and should be considered "new" or "current light", and it states that it's a fact that Jesus is given worship. Is this Watch Tower publication advocating the twisted teachings of demons?
But none of this is really the point. The issue is the idea of the light getting brighter. StandFirm contests that to believe something other than the 1st Century Christians is to be in darkness. What's interesting about this is that the 1st Century Christians worshipped Jesus. Charles T Russell said we should worship Jesus. The legal charter of the Watch Tower Society said we should worship Jesus. The "Reasoning" book says it's a fact that Jesus is worshipped.
StandFirm contests we shouldn't believe things that weren't believed by the 1st C Christians. He includes the worship of Jesus with this, even though he doesn't have a scriptural leg to stand on. But his principle can, and should, be applied to the following;
- Christ's invisible return in 1914
- the appointment of the Watch Tower Society/anointed within that group as the "faithful and discreet slave" class in 1919
- the necessity of that organisation to mankind's salvation
So, who really is in the spiritual dark? Those who worship Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour or those who trust in the son of earthling man to whom no salvation belongs?