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Archive for the ‘Russell, Charles Taze’ Category

Jesse Hemery and the The Goshen Fellowship

From the old website of the Association of bible researchers or Bible -scholars: “Bijbelvorsers“, we published on October 5, 2010 at 1:04 pm on http://bijbelvorsers.webs.com/apps/forums/topics/show/3518291-jesse-hemery-and-goshen-fellowship

The Dutch original version written by us on the “Windows Live Spaces” is not traceable any more

Jesse Hemery

The Goshen Fellowship, not to be mixed with the Trinitarian House Church movement, nor the Baptist church group, was formed as a result of the ministry of Jesse Hemery in England.

Colporter during 19th century

J.C. Sunderlin and J.J. Bender were two associates of the well-known “Pastor” Charles T. Russell of Allegheny, Pennsylvania, had started of the growth of the Bible Students movement in England in 1881. Nearly ten years later, on July 1, 1891, Charles T. Russell first arrived in the British Isles, landing at Queenstown, Ireland, and made a two-month missionary tour, embracing Britain, Europe and Russia. He concluded that Britain offered the best potential and decided to concentrate activities there. He visited and talked to small groups of Watch Tower subscribers and addressed public meetings of up to two hundred interested persons specially invited in Liverpool and London. He also arranged with a London firm to supply Millennial Dawn books, Bible study aids, at special rates to colporteurs (colportage men and women, knockers, canvassers or peddlars).

By December 1898 there were nine established congregations in Britain. Help in organization became the pressing need. C. T. Russell had previously sent “pilgrims” from America to work with colporteurs in the field and to address congregations. Pilgrims were spiritually older men who visited congregations giving Scriptural counsel and encouragement. They were really the forerunners of the travelling ministers now known as circuit overseers.* Russell then decided to appoint Jesse Hemery, a railway signalman from Manchester, to pilgrim service. For ten years Hemery had responded actively to the tract work organized by Bender, and now he commenced his new service on January 3, 1899.

Jesse Hemery had arranged his affairs so that he could devote all his time to the ministry, and he was willing to take up an assignment in London. Hence, on Thursday, November 1, 1901, Hemery was appointed branch overseer of the British Isles branch.

Women had played quite a prominent part in the early days in Glasgow and other congregations, conducting Sunday schools for children. When in April 1903, Russell was in England for a convention tour and expressed that he was not in favour of the ladies doing all that important work some were rather put out by the modified view on woman’s place in the Christian congregation. But the sense of urgency among the brothers in those days kept them going and moved them to undertake a distribution of free literature to every farm and isolated homestead in both Scotland and England.

In time the growing activity of the Bible Students in Britain called for changes in the legal structure of the group. On June 30, 1914, the International Bible Students Association (IBSA) was registered under the Companies Acts as an unlimited company. The liability for the mortgage on the London Tabernacle was transferred to the new legal corporation, which became the lessee also of 34 Craven Terrace, then occupied by the Hemerys and ten other members of the Bethel family. The parent legal body was the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.

Paul S. L. Johnson, a Jew who had become first a Lutheran minister and then a Bible Student pilgrim (teacher/preacher), shortly before Pastor Charles Taze Russell died in 1916, was sent to England to straighten out troubles among the British students. In order to facilitate Johnson’s work, Russell gave him “enlarged powers.” Johnson, in November, proceeded to England and, under the authority received from Russell, fired two of the managers of the London office. Judge J. F. Rutherford, confirmed as president of the Watch Tower Corporation while Johnson was in still in England, saw Johnson as a major threat to his consolidation of leadership control. Johnson believed that the “special authority” given by Russell was still valid. Johnson, Raymond Jolly, and a host of Bible Students withdrew from the Rutherford-led organization and joined in the formation of the Pastoral Bible Institute (PBI).** Differences soon arose among the PBI leaders, so Johnson left and formed the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement. The Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement believes Russell was that faithful and wise servant of Matthew 24:45-47 and was labelled by Johnson the “parousia messenger.”

It turned out later-from Johnson’s own writings-but was not known at the time, that he had come to England having in his possession not only a copy of the proposal signed by the Elders, but also a copy of the 1916 Elders’ Schedule marked by Jesse Hemery to show which of the Elders were sponsoring the move toward control of its own affairs by the Church. And he says that Jesse had sent two copies of this list to America before he left for Britain.

Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869–1942), also known as "Judge" Rutherford, president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, who played a primary role in the organization and doctrinal development of Jehovah's Witnesses. - Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869-1942), ook wel bekend als "Rechter" Rutherford, voorzitter van het Wachttorengenootschap, die een primaire rol in de organisatie en leerstellige ontwikkeling van Jehovah's Getuigen had.

Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869–1942), also known as “Judge” Rutherford, president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, who played a primary role in the organization and doctrinal development of Jehovah’s Witnesses. – Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869-1942), ook wel bekend als “Rechter” Rutherford, voorzitter van het Wachttorengenootschap, die een primaire rol in de organisatie en leerstellige ontwikkeling van Jehovah’s Getuigen had.

Three men, namely Rutherford, Johnson and Hemery, were each convinced that they were, the best man to rule and direct the brethren, ambitious enough to attempt achievement of the coveted position, and blind to the harm they were causing.

Johnson “dismissed” Jesse Hemery as manager for the Society; Jesse took no notice of that but realizing, rather late it must be admitted, the seriousness of the situation, called in Shearn and Crawford, whom he had quite happily seen disfellowshipped and sent into the wilderness only a few weeks previously, to come back and help him get rid of Johnson-which, with perhaps a commendable disregard for old differences, they did.

Jesse Hemery was progressively centralizing power in himself. Secession from Hemery, J. F. Rutherford and the Watch Tower Society progressed rapidly after World War I ended. The Bible Students Committee was constituted in London on April 5, 1919 to coordinate publishing, pilgrim service, etc., outside the Society. He was undoubtedly the most prominent Bible Student/Jehovah’ s Witness in England, serving as Vice President of the IBSA, a position he held until 1946 since his appointment by Pastor Russell in 1901. He had a powerful and indeed all-sufficient ally.

Rutherford began to forcibly and dogmatically alter the existing doctrinal views, organizational structure and other Bible Students started to react against it or go their own way. Bible Students began to realize that not only the truth, but even the spirit of truth they held so dear had been compromised.

Jesse Hemery printed a short booklet supporting Rutherford, and denounced Johnson in “Harvest Siftings Reviewed” itself reviewed (December 7th, 1917).

By the end of 1928 three-fourths had severed their association with Rutherford and the newly changed Watchtower Society. In Great-Britain several separate groups came into existence:

William Robertson formed the Bible Student Publishing Co. before the major split of 1917; he published a quarterly journal The ­Bible Student that was critical of both Pastor Russell and Rutherford. There were certain IBSA ­officials who joined after the split in 1917. This group stopped operations in the 1920s.

Bible Fellowship Union 1917

At the time of the split in 1917, the Forest Gate Church was the second largest Bible Student group in England. F. G. Guard, father-in-law of William Crawford, led the class in ­divorcing themselves from the Society. In 1939 they started publishing The Forest Gate Church Bible Monthly, along with booklets and tracts. This group disbanded in 1979.
Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement 1918 [Paul S.L. Johnson]
Berean Bible Institute 1918 [Australia]
Stand Fast Bible Students Association 1918
Christian Truth Institute 1920
New Jerusalem Fellowship 1922
Elijah Voice Society 1923
Institute of Pyramidology 1923
Old Paths Publications 1925
Dawn Bible Students Association 1928 reorganized as DAWN in 1932
Watchers of the Morning 1937 [offshoot of Pastoral Bible Institute]
Goshen Fellowship 1951 [Jesse Hemery]
Epiphany Bible Students Association 1957 [John Hoefle]
Laodicean Home Missionary Movement 1957 [John Krewson]

Jesse Hemery was disfellowshipped by N. H. Knorr in 1951. Although he accepted much of Russell’s interpretations, he did reject the second presence as being a current reality. Believing Revelation was to be fulfilled in the future, he wrote and published a few Futurist interpretations of Revelation and other books of prophecy. He did reject the second presence as being a current reality.

He died in 1955 shortly after founding the “Goshen Fellowship” in 1951. Frank Lewis Brown headed the group for many years, publishing Zion’s Herald, a monthly journal beginning in 1965. Today there are still some adherents.

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We added on March 2, 2012 at 4:29 am:

The problem with smaller groups or schisms of the Jehovah Witnesses is that they still found themselves as a special chosen group who should be careful not to read material which could bring them off their path.

The Goshen Fellowship, having no internet website, may as such also have been diminishing by their members getting older and dying. The problem mainly could be that they either did not preach enough or did not make work enough to get them be known.

As such those who leave the Watchtower Group should sincerely decide if they want to be a Watchtower Movement member or if they want to be part of a worldwide movement of Bible Students.

We think it is better that they try to share their ideas and help others in this way to explore the Bible and to come to more wisdom. Sharing ideas with other groups can help them both to grow in their knowledge of the Word of God, and shall be giving both more ways to honour Jehovah.

As brother Marcus (Marcus Ampe) points out, the problem of keeping contact, makes that we sometimes loose track of persons.

 

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Our member Jani responded on February 4, 2012 at 4:44 am:

thumbs.webs.com Jani

Jani

Member
Posts: 6

My article about this group:

The Goshen Fellowship (1951 – Present) Still exist?

 

The Goshen Fellowship was formed as a result of the ministry of Jesse Hemery. He was undoubtedly the most prominent Bible Student/Jehovah’s Witness in England, serving as Vice President of the IBSA, a position he held until 1946 since his appointment by Pastor Russell in 1901. He was disfellowshipped by N. H. Knorr in 1951. Although he accepted much of Russell’s interpretations, he did reject the second presence as being a current reality. Believing Revelation was to be fulfilled in the future, he wrote a few commentaries on Revelation and other books of prophecy. He died in 1955 shortly after founding the “Goshen Fellowship” in 1951. Frank Lewis Brown headed the group for many years, publishing Zion’s Herald, a monthly journal beginning in 1965. According to this source, they still exist.

http://bijbelvorsers.webs.com/apps/forums/topics/show/3518291-jesse-hemery-and-goshen-fellowship

 

According to a Great Britain source the movement now is defunct.

I think this group have two good points in common with the “Back to the Bible way” movement:

1. They reject the second presence as being a current reality

2. Believing Revelation was to be fulfilled in the future

The bad thing was that JH claimed he is the faithful slave, as some say, if I understood correct.

Writings:

1. Ministry of the lamb, 108 pages

Zion’s herald

Autor: Frank Lewis Brown

Editor: Goshen Fellowship, 1970

http://books.google.ro/books/about/Ministry_of_the_lamb.html?id=CzhtPAAACAAJ&redir_esc=y

2. The scripture of truth: the vision, its understanding, 84 pages

Autor: Frank Lewis Brown

Editor: Goshen Fellowship, 1967

I need more information.

http://www.weneedgodforever.blogspot.com/2012/02/goshen-fellowship-1951-present-still.html


Shalom, peace, paix, pace, béke

 

Jani

*

On March 2, 2012 at 4:19 am Marcus Ampe wrote:

Marcus Ampe, a.o. founder of the Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie - Bible-Scholars, Association for bible Study

Marcus Ampe, a.o. founder of the Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie – Bible-Scholars, Association for bible Study

Bijbelvorser Marcus Ampe

Site Owner
Posts: 16

Last year, the Biblestudents from Belgium had some talks with members of that group. The problem is that of several ex-JW there are still a lot who do not like to stay in contact the electronic way because they do not want to use the internet.
When they move they also not remember to contact other believers who are also interested in their movement.Two people of the Goshen Fellowship, who we knew, died last year.

and on March 2, 2012 at 5:59 am he continued:

There were also many JW in the group of Free Christians who were still really JW, but face their problem with what happened to their children in their community. Several churches got problems about sexual actions which should not be permitted and certainly should not happen in a church community. The Kingdom Halls could not escape the trap of this world either, and because of the coverup operations the Watchtower Organisation tried to do, several parents were displeased with the organisation, but in their heart and kidneys they stayed JW. So when the Free Christians ceased some of them went back to the organisation.
Of some others, who did not agree with certain teachings at the time, we also know they returned to the Brooklyn Society Organisation and a few became again elders or very active members in the JW movement. One of them still does a lot of good work on the net.

+ March 3, 2012 at 8:13 am:

Until a few years ago I got a Dutch version of the Zion’s Herald which was sent to me from Germany. If I remember well I was subscribed until 2005-06, but I do not have any copies any more to get the address back. The contact person I had for the magazine was somebody living in Holland, if I remember well somewhere in the South East (Limburg). The magazine was printed in English, German and Dutch. From the way of writing it was clearly they had a Jehovah Witnesses stamp more than the Bible Student division of Charles Russell, though traces of The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence, Studies in the Scriptures could still be found.

I wonder if the Bible Fellowship Union at 4 Manor Gardens, Barnstone, Nottingham, NG3 9JL UK, would not know more; Perhaps some people joined that Bible Students Group.  I do not have full names, because in their magazine I can only find abbreviations like: DN, TH, AOH, GC. Perhaps you can contact them and see if they can tell you more.

 

+

Notes:

* International Bible Students Association (IBSA) pilgrims were excellent speakers, and their local talks were typically well-publicized and well-attended. Prominent Bible Students A. H. Macmillan and J. F. Rutherford were both appointed pilgrims before they joined the board of directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania; the IBSA later adopted the name Jehovah’s Witnesses and renamed pilgrims as traveling overseers.

** R. E. Streeter was one of the founding fathers of the Pastoral Bible Institute and a member of the editorial board of that churches The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom magazine.

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Find additional reading:
Troubled Years 1916-1918
A Bible Study Investigation into Our Relationship to God and into “the Time of the End”
A People for His Name: A History of Jehovah’s Witnesses …
Introduction – Biblical Truth Seekers

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Preceding articles:

  1. Looking at older articles series over Russell on the previous Bible-scholar Association
  2. Around C.T.Russell
  3. Charles Taze Russell and what he started
  4. Russell himself never claimed to be a prophet.
  5. Russell and his beliefs
  6. Charles Taze Russell never claimed to have found a new religion, or a new church.
  7. Biblestudents & T.C.Russell
  8. A visible organisation on earth
  9. Different approach in organisation of services #1
  10. Different approach in organisation of services #2
  11. Different approach in organisation of services #3
  12. Suprising figures about Jehovah Witnesses
  13. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news

 

Looking at older articles series over Russell on the previous Bible-scholar Association

On Bijbelvorsers Webs, the closing site of the Biblescholar association, we published on March 4, 2011 at 5:36 am:

Charles Taze Russell the year he died of a heart attack (1916, Oct. 31)  - Charles Taze Russell het jaar dat hij stierf aan een hartaanval (1916, oktober 31)

Charles Taze Russell the year he died of a heart attack (1916, Oct. 31) – Charles Taze Russell het jaar dat hij stierf aan een hartaanval (1916, oktober 31)

Our articles series over Russell has been gotten of our websites (2014 note: from the MSN Groups + from Windows Live Spaces) for a time , but will be placed back over a few months.  Before it comes so far we want to get it clear that on the net there are some wrong accusations to the name of Charles T. Russell.
Particular sites give wrong information on Charles Taze Russell and write that he is the founder of the Witnesses of Jehovah or the group called Jehovah’s Witnesses.

One of the pivot figures in the movement of the Biblestudents, Russell was a man of open mind that also in his free thinking looked to other students of the Bible and did not mind taking over some of their ideas.  As he wanted to take over several thoughts of the followers of Doctor Thomas (the Thomasites or Christadelphians).  He was against each form of authority.  He did not believe in such sectarian organization as the Witnesses of Jehovah had later become, neither in its authoritarian hierarchy.  The true founder of the Jehovah Witnesses organization was Joseph Rutherford.

Russel himself was also conscious of that not a human organization would be able to decide if some one would be able to enter the Kingdom of God.  Differently than the Society of the Jehovah Witnesses he pushed never the idea that all holy Christians had to accept all his ideas and decisions.

About this you can read already the right reaction of Reslight in:  Who’s The Founder Or Jehovah Witnesses?  

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Please do find additional information:

  1. Dissolution of Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study
  2. A move in Spaces
  3. Retrieving some older articles previously placed on Multiply
  4. SOPA & PIPA More good things thrown away than bad things
  5. Looking from different perspectives
  6. Pleased to find Christadelphian World on the net
  7. Around C.T.Russell
  8. Charles Taze Russell and what he started
  9. Russell himself never claimed to be a prophet.
  10. Russell and his beliefs
  11. Charles Taze Russell never claimed to have found a new religion, or a new church.
  12. Biblestudents & T.C.Russell
  13. A visible organisation on earth
  14. Different approach in organisation of services #1
  15. Different approach in organisation of services #2
  16. Different approach in organisation of services #3
  17. Change of name
  18. Daily portion of heavenly food
  19. Male domination and tyranny giving opportunities to defile the Name of God
  20. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
  21. A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium
  22. Belonging to or being judged by
  23. Words to push and pull
  24. Religious Practices around the world
  25. Suprising figures about Jehovah Witnesses
  26. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  27. Bringing Good News into the world
  28. Looking on what is going on and not being of it
  29. Not many coming out with their community name
  30. Power in the life of certain
  31. Concerning gospelfaith
  32. Hallo World
  33. Belgian Biblestudents – Belgische Bijbelstudenten
  34. What are Brothers in Christ
  35. Thomasites
  36. Christadelphian people
  37. Our (Christadelphian) way of life
  38. My (Christadelphian) faith
  39. Brief history
  40. History of the Christadelphians
  41. Who are the Christadelphians
  42. Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith
  43. Those who call the Christadelphians a cult

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  • Russian Court Declares Jehovah Witnesses’ Website Extremist (rferl.org)
    Prosecutors in Russia’s Tver region filed a claim last year saying that the ideas promoted by Jehovah’s Witnesses incite hatred and division.

    Three of the religious organization’s main books, “What Does The Bible Teach Us About,” “Get Closer To Jehovah,” and “Come And Follow Me” were also found by the court to be extremist.

  • Court bars kids from Jehovah’s Witness activities (stuff.co.nz)
    In March, the Family Court declined to continue the interim guardianship order which had placed constraints on the children participating in Jehovah’s Witness faith.

    The parents subsequently sought guardianship directions from the High Court either constraining or permitting the children’s participation in the faith.

    Lawyers for the children resisted such an order being made, submitting that it would curtail the children’s freedom of religion.

  • Judge stops children of Jehovah’s Witness from going to church (nzherald.co.nz)
    A judge has stopped the children of a Jehovah’s Witness from going to church and attending witness meetings and allowed them to attend birthday parties and Christmas celebrations.

    The High Court ruling, released publicly today, comes after the children’s separated parents appealed against Family Court orders regarding custody details.

    Justice Brendan Brown said his ruling would “dilute” the two young children’s exposure to their mother’s faith. However, he recognised the order was “at odds” with the children’s wishes.

  • 10 Things You Never Knew About Jehovah’s Witnesses (listverse.com)
    The modern day Jehovah’s Witnesses (known most commonly for their door-to-door evangelizing work) have been around since the late 1800s. It was around that time that a Bible study group based in Pennsylvania began analyzing, comparing, and dissecting Biblical scripture only to arrive at conclusions not taught by the majority of mainstream Christian religions. This group used zealous proselytizing to spread their scriptural discoveries. They also used their hope for the future that they gathered from the Bible to spread their beliefs across the US. Eventually, they spread their message into many different countries. Though they are currently based in hundreds of lands around the globe, the general populace knows relatively little about this far-flung faith.
  • Missionaries at the Door (guardianlv.com)

    Most everyone has had contact with missionaries of multiple faiths who come knocking at the door anxious to talk about God and religion. Many are keen to ask them to leave before getting their back history or any sort of personal information. While most have heard about Mormonism and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, many are not aware of the theological basis for their proselytizing and the institutional expectations that drive them.

    One of the fastest growing denominations in the country with a current membership hovering around 1.1 million, Jehovah’s Witnesses claim special and unique insight into the Bible and God’s purposes and will for people today. Each member is expected to proselytize on a regular basis. One can find them going door-to-door and two-by-two in any given big city or small town in America and increasingly throughout the world. They bare what they believe is a special message from God.

  • Jehovah’s Witness member dies after child delivery for refusing blood transfusion (dailypost.ng)
    According to London Evening Standard, Adeline, and her husband, Kweku Keh, had been looking for a child for many years. She reportedly endured years of failed fertility treatments, until finally; she was able to conceive naturally, only to die after giving birth to her son, Mawsi, through caesarean section at Homerton Hospital.

Charles Taze Russell and what he started

We would like to present some older articles published by us on the website of Bijbelvorsers Webs, the Association of Bible Scholars or Researchers an Association for Bible-study, and Biblestudents on March 4, 2011 at 5:41 am:

Charles Taze Russell and what he started.

C. T.Russell was born in 1852 (the second of five children) in Allegheny,Pennsylvania in the US. He grew up in faith with his father, got to know the Presbyterian and the Congregational Church. He investigated the philosophies of the Far East – Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism but soon concluded that these philosophies were empty, and his quest for spiritual satisfaction and peace remained unfulfilled.

Christians worldwide were for the first time ever considering the prophetic chronology of the Bible, concluding that Christ was going to return on dates calculated anywhere from 1862 through 1881 (with greater focus on the year 1868). From 1868 to 1875 a lot of Christians all over the world had come in great expectation for the return of Christ, believing that the 6,000 years from the creation of Adam were complete, and the seventh and final millennium began. Lots of preachers,determined to find the truth, went around the world to proclaim the end times.

George Storrs (1796–1879) one of the leaders of the Second Advent movement and affiliated with William Miller and Joshua V. Himes. He began publication of his magazine The Bible Examiner in 1843 and continued it until 1879 with a few breaks - George Storrs (1796-1879) een van de leiders van de Tweede Advent beweging en aangesloten bij William Miller en Joshua V. Himes. Hij begon met de publicatie van zijn tijdschrift The Bible Examiner in 1843 en bleef het tot 1879 met een paar pauzes publiceren

George Storrs (1796–1879) one of the leaders of the Second Advent movement and affiliated with William Miller and Joshua V. Himes. He began publication of his magazine The Bible Examiner in 1843 and continued it until 1879 with a few breaks – George Storrs (1796-1879) een van de leiders van de Tweede Advent beweging en aangesloten bij William Miller en Joshua V. Himes. Hij begon met de publicatie van zijn tijdschrift The Bible Examiner in 1843 en bleef het tot 1879 met een paar pauzes publiceren

George Stetson (1814–1879) Millerite who also wrote for George Storrs’ magazine The Herald of Life and the Coming Kingdom, and for other magazines such as The World's Crisis - George Stetson (1814–1879) Millerite die ook schreef voor George Storrs’ magazine The Herald of Life en the Coming Kingdom, en voor andere bijbelstudenten tijdschriften zoals The World's Crisis

George Stetson (1814–1879) Millerite who also wrote for George Storrs’ magazine The Herald of Life and the Coming Kingdom, and for other magazines such as The World’s Crisis – George Stetson (1814–1879) Millerite die ook schreef voor George Storrs’ magazine The Herald of Life en the Coming Kingdom, en voor andere bijbelstudenten tijdschriften zoals The World’s Crisis

Soon C.T. Russell began also to see that he was living somewhere near the close of the Gospel age, “and near the time when the Lord had declared that the wise,watching ones of his children should come to a clear knowledge of his plan.” From the years 1870 through 1875 Charles, his father Joseph, his sister Margaret, along with several other interested friends and associates, and a few other truth-seekers in Pittsburgh and Allegheny formed a class for Bible study with the well studied Millerite pastors George Storrs, and George Stetson. These studies were purposely detailed and analytical with the goal of examining every ‘jot and tittle’ of Christian doctrine, creeds and traditions in order to determine their accuracy, or to see if they were nothing but “the traditions of men”. Slowly, and step by step, they were able to separate which doctrines were Bible-based from those that were error, or mere tradition. Such detailed studies and questions of faith were common to numerous Protestant groups in the United States at this time in American history.

Charles had a time of constant growth in grace and knowledge and love of God and his Word. During this time of his Bible study, the Russells were also influenced by Adventists such as Jonas Wendell, Nelson Barbour, the Christadelphians and the Lutheran minister Joseph Seiss. In the history of Bible Students we cannot escape to see several names coming up in different denominations of today. In the nineteenth century there was a big cross-pollination. Some of Russell’s beliefs can be traced back to the very beginning of the Second Advent movement started by William Miller.

William Miller (1782-1849), American clergyman, founded a movement which involved thousands in eagerly awaiting the Second Coming of Christ. - William Miller (1782-1849), Amerikaanse dominee, stichtte een beweging die duizenden reikhalzend deden uitkijken naar de wederkomst van Christus.

William Miller (1782-1849), American clergyman, founded a movement which involved thousands in eagerly awaiting the Second Coming of Christ. – William Miller (1782-1849), Amerikaanse dominee, stichtte een beweging die duizenden reikhalzend deden uitkijken naar de wederkomst van Christus.

Because of their intensive study of the Bible, the Russell family (Charles, Margaret, and Joseph) concluded that they had finally gained a new and clearer understanding of what a Christian is called to do in laying down their earthly life in sacrifice and service to God. All three renewed their consecration (vow of dedication) and decided to be re-baptized in 1874.

In 1876 Russell sold his father’s men’s clothing tailoring store named “The Old QuakerShop” located on Federal Street in downtown Pittsburgh and used this money to use it for preaching and publication purposes.

Russell was impressed with Nelson Barbour’s “invisible presence” views on Christ’s coming and he accepted much of his chronological views. Barbour and Russell soon became partners in publishing Herald of the Morning, Pastor Russell becoming an assistant editor of the Adventist magazine.

C.T.Russell became also the co-publisher of the book, Three Worlds and The Harvest of This World (Also called, Three Worlds: Or Plan of Redemption) (1877). A doctrinal dispute between Russell and Barbour over the atonement, and that the Rapture of the saints would occur in April 1878, resulted in Russell ending his partnership with Barbour and publishing his own magazine the Zion’s Watch Tower magazine, starting in 1879. When Russell left, he took many of Barbour’s readers with him, including J.H. Paton, the Herald magazine’s other assistant editor. He continued with Barbour’s chronology of 1874 being the date of Christ’s invisible return, 1799 as the start of the time of the end and 1914 as the “end of the Gentile Times”.

In 1908 the name of their magazine was changed to The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.

Russell married Maria (pronounced ‘moriah’) Frances Ackley (1850-1938 ) on March 13,1879, after merely a few months’ acquaintance. The marriage was based on a mutually agreed celibate partnership established for preaching the gospel. In 1897 they separated following disagreements over the propriety of her role in the management of Zion’s Watch Tower magazine.

In 1881 “Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society” was founded with the purpose of disseminating tracts, papers, doctrinal treatises and Bibles, and was officially chartered in 1884.

Charles devoted nearly a tenth of his fortune in publishing and distributing his first major publication, entitled “Food for Thinking Christians” in 1881. In that same year he also wrote and distributed, “Tabernacle and its Teachings”, and “Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices”. In “Food for Thinking Christians”, Russell’s zeal to throw light upon the creedal errors motivated him to tear into the error without first showing that the Bible was indeed true, and that there was truth to be found therein. This approach shivered many men well and did the rear.

Russell wanted to outline the entire Bible and God’s plan for humanity, completely free of the Roman creeds and “traditions of men” in a seven-volume set. The first volume was originally entitled “The Plan of the Ages”, later renamed “The Divine Plan of the Ages”.

The”Divine Plan of the Ages” took the opposite approach of “Food for Thinking Christians” and first showed the beauty and harmony of the Bible before attacking the creedal errors. This approach was accepted as a refreshing answer to people’s search for truth so evident from the end of the 19th century onward.

The remaining volumes of the series, originally named “Millennial Dawn” but renamed in 1904 to “Studies in the Scriptures”, are:

 

The Time is at Hand (1889)

Thy Kingdom Come (1891)

The Day of Vengeance/The Battle of Armageddon (1897)

The Atonement Between God and Men (1899)

The New Creation (1904)

 

The delayed publishing of the seventh volume eventually became a source of great anticipation and mystery among Bible Students. Following Russell’s death in 1916, a seventh volume entitled The Finished Mystery, was published in 1917 and advertised as his “posthumous work”. True to Russell’s plan, this seventh volume was a detailed interpretation of the book of Revelation, but had included interpretations of Ezekiel, and the Song of Solomon. Immediate controversy surrounded both its publishing, and contents. In a short time it was established that it was actually written and compiled by two of Russell’s former associates, Clayton J. Woodworth and George H. Fisher, and edited by Joseph Franklin Rutherford. [i]

By 1903, newspapers began printing sermons written by Pastor Russell. The success of this got perhaps in his head. Though a lot of criticism came up he became more in the picture and got more followers.

While on the one hand claiming no special “authority,” Russell clearly desired to be the “servant” in the estimation of the “household of faith.” The danger became that he started claiming to be the “mouthpiece” of God. While others before him paved the way in giving the “midnight cry,” such as Miller and Barbour, Russell believed he was finally chosen as the one in restoring true Biblical teaching. While saying everyone needed to decide for himself, etc., Russell clearly wanted everyone to”study” the Bible solely from his writings.

Frederick William Franz (1893–1992) member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses and served as president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, the legal entity used to direct the work of Jehovah's Witnesses. - Frederick William Franz (1893-1992) lid van het Regerend Lichaam van Jehovah's Getuigen en diende als president van het Wachttorengenootschap the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, de juridische entiteit gebruikt om het werk van Jehovah's Getuigen te leiden.

Frederick William Franz (1893–1992) member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and served as president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, the legal entity used to direct the work of Jehovah’s Witnesses. – Frederick William Franz (1893-1992) lid van het Regerend Lichaam van Jehovah’s Getuigen en diende als president van het Wachttorengenootschap the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, de juridische entiteit gebruikt om het werk van Jehovah’s Getuigen te leiden.

After Russell’s dead it became even worse. A leadership crisis arose surrounding the new president of the Society, Joseph Rutherford, resulting in a movement-wide schism. As many as three-quarters of the approximately 50,000 Bible Students who had been associating in 1917 had left by 1931, resulting in the formation of several groups that retained variations on the name Bible Students. The idea of the truthful slave was interpolated to the Watchtower Tract Society. Rutherford and Fred Franz (Frederick William Franz) their followers who maintained fellowship with the Watch Tower Society adopted the name Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1931. They accept that the Society is provided with the only truthful slave and is the only one which has received the light from God and can show the light and right way to enter the Kingdom of God. JW‘s believe the Bible Students are still stuck on the “old light” of “Pastor” Russell and thus haven’t kept up with the latest “light” or “present truth.” Thus JW’s are no longer “Russellites” or followers of Russell as detractors have called them and they used to proudly call themselves. [ii] Russell is no longer viewed by the Watchtower Society as the “faithful and wise servant” alone serving the “meat in due season” or proper explanation of the Scriptures as they taught until 1927. [iii] They have gone back to the original view that the “servant” is a class of people, the 144,000, of which Russell was only one. The truth is still being progressively revealed to the modern “remnant” of the 144,000 who are currently leading the corporation Russell founded according the Jehovah Witnesses. Russell is viewed by JW’s today as the founder of their movement who helped revive the truth and separated them from Babylon the Great, but who taught many things that are no longer the “truth’ as the “light has grown brighter” since his day. JW’s therefore do not and are not encouraged to read Russell’s material at all, except the brief quotations provided by the Society’s writers in their current publications.

The Society of the Watchtower stopped publishing Russell his Studies in the Scriptures in 1928. Many Bible Students believe for the most part that the Society has become apostate as it no longer believes in many of Russell’s teachings as exposed in his Studies. As Russell warned about those who would do such a thing, the Society has gone into spiritual darkness, according to those other Bible Students. JW’s are viewed by many Bible Students as part of the Whore of Babylon and tell JW’s to “get out of her my people.”

Although the JW testify to be bible the only real research workers of truth, we fortunately can determine that there are, though be it in comparison with the traditional religions, not so many, still several people who were faithful to study the Book of books wanting to examine the Holy Scriptures and to investigate how they can be most faithful to this Word of God.

Those who severed ties with the Society formed their own groups including the Pastoral Bible Institute in 1918 (publishing The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom), the Layman’s Home Missionary Movement in 1919, and the Dawn Bible Students Association in 1929.

Moreover the former not associated Bible researchers remain still active in their Bible study and the proclamation of the Word of God.

*

Notes:

[i] http://www.pastor-russell.com/misc/bio.html

[ii] Walter Martin and Norman Klan, Jehovahof the Watchtower (Minneapolis, MN.: Bethany House Publishers), 1953, 1974,p. 41; The Golden Age, March 17, 1920, pp. 409-414.

[iii] J. F. Rutherford, The Harp ofGod (Brooklyn, NY: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society), 1921, pp. 237,239.

Dutch speaking readers at that time could find this text in Dutch on the Space of the Belgian bible Students but by the disappearance of Windows Live Spaces the article also disappeared

Nederlandstaligelezerskonden dit artikel in het Nederlands vinden op de Space van Bijbelstudenten uit België maar door het wegvallen van Windows Live Spaces hebben wij dat artikel verloren : Charles Taze Russell, een bal die veel aan het rollen bracht.

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Find also:

  1. Different approach in organisation of services #1
  2. Different approach in organisation of services #2
  3. Different approach in organisation of services #3
  4. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  5. Commitment to Christian unity
  6. Parts of the body of Christ
  7. Dissolution of Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study

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  • The Mustard Seed by The Church of Christ, Sangotedo (slideshare.net)
    In the Bible, the mustard seed is used by Jesus in the parable of the Mustard Seed as a model for the kingdom of God which initially starts small but grows to be the biggest of all garden plants…
  • Bible Verse of the Day – Colossians 3:16 (worldeventsandthebible.com)
    Let the Word of Christ dwell in your heart. Think about that for a moment. When Christ’s Word truly dwells in our heart it makes us a better person. It allows us to see the love Christ has for us and this enables and encourages us to share His Letter with the world. This my friends is our mission in this life. To follow after our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and share His most precious Word with those who will give an ear.
  • November 17, 2014 – agreement (cohdailyprayer2014.wordpress.com)
    The leader relies on the mutual agreement we all have with God. He or she does not create faith or supply spiritual motivation. Christians live together in love and truth by their mutual agreement as people who are gifted with the Spirit of God. Our agreement holds us together. Agreement is a description of an action, not just a name for a document. Our ongoing, mutual dialogue in Christ forms and shapes our mutual understanding and direction. That agreement is a key factor in how much difference we make.
  • Bride of Christ (zestwriter.wordpress.com)
    John saw her / Descending from heaven / Her latter glory / Called her New Jerusalem / Such a beautiful story / What a beautiful bride / The bride of Christ
  • No separation! Romans 8:38-39 (wordsnmotion.wordpress.com)
    For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Moving Through Time: Timeline of Religion (pcr.wpengine.com)
  • In 1845-1870 AD, E.G. White established the 7th Day Adventists, a Protestant Christian denomination that believes in observing Saturday as the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week. In addition, 7th Day Adventists believe in the imminent second coming of the Jesus Christ. This movement was influenced and grew out of the Millerite movement in the United States during the 19th century.
  • In 1848 AD, Kate and Margaret Fox founded Spiritualism, a belief system that postulates the belief in spirits of the dead who have an inclination in communicating with the living through a divination system known as mediumship.
  • In 1870 AD, Charles Taze Russel founded the Jehovah Witnesses, a Christian denomination distinct from mainstream Christianity. The Jehovah’s Witnesses base their beliefs on their own biblical interpretations and even transcribed their own version of the Holy Bible. They believe that Armageddon and the establishment of New Jerusalem is imminent.
  • In 1875 AD, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Henry Olcott founded the Theosophical Society, a research and publishing institute dedicated to sharing esoteric doctrine of many spiritual traditions around the world. H.P. Blavatsky’s extensive research led to the publishing of the “magnum opus, The Secret Doctrine,” a comprehensive synthesis of ancient knowledge. The Theosophical Society aimed to form a brotherhood that did not discriminate against race, creed, sex, caste, or color.
  • In 1879 AD, Mary Baker Eddy formed a cult sect known as Christian Science (PDF), a religious practice derived from revelations given to Mary Baker Eddy and from the Bible itself. Its core texts are the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, also known as the “Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures.” Christian Science asserts that humanity and the universe coincide together as a whole in their truest essence, whereas evil and fallacies are illusory aspects of the material plane.
  • Between 1889 to 1924 AD, Myrtle Fillmore founded the Unity School of Christianity, a religious group that believes that all people are created with sacred worth. The Unity School of Christianity shares a universal love for all people, regardless of race, sex, color, ethnicity, creed, gender, political ideology, or disability.
  • In 1902 AD, Rudolf Steiner founded the Anthroposophical Society, a religious organization that postulates that an individual can comprehend an objective spiritual world through direct experience and inner development.
  • In 1906 AD, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World is one of the longest, and oldest Oneness Pentecostal organizations in operation today. It currently has a membership of one and a half million members in the United States alone. Pentecostal doctrine believes in the trinity; however, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one God. In addition, Pentecostal attendees manifest the gifts of the spirit, especially the laying of hands and speaking in tongues.

Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 3

Radio-oproepen en boekjes

Vandaag zijn de Jehovah Getuigen de grootste bekende Bijbel Studenten organisatie in België. Eerst konden ze Bijbelonderzoekers groepen vinden die met hen, ten tijde van Rutherford, wilden associëren. Diegenen die Charles Taze Russell eerst hadden gevold en nu verder wensten te gaan met Rutherford begonnen verder uit te groeien. Maar de interne onenigheden veroorzaakten ook breuken, die zelfs tot in België voelbaar waren.

Français : Blason de Jumet (Charleroi-Belgique...

Blazoen van Jumet (Charleroi België), ook wapenschild van de abdij van Lobbes. (Foto credit: Wikipedia)

Als gevolg van radio uitzendingen, in het Frans en gesponsord door de Broeders van Dawn uit de VS; waren 3 Belgische gezinnen geïnteresseerd in de tegenwoordige waarheid. Het was Broeder Lechien Armand, die in contact kwam met broeder Félix Pilarski via de mail service van Radio Luxemburg: Broeder Félix richte zich tot hem in Jumet. Deze 3 families werden ook eerst lid van de vereniging met de naam “Jehova Getuigen” of Getuigen van Jehovah. Toen zij merkten dat Rutherford met zijn Genootschap meer en meer afweek van de leerstellingen van Russell en vonden dat de leringen die zij hoorden niet in harmonie waren met de Schrift, verlieten zij de beweging. Maar zij bleven verder de Heilige Schrift onderzoeken.

Families die samen kamen in huizen of Huiskerken vormden

De Pools-Belgische broeder en zuster Wlodarski hadden Franse broeders en zusters in hun kennissenkring en vonden meer broeders van de Franse vereniging Association des étudiants de la Bible die ook vaker bij hen wilden komen om te het Woord van God te dienen. Zo konden zij een paar broeders van Saint Etienne treffen: François Wozniak, Kosmalski A. Liszka, T. Kubiak, J.Osorowski S., TF et Ed Pilarski, Speil, en vele anderen; de familie Kula, hun jongste dochter en een zoon woonden de vergaderingen bij. In de volgende jaren, net als in Frankrijk, kwamen pelgrim broeders uit de Verenigde Staten en later uit Polen hen bezoeken.

De families – Armand en Louise Lechien Ernest en Helena Duchateau – Edmond en Jeanne Henrioule besloten bijeenkomsten tijdens de week (woensdag en donderdag) te houden waarbij zij een studie hielden over de Figuren van het Tabernakel. Met hun toestemming voegden zich de families Wlodarski en Kula bij hen. De studies werden gehouden in twee talen met de hulp van een vertaler (de 2 talen die werden gesproken waren Frans en Pools).
Broeder Félix Pilarski en andere broeders werkten veel voor het welslagen van deze bijeenkomsten, omdat ze
perfect Frans spraken.

De Sint-Lambertuskerk in Courcelles.

Broeder Félix Pilarski maakte een fraaie bijdrage aan de ontwikkeling van de vergadering van Courcelles met stichtelijke Bijbelse discoursen en met zijn bezoeken. Hij was ook persoonlijk actief in het streek van Liège (Luik) en in Brussel, waar hij een voorraad van boekjes had. Andere broeders leverden ook vele bezoeken af, onder hen kunnen we onder andere broeder Joseph Wozniak, Adolphe Debski noemen.
Nadat  Broeder
Ernest Duchateau plotseling overleed werden de bijeenkomsten nog  voortgezet voor bepaalde tijd. Toen broeder Lechien overleed na een heel lange ziekte konden we een repetitieve zaak zien rond de huis kerken. De ecclesia van Courcelles verdween in het midden van de jaren ’70.

Voormaling Gemeentehuis. Gebouwd in 1825-1827 door Jan Kuypers, waar de Bijbelstudenten film “Waarom kwam Hij naar de aarde?” werd vertoond.

Op 24 oktober 1987, organiseerde de ecclesia van Jumet twee uitsteeksels van de film Waarom kwam Hij naar de aarde?” In het gemeenschapscentrum van het stadhuis van Charleroi. Die shows werden aangekondigd met reclame: affiches op openbare plaatsen, reclame in de stad met luidsprekers, advertenties in de lokale kranten, op radio en tv, weergave op elektronische schermen, distributie van folders.
Meer dan honderd personen woonden deze filmprojecties bij. Pamfletten en traktaten werden gegeven aan de deelnemers, maar slechts weinigen vroegen voor meer informatie en andere boekjes.

De leer van Christus ‘regering op aarde’

Al snel in de geschiedenis van het Christendom zag men de meerderheid valse leraren nalopen. De mythen waren meer een lust voor het oor dan de werkelijke waarheid. Ze werden tot rust gewiegd met hetgeen zij zelf graag wensten te horen. Wat was er niet fijner om die zaken te horen die je niet moesten doen veranderen van gewoonten en zeden.

Al vroeg in de geschiedenis geraakten de ware volgers van Jezus Christus in de verdrukking. In sommige streken moesten zij zelfs voor hun leven gaan vrezen. Die angst voor vervolging maakte dat zij eerder verdoken hun godsdienst beleden.

De Broeders hun geloof van het ware evangelie was van oorsprong’ puur, maar door de menselijke onzuiverheden werd het ook heen en weer geschud doorheen de jaren. De verscheiden kleine groepjes die thuis de bijbel bestudeerden handelden verder in hun eigen kleine kring. Dit maakte ook dat er niet veel kennis naar buiten bloeide.

In België en Nederland bleven Bijbel Getrouwen naarstig de Bijbel bestuderen maar ook de opdracht van Jezus volgen, met het blijven prediken van het Evangelie van het Koninkrijk van God.
De eerste noch de tweede wereld oorlog had hen er van kunnen weerhouden, hoewel velen van hen angstvallig uitkeken naar de werking van de twee strijdende kampen, omdat ze
tegen het vechten waren en omdat ze handelden op grond van een geloof dat helemaal niet graag gezien werd door iedereen .

Dat Jezus en zijn apostelen spraken over het nieuws dat er een koninkrijk op aarde zou worden opgericht dat zou worden geregeerd door Jezus Christus en dat daar de gelovigen van alle tijden een plaats zouden krijgen naast hun Heer: dwz als coheersers, klonk natuurlijk niet fijn in de oren voor hen (die de Duitse Führer als de enige heerser wilde). Maar de blijde boodschap voor de mensheid overleefde nu de strijd onder de mensen en bracht een ongekende vrede in sommige families.

De leer van Christus’ regering op aarde werd eerst behandeld als zeer symbolisch, werd geleidelijk bestempeld als een zeer twijfelachtige en nutteloze gedachte en werd uiteindelijk als een absurde uitvinding van ketterij en fanatisme afgewezen.
Gods licht dooft gelukkig niet; het is een eeuwige vlam. Het volk van Israël in de oudheid bereikte ook detritus. Zij dienden ook andere goden. Toch blijven er op dit moment gelovigen in de Ene God die ook Hem Alleen als Allerhoogste willen dienen. Ook na de grote verschrikking van de wereldoorlogen kon de geschiedenis zich
nu herhalen. Trouw aan God wilden die Bijbel studenten, niet zo maar één werelds man en zijn organisatie (Rutherford en de Getuigen van Jehovah) volgen. Naast het trouw blijven aan de hoeksteen Jezus, als het enige fundament voor Gods Kerk, bleven er getrouwen aan Dr.Thomas en aan de Bijbel hun bevindingen met anderen delen en ondanks de voortdurende tegenstand durfden zij in te gaan tegen de meest populaire leer van de meeste mensen.

Het krijgen van een basis in Holland

Na pogingen die vanuit Nederland werden gemaakt om de Waarheid naar Engeland te brengen (in de 16e eeuw) en de vlucht van de waarheidszoekers naar de Nieuwe Wereld in de 19e eeuw, konden nu brieven van waarheidszoekers uit de Nieuwe Wereld weer de waarheid naar Europa toe sturen.
De Europeanen konden nu vanuit de Nieuwe Wereld de andere denkwijze horen van mensen die veel tijd hadden gestoken in het onderzoeken van de Bijbel. Het onderricht van Elias Smith en John Thomas kon nu de tijd rijp was, een gelegenheid geven aan een opleving’ van de Bijbel Getrouwen. Zij vonden ook hun weg over de oceaan en in alle Engels sprekende landen, waar ze een voet aan de grond kon vinden. Van daaruit druppelde het naar de Lage Landen.

Door de eeuwen heen, toonde het Evangelie van Gods Koninkrijk, zoals het voorheen gepredikt werd door Jezus en de apostelen, een dynamische kracht die alle tegenstand van de machtige religieuze groepen die het kon trotseren. Dat evangelie van Gods Koninkrijk dient nog steeds als de enige basis van het geloof voor hen die God willen zoeken. En de Engelsen die dat wisten en de Noordzee hadden overgestoken om te gaan verkondigen, konden in Nederland ook mensen vinden die dat Woord van God trouw wensten te blijven.

Website of the Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians in the Netherlands - Website van de Nedrlandse Broeders in Christus

Website of the Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians in the Netherlands – Website van de Nedrlandse Broeders in Christus

In 1956 kon in Nederland eindelijk de groep van Broeders in Christus soliditeit krijgen en ontstonden gemeenschappen in Den Haag, Amersfoort, Ede en Groningen. In Nederland officieel erkend sinds 1957, bleven zij het als hun plicht tegenover onze Heer zien, om zijn Naam bekend te maken onder de mensen in hun omgeving, alsook onder andere volken. Daarbij ligt hun nadruk op de Bijbel als de bron van alle kennis, waarbij hun leidraad daarbij het woord van onze Heer is:

“Om niet hebt gij het ontvangen, geeft het om niet.”

De gemeenschap van Broeders in Christus begon ook het magazine “Met Open Bijbelte verspreiden  waarvan Rudolf Rijkeboer de drijvende kracht was tot aan zijn dood vorig jaar.

Verdwijnende interesse

Het bleek duidelijk dat na de gouden eeuw’ met de kinderboom en inwoners van België die hun leven steeds beter zagen worden, dat hiermee ook de belangstelling voor de Bijbelse boodschap van de Waarheid verminderde. De laatste jaren kan men spreken van totaal geen interesse meer voor Geloof, Bijbel of Kerk.
De Bijbel Studenten zagen hun leden aantal in Ecclesiae verminderen. De enige troost die zij konden hebben was dat ook in de algemeen reguliere kerk een neerwaarste spiraal op gang was gekomen. De bezoekende broeders en zusters van de Christadelphian Bijbel Missie [Christadelphian Bible Mission (CBM)] uit Groot-Brittannië, die voor 25 jaar regelmatige bezoeken maakten aan België om folders en pamfletten in de brievenbussen te steken, konden minder geestdrift vinden bij hun eigen leden, omdat het niets bleek uit te halen. Met hun korte bezoeken probeerden ze mensen op straat te bereiken en hoopten dat er op hun folders zou worden gereageerd. De Nederlandse Broeders die de algemene leiding toen nog hadden over het gehele gebied kregen echter verwaarloosbaar weinig reacties van het zuiden. Op het moment dat ze het allemaal wilden opgeven en verschillende Christadelphians Holland begonnen te verlaten om terug te keren naar hun geboorteland (Engeland of naar Australië), vond in België toch een kentering plaats in de wereld van Bijbelvorsers.
In de jaren ’90 vormden sommige Bijbel Studenten met exJehovah Getuigen de Vrije Christenen. In die beweging was ook de niet-trinitarische Doopsgezinde Marcus Ampe. Nog voordat hij zelf werd opgenomen in de Christadelphian gemeenschap had hij als niet-trinitarisch Baptist al anderen tot het Christadelphian geloof gebracht. Met hem predikend in Vlaams-Brabant en in Henegouwen, plus op het net, werd wederom een poging gedaan om het goede nieuws van het komende Koninkrijk te brengen.

Verwoede pogingen

Vorig jaar deed hij een poging om de verschillende Bijbel Studenten groepen bij elkaar te krijgen. Hij hoopte zo dat de verscheidene splintergroepen meer tot een uitwisseling van ideeën en vergaderingen zouden komen. Spijtig genoeg, werden zijn verzoeningspogingen tussen onderling strijdende groepen niet gewaardeerd. Een man uit het hoge noorden met zijn organisatie die nochtans het linken van hulp in haar naam heeft, hield het tegen dat door hem en zijn organisatie gedoopte Christadelphians met de Christadelphians van de Vrije Christadelphians (toen nog gewoon genaamd: Christadelphians en onder bescherming van CBM) met als basis de regio Leuven en met de Bijbelstudenten Christadelphians samen zouden kunnen komen. Broeder Marcus zijn onderneming liep faliekant uit. In plaats van de Christadelphians verenigd onder één dak te krijgen werd de kleinste groep nog meer uitgedund door onenigheid omtrent unificatie. Bepaalde mensen wensten zelf alles onder controle te hebben en konden het niet verdragen dat iemand anders in hun boeken zou kunnen mee kijken. Vooral de man van het Noorden zorgde voor de grootste struikelsteen.
Een aantal van onze medebroeders konden wij zelf niet zo ver krijgen dat zij over hun meningsverschillen heen zouden kijken. Voor onze Australische broeders, van de Australische Bijbel Studenten werden de CBM-leden niet zuiver genoeg gevonden. Volgens hen zijn de CBM leden te ver afgeweken van de originele leer van broeder Dr. John Thomas. Voor hen zou een samengaan met een groep, die (volgens hen) te los omspringt met de leer, het hele systeem verzwakken. Hierdoor kregen wij het ook moeilijk te verduren om mensen in eigen rangen er toe te bewegen over de menselijke tekortkomingen heen te kijken, en waren wij dan ook slachtoffer van een leegloop.
Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie, opgericht door Marcus Ampe - Bijbelvorsers (Bible Scholars), association for Bible study, founded by Marcus Ampe

Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie, opgericht door Marcus Ampe – Bijbelvorsers (Bible Scholars), association for Bible study, founded by Marcus Ampe

Onze uitnodiging om zich te verenigen als Broeders en zusters in Christus blijft open staan. Door al zijn tevergeefse inspanningen heeft broeder Marcus Ampe er ook genoeg van gekregen om de Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie verder te onderhouden en zal hij de website Bijbelvorsers in de nabije toekomst gaan afsluiten. Dit om zich meer te concentreren op de belangrijke opdracht die volgelingen van Jezus hebben gekregen, namelijk de verspreiding van het Goede Nieuws. Hij zal zich dan ook, met enkele doorzetters, verder het Goede Nieuws verkondigen. Broeder Marcus Ampe wil zich meer toeleggen op het prediken zelf in plaats van tijd en energie te verliezen aan het trachten mensen te verenigen, wanneer het er klaarblijkelijk geen tijd voor is om daarin te slagen.

We zijn ervan overtuigd dat ons prediking werk belangrijk is en dat zelfs als we niet zo veel mensen in België kunnen  bereiken, we toch ook hopen dat we enkelen hier kunnen bereiken, maar ook wat anderen die misschien wel ver weg van ons wonen. We hopen dat onze stem ook mag klinken in de duisternis en wat licht tot mensen zal mogen brengen die we niet kennen, maar die we hopen te ontmoeten in het Koninkrijk van God. We kijken ernaar uit om veel nieuwe gezichten, gelukkig te zien onder leiding van de Heer, niet begrensd door enkele mensen, maar gebouwd op de hoeksteen van Jezus Christus.
Hoewel we een andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten mogen hebben, geloven we dat we allemaal samen zouden moeten gaan voor dezelfde waarheid en voor de eenwording onder Christus, waarbij elke groep een andere naam zou kunnen hebben, maar bereid is om te worden verenigd in de geest, bereid te delen en samen te werken om positief op te bouwen, elkaar te helpen en constructief gemeenschappen onder Christus te vormen. Wij hopen dat er in de toekomst meer gegadigden kunnen gevonden worden die wel tezamen elkaar willen ondersteunen en er aan werken om nog meer mensen warm te maken om samen op weg te gaan en elkaar te helpen om door de nauwe poort het komende Koninkrijk binnen te kunnen gaan.

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Voorgaand:

Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 1

Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 2

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Aanvullende lectuur:

  1. Welkomstwoord
  2. Staat Europa voor vrijheid van godsdienst
  3. Godsdienstvrijheid mensenrecht
  4. EU wetsvoorstel banning levensbeschouwelijke symbolen
  5. EU wil christenen het zwijgen opleggen
  6. Werk maken van Godsdienstvrijheid
  7. Christendom blijft van invloed
  8. Politiek en macht eerste prioriteit #1
  9. Wat betreft Waar Elke mens recht op heeft
  10. Marx, het Volk, Religie, Christendom en verwrongen ideeën
  11. Materialisme, “would be” leven en aspiraties #1
  12. Materialisme, “would be” leven en aspiraties #3
  13. Materialisme, “would be” leven en aspiraties #4
  14. Materialisme, “would be” leven en aspiraties #5
  15. De Dag is nabij #8 Overzicht
  16. De nacht is ver gevorderd 2 Studie 1 Zijn het de laatste dagen? 1 Intro
  17. De nacht is ver gevorderd 20 Studie 4 Nu actueel: Financiële Crisis
  18. De nacht is ver gevorderd 22 Studie 4 Nu actueel: Nut van tekenen
  19. Een kerk naar smaak en taal
  20. De marketing van God een op maat gemaakt bedrijfsadvies
  21. Oorlog in kerkenland
  22. Manifest Gelovigen nemen het woord
  23. Fragiliteit en actie #6 Juistheid van handelen
  24. Fragiliteit en actie #7 Gebeurtenissen en Prioriteiten
  25. Redding, vertrouwen en actie in Jezus #6 Samenhoren
  26. Redding, vertrouwen en actie in Jezus #9 Omgang met anderen
  27. In de hand #5 Niet bang zich te geven
  28. Geloof heeft te maken met hoe je voelt
  29. Wegen die tot God leiden
  30. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen. #4 Volgelingen van Jezus
  31. Opwekking begint in het gezin
  32. Kerklidmaatschap belangrijk of niet
  33. Kerk niet bepaald gebouw
  34. Samen komen in huizen
  35. Opbouw van een ecclesia
  36. Schijnbaar onmogelijke opdracht
  37. Hermeneutiek om uit te dragen #10 Verkondigen
  38. Verkondigen
  39. Opdracht tot getuigenis
  40. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #11 Vredelievende waarheidzoekers
  41. Zoeken naar waarheid, studiemateriaal, Jehovah Getuigen, ex-Jehovah Getuigen en anderen
  42. Wie, wat & hoe Christadelphians
  43. Volharding en Bijbelstudenten
  44. Overgang 2013-2014 en Met Open Bijbel
  45. Duncan Heaster en Carelinks onverbiddelijke verhinderaars
  46. Nieuwe naam een feit
  47. Seizoen 2013-2014
  48. Op weg naar 2014-2015
  49. Een nieuw seizoen voor de deur
  50. Een terugblik op Christadelphianisme en de Broeders in Christus in België
  51. Denken aan het ontbinden van de Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie: Bijbelvorsers
  52. Bij de opheffing van de Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie
  53. Jehovah steile rots en vesting, bron van inzicht
  54. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  55. By the closing down of the Association for Biblestudy
  56. Dissolution of Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study

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Different approach in organisation of services #2

Time of the gentiles ending

After the Germans had invaded Belgium the faithful Bible students continued their preaching work. Even when they had to walk 99 kilometres from Liège to Charleroi along the railroad tracks, these humble coalminers were zealous to attend meetings.

The families Tilmant and Verdière continued to spread the Good News of the Kingdom.

Following Russell’s death, October 31st 1916, a seventh volume—entitled The Finished Mystery—was published in 1917 and advertised as his “posthumous work”. This seventh volume was a detailed interpretation of the book of Book of Revelation, but also included interpretations of Ezekiel and the Song of Solomon. An advertisement for the book in Zion’s Watch Tower called it “the true interpretation”, and had it promoted as being “of the Lord—prepared under his guidance.” Immediate controversy surrounded both its publication and content. It was soon established that it was largely written and compiled by two of Russell’s associates, Clayton J. Woodworth and George H. Fisher, and edited by Russell’s successor, Joseph Franklin Rutherford.

The position and air which Rutherford took was not appreciated by many. The Russellites accused him for betraying Russell. In Belgium as in other countries where the Present Truth was established, a few problems came to light, some people intended to divide.

In the course of events, for what concerns Jumet and the district of Charleroi, the Tilmant family and other people joined Rutherford who was elected president of the Watchtower Society. The strong personality of Rutherford like the one of Robert Roberts made people choosing for other lesser dictatorial figures. Several core doctrines of the Millennialist Restorationist Christian movement that emerged from the teachings and ministries of Dr. John Thomas and Charles Taze Russell, also known as Pastor Russell, got changed. Throughout the world thousands of members left congregations of Bible Students associated with the Watch Tower Society throughout the 1920s prompted in part by Rutherford’s failed predictions for the year 1925, increasing disillusionment with his on-going doctrinal and organizational changes, and his campaign for centralized control of the movement.

Followers in Belgium

Prolific writer and bible Student Paul Samuel Leo Johnson

Prolific writer and bible Student Paul Samuel Leo Johnson

The U.S.A. immigrant from Poland and a prominent Hebrew scholar, Paul Samuel Leo (formerly Levitsky) Johnson attracted many followers in Belgium and other places. In 1903 he had begun began fellowship with the Columbus Ecclesia of the Watch Tower Society and was appointed by Russell as a Pilgrim of the Bible Student movement in 1904. He eventually served as Russell’s personal secretary and in time became Russell’s most trusted friend and advisor. Though for him it became very difficult to cope with those Bible students who challenged the teachings of Pastor C.T. Russell on questions around his understanding of the new covenant and the ransom for all.

The illegal introduction of new by-laws for the Watch Tower Society gave the President Rutherford full control over the affairs of the Society. However, this was not Pastor Russell’s wish. In his last will and testament he had provided for a seven-man board of directors to succeed him. Four members of the Society’s Board of Directors, a majority of the Board, took strong exception to what they regarded as Rutherford’s high-handed behaviour and opposed him. Eventually tension between Rutherford and the directors grew and on July 17, 1917, Ruther­ford simply announced to the Bethel family in Brooklyn, New York, during meal time that he had replaced the four directors with his own appointees, using the legal jargon that the directors who had opposed him did not hold their positions legally under Pennsylvania law.
Ru­therford falsely claimed that the four directors and others with them were refusing to cooperate with the Society. Even today Jehovah’s Wit­nesses are told that the four directors who were expelled from the Watch Tower headquarters were wicked and self-serving.

Missionaries

Lots of serious Bible students like the Thomasites, Russellites and several associated members of the Bible Student Movement opposed the way Rutherford wanted to have the Bible Students moving. The four directors formed an institute to continue the work of Pastor Russell independent of the Society. Others would form corporations of their own. Some Bible Students followed the lead of their favourite elder or teacher. Still others, leery of organization and societies, stayed independent of all others.
Brother Paul Johnson gave his movement the name “Interior Missionary Laity Movement” (one of the unincorporated names used by Pastor Russell and the early IBSA).  From that group the Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Bible Students gave their ideas to some Belgians. Some joined Alexander F.L. Freitag, also known as Freytag, who at the end of 1917, still was responsible manager of the Watchtower edited in French in Switzerland. Freitag founded the group Angel of the Lord (inspired by a verse of the Apocalypse), Angel of Jehovah Bible and Tract Society, then Church of the Kingdom of God or the Philanthropic Assembly of the  “Friends of Man”. A small group was living in the area of Charleroi. Some of them have not followed the 3 movements and have formed an Association of Bible Students. The Young Men’s Mutual Bible Study Associations of brother Robert Ashcroft could attract others. The talks of Frank George Jannaway and his work to protect those who did not want to fight in the World War got probably also some attention, but the different groups were very small and as such came in the danger of oblivion.

Pearls not seen

In 1915 worldwide 50 million Tracts were distributed by the Bible Students.

Belgium got through a period that pearls were not seen.
“47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous” (Matthew 13:47-49 NIV)

During World War I there were two small groupsBible Researchers in the Netherlands, namely in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. In 1918 three trial issues of The Watchtower were issued, but there proved insufficient incentive to switch to regular edition.

20° century cries

Members of the Christadelphian Bible Mission (CBM)regularly came to the Low Countries (Holland, Belgium and North of France) or the Netherlands and some of them even found some base to stay in Holland where they started to from again some little groups of Bible Students.

Albert O. Hudson

Albert O. Hudson, founder of the Bible Fellowship Union

Bible Fellowship Union Web site in 2014 November The Bible Fellowship Union has published the ‘Bible Study Monthly’ and literature since 1945 continuing a magazine founded in 1924. Its objective is to promote Bible knowledge. - Bible Fellowship Union Web site in november 2014 - De Bijbel Fellowship Unie heeft  sinds 1945 de 'Bible Monthly' en andere literatuur gepubliceerd in voortzetting van een tijdschrift opgericht in 1924, met als doel de Bijbel kennis te bevorderen.

Bible Fellowship Union Web site in 2014 November The Bible Fellowship Union has published the ‘Bible Study Monthly’ and literature since 1945 continuing a magazine founded in 1924. Its objective is to promote Bible knowledge. – Bible Fellowship Union Web site in november 2014 – De Bijbel Fellowship Unie heeft sinds 1945 de ‘Bible Monthly’ en andere literatuur gepubliceerd in voortzetting van een tijdschrift opgericht in 1924, met als doel de Bijbel kennis te bevorderen.

Also from Great-Britain, where the Bible Fellowship Union was formed, they began publishing The Bible Students Monthly in 1924, later renamed The Bible Study Monthly so as not to be mistaken with the new Watch Tower which previously published a paper by that name. Albert O. Hudson became the general director and served in that capacity until his death at age 101 in 2000. Today it is run by an editorial committee.

But they too had to face a split, with William Crawford, an original member of the British Board of Directors, founding the Old Paths Publications and produced the monthly journal Old Paths. Countless booklets, books, and tracts were produced.

At the time of the split in 1917, the Forest Gate Church was the second largest Bible Student group in England. F. G. Guard, father-in-law of William Crawford, led the class in ­divorcing themselves from the Society. In 1939 they started publishing The Forest Gate Church Bible Monthly, along with booklets and tracts. This group disbanded in 1979.

Facing an other war

The Thomasites found too many where gone to far away from Dr. John Thomas his ideas. They and Australian Biblestudents who also found the Birmingham Christadelphians and CBM were not any more real followers of John Thomas got in contact with some Belgian Biblestudents who wanted to stay as close as possible to the Biblical Truth.

Freitag, former Branch manager of the Swiss Watch Tower Society since 1898, claimed he was the legitimate successor of Charles Taze Russell and sent to the Bible Students The Message of Laodicea (Le Message de Laodicée) and published two journals, the monthly The Monitor of the Reign of Justice (Le Moniteur du Règne de Justice) and the weekly Newspaper for All (Le Journal pour tous).

Freitag’s movement was later continued under the leadership of Édouard Rufener, then Marie Roulin, then Mr. Kohli and the main headquarters became based in Cartigny, Switzerland.

When Freitag died in 1947, one of his followers, Bernard Sayerce (1912–1963), a Roman Catholic schoolteacher, claimed he was his successor. Almost all of the 900 French and Belgian assemblies joined this new group which had a peak of 9,700 members between 1958 and 1962. In 1963, Lydie Sartre (1898–1972), who was named the “Dear Mom”, then Joseph Neyrand (1927–1981) in 1971, replaced Sayerce as leaders of the movement, named “Amis sans frontières” (Friends without borders) in 1984 which is still active today.

The Association of Bible Students and the Association of Bible Researchers (Associatie of Vereniging van Bijbelonderzoekers) got alls sorts of people, from all sorts of denominations, who wanted seriously to investigate what was written in the Holy Scriptures and how we had to interpret it.

Throughout the world many small independent bible student groups got to see how several who first followed Rutherford, also became dissatisfied of the way things where going. As the years went by, more and more of the brethren seeing a change of direction and attitude within the Society soon departed and thus the big exodus started. By 1930 the majority of the brethren who worked closely with Pastor Russell had left the Society — many had been forced out. By this time, all of Pastor Russell’s writings were discarded in favour of the writings of Ruther­ford, writings that contradicted each other. By 1929 over a hundred changes in doctrines had been made; the Society no longer resembled that which was established by Pastor Russell and his early associates. The Society had a new look and a new attitude. No longer was it simply a publishing house for the dissemination of Bible literature. Now it was “God’s Theocratic Organization.” To disagree with it was tantamount to treason against God himself.

Shortly after founding the “Goshen Fellowship” after he was disfellowshipped by N.H. Knorr in 1951 Jesse Hemery died. Jesse Hemery was appointed overseer of the Watch Tower Society’s British Isles branch office by Russell in 1901, holding that post until 1946. In Belgium this group became known under this name but from the 1960-70ies also under the name “Zion’s Herald” after their publication (which started in 1965), which was for years published under directorship of Frank Lewis Brown.

Pamphlets published by opposing sides during t...

Pamphlets published by opposing sides during the dispute over Rutherford’s leadership, 1917. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although many of the original 19° century Bible Students have died, their grandchildren and faithful followers of the first hour group still carry on. Though even today there may be disputes between certain groups claiming that they and not the other one is following the original teaching of Dr. Thomas or Pastor Russell. The Christadelphians became the lesser group in the Bible Student Movement, whilst the International Bible Student Association (IBSA) may find it very difficult to have people to come to see that they are the true followers of Charles Taze Russell and not the Jehovah Witnesses who claim unjustified that Russell would have founded their organisation.

The Watchtower and Tract Society from Brooklyn has gone so far as to state that Bible Students no longer exist, that they have died out and none remain or they say they are the only bible Students.

Hopefully we can convince you that this is not the case and that all over the world several students of the Bible or Bible Students can be found who have nothing to do with Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The American Association of followers of Charles Taze Russell his teachings: the International Bible Students Association (IBSA), not to be confused with the English IBSA of the Jehovah's Witnesses - De Amerikaanse Vereniging van de volgelingen van Charles Taze Russell zijn leer: de International Bible Students Association (IBSA), niet te verwarren met het Engelse IBSA van de Jehovah's Getuigen

The American Association of followers of Charles Taze Russell his teachings: the International Bible Students Association (IBSA), not to be confused with the English IBSA of the Jehovah’s Witnesses – De Amerikaanse Vereniging van de volgelingen van Charles Taze Russell zijn leer: de International Bible Students Association (IBSA), niet te verwarren met het Engelse IBSA van de Jehovah’s Getuigen

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