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Posts tagged ‘1929’

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.

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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.

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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Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 2

De eindigende tijd van de heidenen

Nadat de Duitsers België waren binnengevallen bleven de gelovige Bijbel studenten hun prediking voort zetten. Zelfs wanneer ze 99 kilometer langs de spoorlijn moesten lopen van Luik naar Charleroi, waren deze Waalse nederige mijnwerkers ijverig om vergaderingen bij te wonen.

De families Tilmant en Verdière bleven het Goede Nieuws van het Koninkrijk verspreiden.

Na de dood van Charles Taze Russell, op 31 oktober 1916, werd een zevende-volume getiteld “The Finished Mystery” gepubliceerd in 1917 en aangeprezen als zijn ‘postume werk “. Dit zevende volume was een gedetailleerde interpretatie van het boek Openbaring van Johannes, maar ook interpretaties van Ezechiël en het Hooglied van Salomon. Een reclame voor het boek in Zion’s Watch Tower noemde het “de ware interpretatie”, en promote het als “van de Heer – voorbereid onder zijn leiding.” Onmiddellijke controverse omgaven zowel haar bekendmaking en inhoud. Het werd al snel vastgesteld dat het grotendeels geschreven en samengesteld was door twee van Russell’s vennoten, Clayton J. Woodworth en George H. Fisher, en bewerkt werd door Russell’s opvolger, Joseph Franklin Rutherford.

De positie en de houding die Rutherford aannam werd door velen niet gewaardeerd. De Russellieten beschuldigde hem voor het verraden van Russell. In België als in andere landen waar de tegenwoordige waarheid werd opgericht, kwamen een paar problemen aan het licht, sommige mensen hadden de intentie om te verdelen.

In de loop van de gebeurtenissen, voor wat betreft Jumet en de wijk van Charleroi, sloten de familie Tilmant en andere mensen zich aan bij de groepering van Rutherford, die werd verkozen tot president van het Wachttorengenootschap. De sterke persoonlijkheid van Rutherford zoals die van Robert Roberts maakte dat mensen kozen voor andere, minder dictatoriale figuren. Een aantal essentiële leerstellingen van de millenniumgeneratie restauratieve christelijke beweging die zijn voortgekomen uit de leringen en de ministeries van Dr. John Thomas en Charles Taze Russell, ook wel bekend als Pastor Russell, werden veranderd. Over de hele wereld vertrokken duizenden leden congregaties van Bible Students of Bijbelonderzoekers in verband met de Watch Tower Society gedurende de jaren 1920 mede ingegeven door Rutherford‘s mislukte voorspellingen voor het jaar 1925, het verhogen van ontgoocheling met zijn voortdurende doctrinaire en organisatorische veranderingen, en zijn campagne voor gecentraliseerde controle van de beweging.

Volgers in België

Prolific writer and bible Student Paul Samuel Leo Johnson

Prolific writer and bible Student Paul Samuel Leo Johnson

De VS immigrant uit Polen en een prominente Hebreeuwse geleerde, Paul Samuel Leo (voorheen Levitsky) Johnson trok vele volgelingen aan in België en andere plaatsen. In 1903 had hij gemeenschap begonnen met de Columbus Ecclesia van de Watch Tower Society en werd benoemd door Russell als een pelgrim van de Bijbelstudenten (of Bijbelonderzoekers) in 1904. Hij diende uiteindelijk als persoonlijke secretaris en in de tijd werd hij de meest vertrouwde vriend en adviseur van Russell. Maar voor hem werd het heel moeilijk om om te gaan met die Bijbel studenten die de leer van Pastor C.T. Russell uitdaagden en bevroegen, vooral rond zijn begrip van het nieuwe verbond en de losprijs voor allen.

De illegale introductie van nieuwe statuten voor de Watch Tower Society gaf de president Rutherford volledige controle over de zaken van de Gemeenschap. Dit was echter niet Pastor Russell‘s wens. In zijn testament had hij een zevenman’s raad van bestuur voorzien om hem op te volgen. Vier leden van de Raad van Bestuur van de Vereniging van Bestuur, een meerderheid van de raad, nam sterk bezwaar tegen wat zij beschouwden als Rutherford‘s verwerpelijk eigenhandig gedrag en verzetten zich tegen hem. Uiteindelijk bracht die groeiende spanning tussen Rutherford en de bestuurders er toe dat op 17 juli 1917, Rutherford gewoon tijdens de maaltijd, deBethel familie’ in Brooklyn, New York, aankondigde dat hij de vier bestuurders had vervangen met zijn eigen aangestelden. Dit deed hij met behulp van het juridische jargon dat de bestuurders die tegen hem waren, wettelijk hun posities niet konden houden onder de wet van Pennsylvania.
Rutherford
beweerde ten onrechte dat de vier directeuren en anderen met hen, weigerden samen te werken met de Society. Zelfs vandaag wordt er door de Jehovah’s Getuigen verteld dat de vier bestuurders die werden verdreven uit het Watch Tower hoofdkwartier  boos waren en zich zelf dienden.

Missionarissen

IBSA's "Missions Investigation Committee&...

IBSA’s “Missions Investigation Committee” in 1912 Gen. Hall is omcirkeld, Charles Taze Russell is gezeten (Foto credit: Wikipedia)

Veel ernstige Bijbelonderzoekers, zoals de Thomasiten, Russellieten en verschillende geassocieerde leden van de Bijbelonderzoekers verzette zich tegen de manier waarop Rutherford de Bijbel Studenten wilde bewegen. De vier directeuren vormden een instituut om het werk van Pastor Russell onafhankelijk van de Society voort te blijven zetten. Anderen gingen op hun beurt ook over om kleine eigen gemeenschappen te vormen of om andere corporaties op hun eigen op te richten. Sommige Bijbel studenten volgden het voorbeeld van hun favoriete ouderling of leraar. Weer anderen, enige organisatie en samenlevingen wantrouwend, bleven onafhankelijk van alle anderen.

Broeder Paul Johnson gaf zijn beweging de naam “Interior Missionary Laity Movement”, duidelijk verwijzend naar het niet clerus gebonden kader van de vereniging waar leken de dienst uit maakten en niet onder zulk een gradatie vielen als bij de clerus. De gekozen naam voor de beweging was één van de niet opgenomen namen die werden gebruikt door Pastor Russell en de vroege Internationale Bijbel Studentent Associatie (IBSA) of de International Bible Students Association (IBSA) (Niet te verwarren met de latere organisatie uit Engeland met dezelfde naam, maar die wel de Jehovah’s Getuigen groepeert.). Uit die Russell ISBA groep ontstond de Heraut van het Koninkrijk van Christus Bijbel Studenten of the Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Bible Students welke hun ideeën aan een aantal Belgen gaven.
Sommigen traden Alexander F.L. Freitag tegemoet, ook wel bekend als Freytag, die aan het eind van 1917 nog verantwoordelijk manager was van de Wachttoren. Werkzaam in het Frans in Zwitserland richtte Freitag de groep Engel van de Heer  op (geïnspireerd door een vers van de Apocalyps), Engel van Jehovah Bijbel en Tract Society, dan Kerk van het Koninkrijk van God of de Filantropische Vergadering van de Vrienden van de Mens” of “les Amis de l’homme”. Een kleine groep leefde in het gebied van Charleroi. Sommigen van hen hebben de 3 bewegingen niet gevolgd  en hebben een “Association of Bible Students”, “Association des Etudiants de la Bible” of “Vereniging van Bijbelonderzoekers” gevormd. The Young Men’s Mutual Bible Study Associations of de “les associations Mutuels Bible Étude de la Jeune homme” of de “Onderlinge Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie voor jonge mannenvan broeder Robert Ashcroft kon anderen aan te trekken. De gesprekken van Frank George Jannaway en zijn beschermings werk voor degenen die niet wilden gaan vechten in de Eerste Wereldoorlog kreeg waarschijnlijk ook enige aandacht, maar de verschillende groepen waren erg klein en als zodanig kwam de hele Bijbelstudentenvereniging in België in de gevarenzone van de vergetelheid.

Niet opgemerkte parels

In 1915 werden wereldwijd door de bijbelstudenten  50 millioen Tractaten verspreid.

België kreeg een periode waar de Parels niet werden gezien. Men zag dat het koninkrijk België in de steek gelaten werd, maar toch bleven er Bijbelgetrouwen in hun kleine hoekje naarstig verder werken om Gods Woord beter te begrijpen.

“47 Het is met het koninkrijk van de hemel ook als met een sleepnet dat in een meer werd geworpen en waarmee allerlei soorten vis werden gevangen. 48 Toen het net vol was, trok men het op de oever en ging men zitten om de goede vis in kuipen te doen; de slechte vis werd weggegooid. 49 Zo zal het gaan bij de voltooiing van deze wereld: de engelen zullen erop uittrekken en de kwaadwilligen van de rechtvaardigen scheiden,” (Mattheüs 13:47-49 NBV)

Tijdens de Eerste Wereldoorlog waren er twee kleine groepen Bijbel Onderzoekers in Nederland actief, namelijk in Rotterdam en Amsterdam. Zij probeerden ook Nederlandstalige publicaties op de markt te brengen. In 1918 werden drie proef nummers van The Watchtower  of “De Wachttoren” uitgegeven. Erg genoeg bleek er onvoldoende animo voor zulk een lectuur, om over te schakelen naar een normale regelmatige editie.

20 ° eeuw kreten

Leden van de Christadelphian Bijbel Mission (CBM) kwamen later regelmatig naar de Lage Landen (Nederland, België en Noord-Frankrijk) of de Nederlanden en een aantal van hen vond zelfs een basis voor een verblijf in Nederland waar ze begonnen om opnieuw een aantal kleine groepen van Bijbel studenten bijeen te krijgen of te stimuleren om regelmatig samen te komen.

Albert O. Hudson

Albert O. Hudson, founder of the Bible Fellowship Union – Stichter van de Bible Fellowship Union

Bible Fellowship Union Web site in 2014 November - Bible Fellowship Union Web site in november 2014

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.

Ook uit GrootBrittannië, waar de Bible Fellowship Union of Bijbel Broederschapsunie werd opgericht, begonnen ze in 1924 met het publiceren van The Bible Students Monthly een maandelijks Bijbel Studentenblad dat later omgedoopt werd tot The Bible Study om zo niet te verwarren met de nieuwe Watch Tower die eerder ook een paper publiceerde met die naam. Albert O. Hudson werd de algemeen directeur en diende in die hoedanigheid tot aan zijn dood op de leeftijd van 101 jaar in 2000. Vandaag de dag wordt het gerund door een redactiecommissie van de Bible Fellowship Union.

Maar ook zij moesten een splitsing onder ogen zien, met William Crawford, een origineel lid van de Britse Raad van Bestuur, die over ging op de oprichting van de Old Paths Publications (Oude Paden Publicaties) en de maandelijkse tijdschrift Old Paths (Oude Paden) produceerde . Talloze boekjes, boeken en traktaten werden geproduceerd.

Op het moment van de splitsing in 1917, was de Forest Gate Kerk de tweede grootste Bijbel Studenten groep in Engeland. F.G. Guard, schoonvader van William Crawford, leidde de klasse op om zich te scheiden van de Society. In 1939 begonnen ze The Forest Gate Church Bible Monthly te publiceren samen met boekjes en traktaten. Deze groep werd ontbonden in 1979.

Geconfronteerd met een andere oorlog

De Thomasites of Thomasiten vonden dat veel van de Bible Students veel te ver afgeweken waren van de originele leer van Dr. John Thomas en zijn eerste medestudenten hun ideeën. Zij en de Australische Bijbelstudenten die ook vonden dat de Birmingham Christadelphians en CBM niet meer echte volgelingen waren van John Thomas kregen contact met enkele Belgische Bijbelstudenten die zo dicht mogelijk bij de Bijbelse waarheid wilden blijven.

Freitag, voormalig Branch manager van de Zwitserse Watch Tower Society sinds 1898, beweerde dat hij de rechtmatige opvolger van Charles Taze Russell was, verzond naar de Bijbel Studenten De boodschap van Laodicea (Le Message de Laodicée) en publiceerde twee tijdschriften, de maandelijkse Le Moniteur du Règne de Justice (De Monitor van het Rijk van Justitie) en de wekelijkse krant voor iedereen: Le Journal pour tous.

Freitag‘s beweging werd later voortgezet onder leiding van Édouard Rufener, dan Marie Roulin, toen de heer Kohli en kreeg haar hoofdkwartier gevestigd in Cartigny, Zwitserland.

Toen Freitag overleed in 1947, beweerde een van zijn volgelingen, Bernard Sayerce (1912-1963), een rooms-katholieke schoolmeester, dat hij zijn opvolger was. Bijna alle van de 900 Franse en Belgische assemblees traden toe tot deze nieuwe groep, die een piek van 9.700 leden had tussen 1958 en 1962. In 1963 kreeg men Lydie Sartre (1898-1972), die werd uitgeroepen tot de Beste moeder“, dan Joseph Neyrand (1927 -1981) in 1971, die Sayerce vervingen als leiders van de beweging, genaamd Amis sans frontières(Vrienden zonder grenzen) in 1984, die vandaag nog steeds actief is.

De Association of Bible Students of Vereniging van Bijbelstudenten en de Association of Bible Researchers of Vereniging van Bijbel Onderzoekers (Associatie of Vereniging van Bijbelonderzoekers) kreeg allerlei soorten mensen, uit allerlei denominaties, die serieus wilden onderzoeken wat in de Heilige Schrift staat geschreven en hoe we deze moeten interpreteren.

Over de hele wereld zijn er vele kleine onafhankelijke groepjes die de Bijbel trachten te bestuderen. Zij kregen te zien hoe doorheen de jaren de verschillende groepen die voorafgaandelijk Rutherford volgenden ook ontevreden werden over de manier waarop de dingen verder gingen. Naarmate de jaren vorderden, werden wijzigingen aangebracht die sommigen tegen de borst stootten of waarbij nieuwe leerstellingen werden opgenomen en diegenen die anders dachten werden verstoten. Eveneens brachten sommigen ideeën aan waar het Wachttoren Genootschap niet mee akkoord gingen en daarom die persoon uitsloten terwijl enkele jaren zij zelf die leerstelling als een nieuw licht presenteerden, maar de vroeger uitgeslotene niet terug in de rangen namen. Meer en meer van de broeders, die eerst Rutherford en zijn Getuigen van Jehovah gevolgd waren, zagen een verandering van richting en houding binnen de Society, waardoor zij snel besloten te vertrekken en dus begon “de grote uittocht”. In 1930 had de meerderheid van de broeders die nauw samenwerkte met Pastor Russell de Vereniging verlaten velen werden gedwongen om er uit te treden. Tegen die tijd werden al Pastor Russell‘s geschriften in het voordeel van de geschriften van Rutherford veranderd en geschriften die elkaar tegengespraken weggegooid. In 1929 waren meer dan honderd veranderingen in leerstellingen gemaakt; de samenleving leek niet meer op diegene die werd opgericht door Pastor Russell en zijn vroege metgezellen. De Vereniging had een nieuwe look en een nieuwe houding. Niet langer was het gewoon een uitgeverij voor de verspreiding van de Bijbelse literatuur. Nu was het Gods theocratische organisatie.” Om het niet eens met haar was gelijk aan verraad tegen God zelf.

Kort na de oprichting van de Goshen Fellowshipnadat hij werd uitgesloten door NH Knorr in 1951 overleed Jesse Hemery. Jesse Hemery werd door Russell in 1901 benoemd tot opzichter van de Watch Tower Society’s British Isles branch office, het Wachttoren filiaal voor de Britse Eilanden, en beheerde die post tot 1946. In België werd deze groep  bekend onder deze naam, maar van de 1960-70ies ook onder de naam Zion’s Heraldna hun publicatie (die begon in 1965), die jarenlang werd gepubliceerd onder leiding van Frank Lewis Brown.

Dr. John Thomas (1805–1871) founder of the Christadelphian movement, a Restorationist religion with doctrines similar in part to some 16th-century Antitrinitarian Rationalist Socinians and the 16th-century Swiss-German pacifist Anabaptists. - Dr. John Thomas (1805-1871) grondlegger van de Christadelphian beweging, een herstellers van religie groepering met doctrines vergelijkbaar voor een deel met een aantal 16e-eeuwse Antitrinitarische Rationalistische Socinianen en de 16e-eeuwse Duits-Zwitserse pacifistische wederdopers of Anabaptisten.

Dr. John Thomas (1805-1871) grondlegger van de Christadelphian beweging, een herstellers van religie groepering met doctrines vergelijkbaar voor een deel met een aantal 16e-eeuwse Antitrinitarische Rationalistische Socinianen en de 16e-eeuwse Duits-Zwitserse pacifistische wederdopers of Anabaptisten.

Hoewel veel van de oorspronkelijke 19° eeuwse Bijbel Studenten zijn gestorven, kan men nu nog volgelingen aantreffen die voortgaan in de gedachtegang van de vorsers van het ‘eerste uur’.  Hun kleinkinderen en trouwe volgelingen van hen die de eerste groepjes oprichtten gaan nog steeds door. Hoewel zelfs vandaag de dag kunnen er geschillen blijven bestaan tussen bepaalde groepen door te beweren dat zij en niet de andere vasthouden aan de oorspronkelijke leer van Dr. Thomas of Pastor Russell. De Christadelphians werden de mindere groep in de Bijbelonderzoekers, terwijl de International Bible Student Association (IBSA) het erg moeilijk kan vinden om mensen te laten inzien dat zij de ware volgelingen van Charles Taze Russell zijn en niet de Jehovah Getuigen die ongerechtvaardigd beweren dat Russell hun organisatie zou hebben opgericht.

The Watchtower and Tract Society from Brooklyn of het Wachttoren en Traktaatgenootschap uit Brooklyn gaat zelfs zo ver om te stellen dat de Bijbel Studenten niet meer bestaan, dat ze zijn uitgestorven en niemand overblijft of ze zeggen dat ze de enige bijbel studenten zijn

Hopelijk kunnen wij u er van overtuigen dat dit niet zo is en dat er over de gehele wereld nog verscheidene Bijbelstudenten of Bible Students zijn die niets met de Getuigen van Jehovah te maken hebben.

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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Vorige aflevering: Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 1

Volgende: Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 3

Engelse versie / English version: Different approach in organisation of services #2

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Please do find out more about the Christadelphians:

  1. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  2. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  3. Who are the Christadelphians
  4. What are Brothers in Christ
  5. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  6. Christadelphian people
  7. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
  8. About the Belgian Free Christadelphians
  9. What Christadelphians teach
  10. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  11. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  12. 19° Century London Christadelphians
  13. Breathing and growing with no heir
  14. Commitment to Christian unity
  15.  Parts of the body of Christ
  16. What part of the Body am I?
  17. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  18. United people under Christ
  19. Fellowship
  20. The Ecclesia
  21. The Ecclesia in the churchsystem
  22. The ecclesia or Christadelphian church
  23. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  24. Our ecclesia or Christadelphian-church
  25. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  26. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood
  27. Communion and day of worship
  28. Christadelphians today
  29. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  30. Who Celebrates Easter as Religious Holiday
  31. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  32. Harvest in Belgium

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  • Rose Guide To End-Times Prophecy – Timothy Paul Jones (2011) (baldreformer.wordpress.com)
    Rose-Guide to End-Times Prophecy by Timothy Paul Jones is a terrific overview of eschatology designed for beginning Bible students.  The author provides a fairly comprehensive look at the four major eschatological views – Amillennialism, Postmillennialism, Dispensational Premillennialism, and Historical Premillennialism.
  • Bible Students Are Getting Threatened with Deportation. So How Fair Is Obama’s Immigration Policy? (ijreview.com)
    Ohio’s Marietta Bible College doesn’t get much press. Their website is modest, and their goals are straightforward: they prepare international students from third world countries for work in churches or Christian schools in their homelands. The school is a ministry of Marietta Bible Center Church.
  • High-school Students Told They Could No Longer Pray During School Free Time (lightfromtheright.com)
    Windebank enlisted the help of the ADF which wrote a letter to the school’s administration, including the assistant principal and his boss, stating that such a policy was on its face and invalid and needed to be changed to allow Windebank and his friends to continue doing what they had been doing without trouble for the last three years.Instead of acquiescing and mending their ways and changing the policy, the school instead pushed back. They stated, through the school’s attorney “that because of the separation of church and state and because they regarded the Seminar period as instructional time, they were banning students’ discussion of issues of the day from a religious perspective during the open time of Seminar period.”

    So Seminar time wasn’t open time after all but fell under the aegis and control of the administration to determine what constituted proper activities and behavior. A spokesman for the school district, Nanette Anderson, confirmed,

    Students were told that, according to state law and district policy, they could meet [only] during non-instructional time [now defined as] before or after school.

  • Atonement and the race been bought (bijbelvorser.wordpress.com)
    In the previous articles we have seen how important it is to belong to a community which is under Christ, who was “raised again for our justification” (Romans 4: 25).
  • Confessions of a Jehovah’s Witness (heraldsun.com.au)
    As someone who spent too long inside this stifling, doom-obsessed religion, I can tell you the answer lies in two powerful forces that control the lives of each of the world’s eight million Jehovah’s Witnesses: a conviction that God will soon destroy “wicked mankind” on a global and bloody scale, (sparing, naturally, just them) and also the unquestioning acceptance of the religion’s New York leadership.

    Those leaders require that all Witnesses, from children to the frail aged, devote their lives to proselytising in the hope of gathering millions more into their fold before the divine hammer blow of Armageddon.

  • Confessions of a Jehovah’s Witness (adelaidenow.com.au)
    But the command is not only to “preach” (usually a forlorn offer of a magazine or leaflet); they must also hand in monthly reports detailing the hours they spent “in the field” and how many calls they made.

    The message at their meetings is relentless and laden with guilt and fear: keep on preaching or you, too, will die at Armageddon.

    Since the 1920s — when hard-headed Watch Tower Society president Joseph F. Rutherford whipped a once quaint Adventist religion into a regimented, tightly disciplined publishing and recruiting organisation — the church’s belief has always been that the best way to keep members from straying is to keep them busy.

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