Signs of Christ's Presence
One of the primary signs of Christs presence ["parousia"] is the selection of "a wise and faithful servant." "That servant" would be placed in a position "over his household" doing the work of dispensing "meat in due season" when the Lord returns.
Based on Chronology, Parallel Ages, and Time Prophecies, the date of our Lords second invisible presence was 1874 A.D. This narrows the selection of "that servant" to a specific time.
Who, after 1874 A.D., was appointed "ruler" over the Lords household, dispensing "meat in due season" [the harvest truth] to other servants in the household? Who, after 1874 A.D., was made steward "over all his goods" [the harvest work]?
Only one individual fits these qualifications: CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL.
In 1874 A.D. Charles Taze Russell (Br. Russell) was, with other earnest Bible Students, studying the Scriptures, and publishing and dispensing the harvest message to other Christians.
As harvest truths were understood, Br. Russell continued to publish and dispense the truth to the Lords household. The sickle of truth [Rev. 14:15] began the harvest work of separating the wheat [true Christians] from the tares [imitation Christians].
For thirteen years Br. Russells sermons appeared weekly, part of the time simultaneously, in over 2,000 newspapers with a combined circulation of over 15,000,000. He edited a semi-monthly magazine with a circulation of about 45,000 copies. In some years over 300,000 letters were written to him, to which he supervised the answers, some being answered personally. Before Br. Russell died his writings had been published in over forty languages.
Additionally, Br. Russell lectured to audiences in almost every country, traveling over 1,000,000 miles, delivering over 30,000 sermons and lectures. Wherever he was announced to speak, the largest and best auditoriums were filled frequently with thousands.
Br. Russell was placed in a position of responsibility as "steward" over "all the Lords goods" all the harvest work. After his death, Br. Russells writings continue the harvest work of separating the wheat and tares.
The fiery slanderous attacks from without [the clergy] and within [brethren], though severe even to the extent of his own wifes rebellion, never turned Br. Russells focus from faithfulness to his stewardship responsibilities and the purity of a sanctified Christ-like character. The numbers reflect the immense influence of the harvest work in Br. Russells life time.
Br. Russell not only produced the vast literature, but he directed its publication and distribution. He organized and directed seven branch offices in foreign countries. For twenty-two years he controlled a lecture bureau that staffed, for several years, over 300 lecturers. For thirty years Br. Russell managed a propaganda work with, at times, 1000 colporteurs in its service. For twenty-five years he directed a tract movement in which nearly 10,000 individuals took part.
For three years Br. Russell directed the preparation of the "Photo-Drama of Creation" which was exhibited for two and a half years in hundreds of cities and in many countries to over 9,000,000 people and in 35 languages! He was the elected pastor over 1500 Bible Student churches.
All this was accomplished without soliciting $1.00. Br. Russell received $11 per month for his personal needs and died with only $200 in his bank account.
Bible Students acknowledge the Lords choice of Br. Russell as his steward during the harvest. Other Scriptures also reflect Br. Russells work during the harvest.
MAN WITH WRITERS INK HORN Ezek. 9,10
The "writers ink horn" indicates that the written word would be the instrument used to mark the foreheads of those who sigh and cry for the abominations in the land. The first work is sealing the church class in their foreheads by the truth and separating them from Christendom. [Ezek. 9:2-4] Br. Russell published the harvest truths which have been separating true Christians from false Christian systems.
The same "man clothed in linen" scatters coals of fire from the Lords altar over the city. The second work is the Lords judgments on Christendom. [Ezek. 10:2] Harvest truths circulated through Br. Russells writings bring the Lords judgments on the false Christian systems.
THE SEVENTH MESSENGER - Rev. 3:14-22
The Lord assigned seven messengers to the seven churches [Rev. 1:16,20] The Lords message to the seventh messenger of the Laodicean phase of the church corresponds to the message and work of Br. Russell.
During the Laodicean stage of the church, the Lord returns "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." A feast of harvest truths is offered to any Christian who opens the door [accepts his presence]. "If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." [Rev. 3:20] The "meat in due season" of this feast was dispensed through the Lords chosen steward, the seventh messenger, Br. Russell.
The judgment and casting off of the nominal church [Rev. 3:15,16] was proclaimed by Br. Russell, and published and distributed in his writings.
The presence and reign of Christ begun [Rev. 3:20,21] was proclaimed by Br. Russell, and published and distributed through his writings.