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Posts tagged ‘Bible Students’

Our Ukrainian brothers and sisters

In the country where before the invasion by the Russians lived about 50 million people, we can find people who have been exposed to a variety of religious beliefs.

The Orthodox Church –  10th-21st Century

In the tenth century, the Eastern Orthodox religion was introduced to become in 2018 the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

Митрополит Київський і всієї України Епіфаній.jpg

Metropolitan Epiphanius of Kyiv and All Ukraine, Serhii Petrovych Dumenko, Epiphanius I of Ukraine, primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), holding the title of Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine.

The church was united at the unification council in Kyiv on 15 December 2018 as a condition for recognition of it by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and was granted the tomos of autocephaly (decree of ecclesial independence) by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in Istanbul on 5 January 2019. The unification council voted to unite all the existing Ukrainian Orthodox major jurisdictions: the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) as well as a part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (a branch of the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church, which claims jurisdiction over Ukraine). The Unification Council elected Epiphanius Dumenko – previously the Metropolitan of Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi and Bila Tserkva (UOC-KP) – as its primate, the Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine.

Catholicism, Islam and atheism

Later the Ottoman Empire brought Islam to southern Ukraine. Also, Polish noblemen were spreading Catholicism during the Middle Ages.

In the 20th century, many became atheists under the rule of Communism, though also a lot of religious people practised their religion in secret.

For the Bible students in the country, such religious practice in secret was nothing new, as they always had to keep themselves safe from repercussions from Trinitarian Christians, who regarded non-trinitarians as the devil.

Cross-border seeds of faith – 9th – 13th Century

Devoted Bible readers living in the Principality or, from 1253, Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, one of the three most important powers to emerge from the collapse of Kievan Rus’ (loose federation in Eastern Europe and Northern Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century) By the Mongol invasion the Byzantine teaching of a three-headed god was replaced in the regions by the singular God by the Muslims, which made it somehow more comfortable for the Bible students to show others how the Singular God had provided His begotten son to rescue the world.

16th Century

In the 16th century, several people interested in the Word of the Only One True God by seeking refuge from their persecution by state churches in the Holy Roman Empire (mostly Germany today) and other European states, found their way into regions which became later ruled by Poland, Romania, and Czechoslovakia.

Because everything had to be done in secret, like in many other countries throughout Europe, it was not so easy to enlarge the community. Certainly, because they did not consider people who had a child baptism and who believed that Jesus is God, to be real Christians. This provided for a lot of controversy throughout the ages.

Jews opposing Charles Taze Russell his teaching

Charles Taze Russell, a leading Bible Student, at the end of the 19th century visited many countries in Europe and the Middle East. On his way to what was then Constantinople, Turkey, he visited Odessa in southern Ukraine in 1891. Later, in 1911, he gave a series of Bible lectures in major cities of Europe, including the city of Lvov or Lviv in western Ukraine. Lviv has historically been the chief centre of Galicia, a region now divided between Ukraine and Poland. Its position controlling east-west routes and passes across the Carpathians has given it a stormy history, but made it also a region of moving Biblestudents going from one place to another, spreading the faith, bringing a continuation of true New Testament Christianity over Eastern Europe.

Strangely enough, it was a Jewish rabbi from the United States who fiercely opposed Russell’s work who cabled a message to his associates in Lvov, denouncing the Bible Students. This incited some to try and stop Russell from speaking. About that night, Russell said

“God alone knows what his providences may be in connection with these experiences. . . . [The Jews’] excitement on the subject may lead some to a deeper investigation than if they had heard us in a decent and orderly manner.”

Though there was no immediate response to the message, seeds of truth had been sown, and many groups of Bible Students were formed later, not only in Lvov but also in other areas of Ukraine.

After World War I

Following World War I, Ukraine was divided among four neighbouring countries. The territories of central and eastern Ukraine were seized by Communist Russia and incorporated into the Soviet Union. Western Ukraine was divided among three other countries. The areas of Halychyna and Volyn’ were annexed to Poland, Bukovina to Romania, and Transcarpathia to Czechoslovakia. These three countries provided a measure of religious freedom and permitted the Bible Students to carry on their preaching. Thus, many seeds of truth that were to bear fruit later were first sown in western Ukraine.

In the early 1920’s, seeds of truth were sown in Halychyna and Volyn’ by Bible Students from Poland. Meanwhile, brothers from Romania and Moldavia (now Moldova) brought the truth into the Bukovina region.

This laid a good foundation for further growth. The Watch Tower of December 15, 1921, reported:

“Recently some of our brethren visited [Bukovina] . . . The result of their visit there for a few weeks is seven classes organized and now studying the volumes and ‘Tabernacle Shadows’. One of these classes has about 70 members.”

In 1922 in the village of Kolinkivtsi, in Bukovina, Stepan Koltsa accepted the truth, was baptised, and began preaching. Later ten families joined him. Similar growth occurred in the Transcarpathian area. By 1925 there were approximately 100 Bible Students in the village of Velyki Luchky and neighbouring villages. Following that, the first full-time servants began preaching in Transcarpathia, conducting meetings in the homes of the Bible Students. Many people asked the office in Brooklyn to send more books and pamphlets so that more people could be reached and baptised.

Such keen interest resulted in the establishing of an office of the Bible Students on Pekarska Street in Lvov. The office received many requests for literature from Halychyna and Volyn’ and regularly forwarded them to Brooklyn to be filled.

Like in many countries,several of the Biblestudents working on their own, and not having a connection with central organisations, made that we do not have exact figures of baptised Biblestudents. Though we now of ecclesiae having 50 to 100 baptised people.

In the 1920s there were were 15 publishers who had to exert themselves in order to work through the many villages with literature twice a year. Every Sunday at four o’clock in the morning, they met together at one of the village to start their house-to-house ministry at 8:00 a.m. to work until 2:00 p.m..

Since Roman Catholics and Greek Catholics have their Christmas celebrations during different weeks the brethren made use of it to bring singing sessions, but soon they stopped with those liked activities because they saw how wrong it was to be connected with that pagan festival of Christmas.

Willing to come more into the open there was decided to have a first convention of Bible Students in the Transcarpathian area. It was held in the village Velyki LuchkyIn, in the Mukachevo Raion in the Zakarpattia Oblast (province) in southwestern Ukraine, May 1926. There were 150 in attendance, and 20 were baptised. The following year 200 persons attended a convention in the outdoor central park of Uzhgorod, a city in the same region, which had passed to Czechoslovakia in 1919, to Hungary in 1938, and to the Soviet Union during World War II.  Soon other conventions were organised in various towns of Transcarpathia. In 1928, Lvov had its first convention. Later, other conventions took place in Halychyna and Volyn’ that after World War II became part of the Ukrainian S.S.R..

Despite the fact that some halls Biblestudents had built, were destroyed during the war and some were confiscated, the brothers maintained the desire to have their own Kingdom Halls and got meeting places all over the country. (Presently, there are 8 Kingdom Halls of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the village of Dibrova and 18 Kingdom Halls in six neighbouring villages).

Before World War II the majority of our brethren and sisters could be found in the West of Ukraine. Today they may be found all over Ukraine.

That Biblestudents are not spared the grim consequences of war, could already be seen in the Second World War, but now also with this Ukrainian war with Russia.  But also when there was no war, like from 1951 till the middle of the 1960’s, with the majority of the brothers imprisoned or exiled, our community had to be very careful how to preach or come into the open. Many brothers and sisters ended up in one of the 54 prison camps throughout the entire Soviet Union. In many congregations, it became necessary for sisters to take the lead.

Concealed in cellars

Today there are grandparents who feel like they are back in the old days when they had to hide in cellars and forests. Others remember how they gathered several times a week in the late evening or well into the night. They curtained their windows with heavy cloth in order to avoid detection and studied by kerosene lamp. Often the exhortations were only distributed on a written paper. Later, brothers began to receive magazines printed on duplicating machines. In KGB times the secret service was unrelenting in their determination to locate meeting places of Biblestudents so that they could punish the responsible brothers.

In Communist times holding the Memorial was the most challenging. But now with the Russians bombing Ukraine it has also become a very big challenge. Last 14 Nisan (15 of April 2022) several of our brethren and sisters did everything to make the best out of the evening. Though in several villages and cities there was not even drinkable water to prepare a meal. Bottles of alcohol brought salvation to have something extra in this time of distress.

Normally Biblestudents open their meeting to all who want to come to listen to what we have to tell. Last year there was Corona that prevented such a gathering. This year our Ukrainian brethren could not invite many. Some of them were already pleased that they could prepare a meal for 7 people, with the limited foodstuffs they still had available.

After more than 50 years of bans and persecution, today it looked again as if a period of aggression and ordeal had come over them. Some of our younger brethren had sent their youngsters to leave Ukraine, but after the bombing of the Kramatorsk station, they are now in the dark about what happened to their family members.

Having been able to meet with like-minded friends, for many it was like they belonged to the escaped ones and on that night it was as if they were resurrected from the dead by the Power of God. Even when lots of their assets were gone up in the fire, they still felt rich in the Gory of God that they were able to celebrate that special weekend in these times of war. Normally the Ukrainians eat a lot of potatoes, but this time they were not at the party nor any lamb.

While the sirens were sounding regularly, they quietly read the Bible passages and listened to the elder’s speech. Whilst bombs and weapons did not keep silent, they expressed their hope to live in a world where free nations are assertive and in the ascendant … where freedom and democracy are strengthened through a network of economic and security partnerships, and most importantly they all look forward to the return of Christ, though that would mean there shall be first that Great Tribulation. But for them, it could well be that we are already in that predicted Third World War.

Some saw this special evening also as a night to be liberated from the modern plagues. At the same time some were sad that some of their family members living in Russia do have a totally different picture of what is going on in Ukraine. The modern snake is clearly doing its work and by spreading misinformation gets tornness in otherwise close-knit families. This is one of the most terrible things that these people now have to endure in their families, a part that does not want to believe that they are being slaughtered by Russia’s murderous army.

While others have fled the country, some Ukrainian brothers and sisters have stayed in place — either bound to the land, too old or ill to travel, or simply lacking other options.

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Preceding

Preparing for 14 Nisan

Fellowship over meals

Coming together for a meal to remember a special lamb

Coming together for a meal to remember a special lamb

Jesse Hemery and the The Goshen Fellowship

When Belonging to the escaped ones gathering in Jesus name

Those who Jesus can call friends

Most important weekend of the year 2016

The Most important weekend of the year 2018

2021 Memorial of Christ’s death

Another year of 14 Nisan with restricted access

Celebrating the evening of 15 April 2022 as a festival to Jehovah God

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Additional reading

  1. A useless but very dangerous challenge game
  2. Great tribulation and Armageddon
  3. Armageddon or the Great Tribulation
  4. What makes you following Christ and Facebook Groups
  5. Christadelphian brothers and sisters in Ukraine
  6. The one who claimed he was not planning an invasion in Ukraine
  7. Does the population of Russia know what the Russian soldiers are doing in Ukraine
  8. Russian army wants to make Ukraine the Syria from Europe
  9. Weekly World Watch March 13 – 19, 2022
  10. Stories to read in the week of March/April 2022 in the Independent
  11. The Guardian’s view on Ukraine for the first half of April 2022
  12. Has Ukraine become a Symbol of ‘Freedom’

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Related

  1. The Ten Modern Plagues
  2. A replica of the first Passover
  3. The Pesach Lamb
  4. Pesach 5782
  5. “They think it’s Passover… It is now!”

Another year of 14 Nisan with restricted access

For two years, our services could not continue physically. Fortunately, we had Zoom and Jitsi to reach our members via the internet.

For months, Bible students have been prevented from going to the houses to bring the Good News. Like last year, no leaflets have been put in the mailboxes to invite people to the 14 Nisan celebration. This year too, that highlight of the church year will be a day of silence or modesty. But for the first time in a long time, our baptised members, in limited numbers, will also be able to meet in the Kingdom Hall, this Friday evening at 20:15 (in English). Baptised members will also be able to follow the memorial service on the net via a video stream from the auditorium.

Unfortunately, for security reasons, as we are so often attacked, we have to limit access to the service via the internet to those we know well and to family members present at the baptisms. Those who are not baptised can therefore unfortunately not take part in this highlight of the year.

But we are hopeful that in the coming months the situation around Covid will gradually improve and that in a few months (after the summer) we will be able to meet again in the Ecclesia hall, Bible study room and/or Kingdom Hall.

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Dutch version / Nederlandstalige versie: Nog een jaartje 14 Nisan met beperkte toegang

Preceding

Preparing for 14 Nisan

14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception

14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus

14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast

14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain

14 Nisan a day to remember #5 The Day to celebrate

Fellowship over meals

Coming together for a meal to remember a special lamb

When Belonging to the escaped ones gathering in Jesus name

Most important weekend of the year 2016

Preparing for the most important weekend of the year 2018

The Most important weekend of the year 2018

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Additional reading

  1. Coronavirus, Vaccinations and an Old and New World
  2. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  3. Catholics facing a totally different Holy Week
  4. Celebrations pointing to events of ultimate meaning
  5. The son of David and the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
  6. High Holidays not only for Israel (Our World) + High Holidays not only for Israel (Some View on the World)
  7. Deliverance and establishement of a theocracy
  8. Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
  9. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  10. Seven days of Passover
  11. Most important day in Christian year
  12. Vayikra after its opening word וַיִּקְרָא, which means and He called
  13. Observance of the Lord’s Evening Meal
  14. Solution for Willing hearts filled with gifts
  15. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart (Our World) + Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart (Some view on the World)
  16. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  17. Preparation for Passover
  18. Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2
  19. Yom Hey, Eve of Passover and liberation of many people
  20. Observance of the Lord’s Evening Meal
  21. This day shall be unto you for a memorial and you shall keep it a feast to the Most High God
  22. Celebrations pointing to events of ultimate meaning
  23. Lost senses or a clear focus on the one at the stake
  24. Inauguration of the New Covenant
  25. Not dragged unwillingly to death
  26. Spoken in the name of Jehovah God for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience
  27. A particular night to share unleavened bread and red wine
  28. The Memorial Supper
  29. Asking to come under the Wings of God
  30. Memorial Observance 1909
  31. Fraternal week-end at Easter in Paris
  32. A night different from all other nights and days to remember
  33. Worthy partakers of the body of Christ
  34. Making sure we express kedusha for 14-16 Nisan
  35. Wednesday 5 April 2017 – Sunday 9 April 30 CE Pesach or Passover versus Easter
  36. Thinking about fear for the Loving God and an Invitation for 14 Nisan
  37. Only a few days left before 14 Nisan
  38. Able to celebrate the Passover in all of its prophetic fulfilment
  39. The Most special weekend of the year 2018
  40. At the Shabbat HaChodesh: readings about blood, liberation and purification
  41. Purification and perfection
  42. Soon it shall be Erev Pesach and Passover 2019
  43. A great evening and special days to look forward in 2019
  44. Not daring to show a connection (Our World) + Not daring to show a connection (Some View on the World)
  45. Terwijl wij in Isolatie zijn: Beste wensen op dit Feest van Bevrijding – From our isolation best wishes on this Feast of Liberation
  46. Even in Corona time You are called on to have the seder
  47. Hosting a Virtual Seder During a Pandemic
  48. One Passover tradition asking to provide the less fortunate with foods and help
  49. In a time when we must remain in our place

 

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Related

  1. A Simple Easter Passover Lesson for Kids
  2. Learn About Passover With Books, Recipes & More!
  3. Passover: A Sign to Remember
  4. Significance of Passover (repost)
  5. Passover: What Does Freedom Even Mean?
  6. The medieval history of Passover: libel, conspiracy, and hope for freedom
  7. Three Things About Passover
  8. Passover and the Church
  9. Passover, Easter and the Christian
  10. The Lamb of God
  11. He is Our Passover Sacrifice!
  12. BE DeliveredAll In: Remember, We Won, Let’s Eat!
  13. Interested in Exploring a Jewish Passover Seder?
  14. First Two Days of Pesach
  15. The Passover Celebration and Jag Hamatzot
  16. Jesus and the PassoverA Story and A Prayer for Passover
  17. Blood Poured Out
  18. Passover Circa 33 AD; Hallel
  19. It was yet another Passover meal–or was it? (Maundy Thursday, Year C)
  20. Passover vs. Easter [where the writer wrongly insinuate that in Christianity (where he means Christendom), the easter egg became associated with Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection. Real Christians always have kept away from those heaten symbols and the pagan feast Easter].
  21. 4/13/2022 Passover Observation at Even
  22. Do Not Pass-Over Sabbaths

Left in the dark or being in the dark seeing light

In our previous post you could read how Jesus was seated on the Mount of Olives and talked to his disciples who had asked him to tell them when this destruction of the temple, about he talked earlier, would take place, and what would be the sign of his coming, and of the end (completion, consummation) of the age?

Jesus answered their question, telling about days or moments and things as the prophets had foretold it, and to make sure that no one would mislead them, but at the same time warns us to be careful not to be deceived and not having us lead into error. (Matthew 24:4) We may not forget that many will so come in Jesus his name [misusing it, and appropriating the strength of the name which belongs to the sent one from God], saying,

‘I am the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed),’ and they will mislead many. : after the distress of those days, (Matthew 24:5)

Jesus told his disciples that they would continually hear of wars and rumours of wars, and that is also what happened throughout the ages. Several students of the Bible were not at all frightened, because they knew and we know that those things must take place (Matthew 24:6)

Throughout the ages we have seen that nation rose against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. Throughout the ages there have always been wars and lots of problems, like droughts, famines, heave destructing storms, earthquakes in various places. Jesus told his disciples generations would encounter such things, but them would all be merely the beginning of birth pangs [of the intolerable anguish and the time of unprecedented trouble]. (Matthew 24:7-8)

Jesus told us in advance about many signs which shall occur at certain times. It would be to his followers and readers of the Scriptures to come to know those signs and not to be left in the dark. What should bring us out of the dark is what Jesus further told:

“29 “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 30 “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.” (Mt 24:29-30 NIV)

Even when the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not provide its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken it should not be a time of distress for us, whilst it might be for many in this world.

For Students of the Bible it shall be that time to be recognised as the sign of the Son of Man [coming in his glory] for which many of us waited such a long time. For centuries fellow members looked forward for signs to appear in the sky, when they would come to see all the tribes of the earth and especially Israel to come to mourn [regretting their rebellion and rejection of the Messiah] (Matthew 24:30)

We still wait and look forward to that day when we will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory [in brilliance and splendour] (Matthew 24:30). Waiting already such a long time we should not be weary, the return of the Christ is imminent.

When looking at what is going on in the world we may be sure that one day, not so far in the future, the sun will grow dark, and the moon will not give its light, people coming to see the stars falling from the sky [heaven] (Matthew 24:29).

When Jesus was talking about all this he had already told them that he was going to have to go to Jerusalem to have his final days there, because him being betrayed, falsely accused, tried, beaten, and eventually put to death. He had spoken about his reason for his (first) coming to earth. He told about his primary mission being to serve as the sacrificial offering for the sins of mankind. Having told them that he would be killed he also assured them that this would not be the end of him, because he would be restored to life and there would come a day when he would return to earth a second time.
But there was much that would have to take place before that return. And the date of his second appearance was and would be a mystery for many years. He told the disciples,

“No-one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mt 24:36 NIV)

Yes, even Jesus himself did not know the day. He as a son of man, not being like God, an all-knowing god, was in darkness about the moment God would allow him to come back to earth to fulfil his task.

The short time Jesus had his public life, he warned people to return to God and to prepare themselves to be worthy for entering the Kingdom of God, because everybody had to know there would come a day of death, or end of living, and a judgement day, when it would be all too late to change anything. All choices for the way of living have to be made whilst living, so before the moment of death arrives.
Jesus has warned those around him several times,

“ So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Mt 24:44 NIV)

The point Jesus seemed to be making had to do with preparedness. He wanted not only his disciples to live with a sense of eager expectation, anticipating that his return could happen at any moment. Jesus wanted to warn everybody and tried with his many parables to show what the Torah implicated and how there would come a time we would have to come before the Elohim to justify us.

People had to come out of the darkness of the world before another sort of darkness would frighten them even more than all the previous events. This led Jesus to tell a few parables to drive home his point. As such people could hear him tell a story about the wedding banquet or ten virgins who were anticipating the arrival of the bridegroom. In the story, all ten virgins share a common expectation of the bridegroom’s arrival. They are eagerly anticipating his coming, but five of them are prepared, while five are not. In the story, the bridegroom has not shown up as expected. But, as part of the welcoming party, they were to have been ready, because, as Jesus had said, the groom was

“coming at an hour you do not expect.”

With the parable of the fig tree Jesus is attempting to open the eyes of his disciples and wants to help them (and us) develop a long-term perspective regarding his Kingdom. From the books of the Messianic writings (1st and 2nd part of the New Testament) we can clearly see that the apostles were focused on the here-and-now, and having trouble understanding that the talk of their master teacher his coming death in Jerusalem was anything but bad news or something to be avoided at all costs.

This entire 24th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew contains the surprising and difficult-to-comprehend words of Jesus as he reveals the bigger picture regarding God’s plan of redemption. Jesus’ death on the wooden stake would be just the beginning of the much larger, comprehensive Plan of God. It would also include his resurrection, God calling him out of the hell where he was for three days, as well as his return to his Father’s side. Jesus to be taken up in heaven to sit at the right hand of God. But, even more importantly, it would require his eventual return to earth as the conquering King.

Jesus trusted his God, the God of Abraham, and knew very well his position and his task here on earth. But he also had confidence that what was written in the scrolls all would become a reality. Jesus knew that there would be a long delay before his return would take place, and therefore he wanted to assure his followers that they should not worry too much but should always prepare themselves, always being ready for when the moment would be there.
Jesus wanted his disciples and followers to live with a sense of eager anticipation. If they expected it to happen and kept their eyes open, looking for the signs of its approach, they would be able to endure the struggles that were coming their way.

Jesus used the visual lesson of a fig tree in order to help the disciples understand that there would be visible, recognizable signs associated with His coming. The budding of a fig tree is a natural indication that summer is near. It is unmistakable and irrefutable. In the same way, Jesus stated that the signs of his return will be undeniable. He even assures his disciples that

“ I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” (Mt 24:34 NIV)

From the Scriptures we do know that Jesus always wanted to do what God wanted. He even put his own will aside to do the will of God. From the Scripturues we also do know that Jesus was without fault, i.e. did not sin and as such always told the truth.

In this chapter he was not saying that the events associated with the end times would take place during the lifetimes of his disciples. But while they were alive, they would already begin to see the early signs of his return. The budding of a fig tree provides a premonition or portent of something to come. The buds do not mean summer has arrived, but that it is coming. In the same way, the disciples would live to see signs that would point to Jesus’ coming.

In a sence they would be alive when he returned, because after his death he appeared to them. But the signs he warned them about would not be then, but much later. Jesus gave those warnings so that those who would come after the disciples could see clear indications that it was going to happen.

Each generation of believers has been given signs that Jesus his coming is imminent and inevitable. These signs act as assurances of God’s faithfulness and are meant to encourage us to continue to wait eagerly and hopefully.

The earth would continue to go through all kinds of struggles, including earthquakes, famines, floods, disasters, and even wars. The apostle Paul reminded the believers in Corinth:

“ those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.” (1Co 7:31 NIV)

The apostle John wrote,

“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives for ever.” (1Jo 2:17 NIV)

This gives already something to have hope for. Because even when we die, there shall be the prospect for that time coming, when Jesus would call the living and the death to raise and to come before his judgement seat. When having lived according to God’s Law the lover of God should not have to worry, because all promises of God shall come true.

In this world of darkness, not many intereted in the Only One True God, Who is One, for many, the second coming of Jesus will be a surprise. Because the majority not being interested in God, His commands nor His Words, the second coming of Christ will catch the majority of people living on earth at the time completely off-guard and unprepared.
Jesus used the days of Noah as an apt point of comparison. In a way, Noah’s building of the ark was a clear sign that something was coming. And Peter seems to indicate that Noah warned his neighbours of God’s coming judgment and the availability of salvation made possible by the ark.

“ if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;” (2Pe 2:5 NIV)

From the Scriptures history telling we know that the people in Noah’s day ignored the signs and refused the message of Noah. Instead, they busied themselves, eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark (Matthew 24:38). Like in the days of Noah, today we also see how people continue their way of life like they want to enjoy life. They go on with their lives, oblivious to the warning signs and ignorant of what is about to happen. Jesus made it clear to his disciples that the same thing as in Noah’s time was going to happen when he finally shall return. It would catch the world unprepared and completely off-guard.

Let us make sure we are prepared!

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Preceding

Matthew 22:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of Invitation to a Marriage

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son.

Matthew 22:11-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: King’s Inspection and Marriage Garments

Matthew 22:14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Many Invited – Few Chosen

Matthew 24 about temples or Houses of God and the end of the age

Matthew 24:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Setting

Matthew 24:3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Apostles’ Question

Matthew 24:4-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Part One – Beware Being Misled

Matthew 24:9-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Part Two – The Acts of the Apostles Foretold

Matthew 24:15-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Sign 1: Encamped Armies. The Sign Great Oppression Is Near

Matthew 24:29-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer Part Two – Sign 2: The Parousia. A Sign after the Great Oppression

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Find also to read

  1. Today’s thought “They flattered … they lied” (February 14)
  2. Today’s thought “The eyes of man are never satisfied” (April 17)
  3. Will There Ever be Peace on Earth?
  4. Looking into the Future
  5. Looking forward for what is to come
  6. The resurrected Lord
  7. Memorizing wonderfully 52 Acts 7:56: the Son of man standing on the right hand of God
  8. Jesus Christ will return to earth
  9. You know neither the day nor the hour
  10. To be prepared for the Day of Judgment
  11. The New Testament and Judgement
  12. Prophecies over coming days
  13. Memorizing wonderfully 24 the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father
  14. Memorizing wonderfully 35 When the son returns it shall be As it came to pass in the days of Noah
  15. Signs of the Last Days
  16. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #2 Wars, natural disasters, famine and false Messiahs
  17. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #3 Coming events revealed in the prophetic writings
  18. Today’s thought “Sun, moon and stars” (January 22)
  19. Today’s thought “And they feared greatly” (February 6)
  20. Today’s Thought ” … the earth will be shaken” (May 23)
  21. To be prepared and very well oiled
  22. Preparing for his coming
  23. Jesus … will come in the same way as you saw him go
  24. Not about personal salvation but about a bigger Plan
  25. God’s Plan, Purpose and teachings
  26. What I Hope For Is What You Hope For
  27. As you see the Day approaching
  28. The Rapture Wars
  29. Seeds, weeds and kingdoms
  30. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 3 Mythic theme 2 Hebrew story of the flood
  31. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 12 Corrupted earth
  32. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 13 Noah’s ark and the flood
  33. Today’s thought “A Damaged and Wicked World” (January 03)
  34. Today’s thought “God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark” (January 04)

Dave Norris and his writings on the Belgian Bible Students

With articles like “The Watchtower Belgian Biblestudents“, “, “, “” the blogger Dave Norris who likes us to call “kindergartner” “toddler” or sometimes “spiritual kindergarteners”, he presents a lot of nonsense about our community, clearly showing he does not know much about us nor similar groups, but even worse, does not seem to have a clue about the Bible Student movement and the history of such religious groups as the Bible Students, Christadelphians, Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW) and many other non-Trinitarian groups.

On the blog “The Bible & Exposing Cult Error Darkness Into Light” he wants his readers to believe he exposes errors of others but in fact does nothing more than presenting his own errors, ignorance or lack of knowledge.

We do notice we are not the only target or are not spitting the only purpose of his gal. He seems so frustrated in his faith and religion he loves to write a lot about other religious groups instead spending more time to proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God or to give more information about his own faith group or church.

He calls us a “Spirit of deception” but clearly he throws so much untruth on the net we can not resist in the end to react to it and to let others know some of the incredible untruths that he proclaims as our doctrine. It is therefore very important that we expose these gross lies and clarify our positions. It is because of several of his writings and attacks on us and other their attacks we started in the end to present a new website for unmasking people like him: Please find and look at the new site Unmasking anti Jehovah sites and people.

The man, who presents himself as a bully in his mails to us, writes on the internet:

The Watchtower Belgian Bible student movement did precede the actual formation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Charles T Russell was their leader. {The Watchtower Belgian Biblestudents}

Charles Taze Russell may have been a pupil of John Thomas, the founder of the Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians, but for sure has never been our founder nor our leader.

Ch. T. Russell may be called the founder of the American Bible Students and of the International Bible Students, but is neither the founder of the Free Bible Students (who discarded many of the teachings of the American Bible Student founder Charles Taze Russell) nor from Belgian Bible Students nor the founder of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Russell never was a Jehovah’s Witness, like Mr. or the adolescent Norris wants his readers to believe. In case Mr. Russell would present himself to become a Jehovah’s Witness he would even not be accepted by that organisation.

An other fault which Mr. Norris does is to say we are associated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society which is at all not so. We do have no association with that publication institute nor with the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society Organisation be it of Brooklyn, New York, Pennsylvania or of Canada or even of any other states like Australia, nor with the JW Organisation. For clarity the Belgian Bible Students have nothing to do with the Jehovah’s Witness nor with any of their other organisations or missions.

It is not because we do believe in the same One True God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, that we would belong to one and the same Church.

We too may come from hundreds of ethnic and language backgrounds, and may, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, have the same goal to praise and honour Jehovah God being united by common goals. The same as those lovers of God, we too want to do our best to imitate Jesus Christ and are proud to be called Christians. As followers of Christ Jesus we take his command to go out in the world as a serious matter and like the JW we too witness for Jehovah, each of us regularly spending time helping people learn about the Bible and God’s Kingdom. Because we witness, or talk, about Jehovah God and his Kingdom, some may confuse us with those other people who have the same goal as us and are known as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Opposite claims by Mr. Norris, we have very clearly presented our history to him, which can be found more extensively on the net. As such we find again a gross misrepresentation of the facts, him writing on the net:

I wish the Belgian Biblestudents would be honest with me about their history as they have not been.

I do admit that they were right about Charles Russell not beginning Jehovah’s Witnesses. He was a false prophet nevertheless and they can’t get around that. Woe to the foolish Prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing.{The Watchtower Belgian Biblestudents}

Though after this writing he continues

Biblestudents are a deceptive group under their leader Charles T Russell who is the founder of the Watchtower and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The group Christadelphians have a lot to do with this movement. Imposters will grow worse and worse deceiving and being deceived. They are presently deceivers because they were being deceived by Charles Russell whom they hold up as their leader. {Belgian Biblestudent Deception- 1}

and repeats

They claim to follow the Bible but they deny the Triune Godhead. As I said in another report before Russell founded Bible students he began the Watchtower with the basic Jehovah’s Witnesses Doctrine in force. {Belgian Biblestudent Deception- 1}

Who is the deceiving person or spirit in this case?

He then presents a whole of prophesies we supposedly would have believed or followed, which is totally untrue and we even do not get any idea where he gets it form we would have hold fast on such prophesies when we ourselves always clearly say it is no man given, even not Christ Jesus, to know when the end times are coming, though we agree we can see the signs, we can never say an exact date. We, like nobody, according to us, can ever give a correct date on it.

We want our readers to know we do have nothing to do with prophesies of the Jehovah’s Witnesses nor ever would have believed in such a date setting.

Prophecies which may have been made by the JW but never by the Belgian Biblestudents (like Dave Norris and some other bloggers on the net want their readers to believe).

Mr. Norris also wants his readers to believe in high and low that we

are almost like the New Apostolic Reformation with a prophecy accuracy rate of 20%. {Belgian Biblestudent Deception- 2}

and asks his readers to examine for themselves, but giving a photograph of a Watchtower which is even not the Zion’s Watchtower of the American Bible Students nor our old magazine Zion’s Wachttoren (19th and 20th century publications) and not at all a magazine of our community, but a publication by the WTBTS.

Though Mr. Norris in his previous writing said he understood Russell was not the founder of the JW he again presents him as a prophet for the JW and worse of all also for us, which is against our teachings, we only are recognising such prophets as those declared by the Word of God, namely Nehemiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadia, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaiah, Haggai, Zecharia, Malachi and Jesus, considering many others as false prophets.

Mr. Norris also wirtes

Biblestudents don’t believe in the hell that Jesus talked about and yet they say they follow Jesus. {Belgian Biblestudent Deception- 2}

which is again a lie, we believing in sheol or hell, like Jesus was for three days in hell and also talked about hell.

Continuously that blog writer from the so called exposing Christian error site wants to associate us with the JW and again giving wrong dates concerning our history.

In 1879 he began the perversion of Jehovah’s Witnesses but under a different name. The Biblestudents didn’t start until 1876 and they themselves told me that when they said Russell was their founder. His organization wasn’t yet called Jehovah’s Witnesses but the obvious poisonous theology was in place. {Belgian Biblestudies Deception- 3}

Wappers - Episodes from September Days 1830 on the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville in Brussels.JPG

A painting depicting the conflict which led to the secession of the southern provinces (mainly the former Southern Netherlands) from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the establishment of an independent Kingdom of Belgium. – Episode of the Belgian Revolution of 1830, Gustaf Wappers (1834), (Museum of Fine Art, Brussels)

After the Battle of Waterloo (1815) several Students of the Bible living in the region of France its Low Countries got a more nationalistic feeling and when the Dutch-speaking Flemings and French-speaking Walloons had meetings in Rheims or Paris they wanted to make it clear they came from the Gallic (Gaul) or Belgica or Côtes Lorraines region or the plain of Flanders, and the Kempenland (French: Campine) and did not consider themselves any more to be part of the Nord–Pas-de-Calais or le Nord (North of France) region with Cambrai where also several Bible Students had found their home in a very hostile area for non-Trinitarians and/or Protestants. After the States-General in Brussels voted in favour of secession and declared independence the small state Belgium was formed and with it also the “Belgian Bible Students”, which at that time, may have had most of it members in the Famenne, Sambre, La LouvièreBorinage and Hainaut region, long before Charles Taze Russell (February 16, 1852 – October 31, 1916), or Pastor Russell, the American Christian restorationist minister from Pittsburgh, was born. It were such sincere students of the Bible who made it possible to get one of the first major Bibles in the French language circulating in the region and had one which was printed in Mons. There in Mons can still be found a copy of the first Gutenberg Bible (1455) which was used as a base (unfortunately incomplete). It was Canon Edmon Puissant (1860-1934) who came into possession of this copy in 1926.

 

D Norris telling a lot of nonsense in several articles on what he calls on Belgian Biblestudies, though our community is called Belgian Bible-students and has nothing to do with Ch.T. Russell as so called founder and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Though we do agree Ch.T. Russell’s writings circulated and still circulate amongst us and got several of his and other brethren their English writings translated in French, Swiss German and Dutch by our community. In the early 20th century Russell even came to visit our community.

Next he presents an article on Armstrong false prophecy as a ‘Next’ article containing false prophecies of Herbert W Armstrong marking him as a false prophet, as if we would also follow this man.  This article is followed by “Belgian Biblestudies Deception- 4” were he keeps dragging on with prophecies of some one we do not have as our leader, what he keeps others to believe. And than he asks

Here are two more of Charles Russell’s false prophecies. What amazes me is how Belgian Bible students can justify this? {Belgian Biblestudies Deception- 4} {find our reaction if he publishes it}

And he keeps disbelieving that Russell was not our founder, as if we, as community would not know our own history and he knowing it much better than serious history writers or serious encyclopaedia.

But the Belgian Biblestudents still speak very highly of their founder Charles Russell despite all his false prophecies. Examine also the references for the false prophecies. They’re in the very same Bible studies that the Belgian group supports. Are they as blind as their founder was? I will have more in part 5. {Belgian Biblestudies Deception- 4}

Nowhere shall you find prophecies made by Russell or any other person which we would say you have to believe. We also do not know where he gets it from that we would hold Charles Russel‘s “Studies in the Scriptures” in such high regard. (Perhaps he assues that because we also took care for a translation and distribution of this work in our regions.) {Belgian Biblestudies Deception- 5} {we asked him also} Again he wants to do that Russell is the founder of our community and writes

the founder of this group as this book is full of lies and false prophecies. Worse still the Belgian Biblestudies group backs thiss book to the hilt. They know what’s in here and they believe it. {Belgian Biblestudies Deception- 5}

Dave Norris his continual misleading of the internet-public with attacking plus false sayings and making false connections in several of his articles, a.o. in his series Belgian Biblestudies Deception – {picture fragment from Belgian Biblestudies Deception – 6}

After a reaction we made on 2018 August 10 19.35 pm about having our name right we noticed he suddenly changed the title of his series.

In Belgian Biblestudents Deception- 7 Mr. Norris keeps telling untruths, now saying JF Rutherford otherwise known as Judge Rutherford

took over when Russell died as head of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. {Belgian Biblestudents Deception- 7}

Judge Rutherford being jailed for sedition against the Armed Forces is considered by Mr. Dave Norris a sign of him and Non-Trinitarian pacifists to be losers

Mr. Dave Norris in his series Belgian Biblestudents Deception- 8 all the time bringing in matters of prophesies in which we do not believe but which he wants to have his readers come to believe they are part of our teachings (which they are not at all)

Also when looking at the lies he writes about other denominations one an wonder what Mr. Norris his agenda really is?!? Problem would be in case many of his readers would consider his writings as bringing the truth about us and those other denominations.

Clearly he twists the truth and does as if we changed our teachings, but again uses material from an other  denomination to have it look as if it is ours.

Mr Norris looking at the New World Edition of the Bible which Jehovah’s Witnesses cherish, presenting it in his article Belgian Biblestudents Deception- 8 as if it is ours + asking to look at the changes

Mr. Norris also wants to give the impression when people read certain books, they are taken by those books and agree with everything what is in those books. He might perhaps follow everybody whose books he reads and may be limited in his amount of reading books and papers, only concentrating on what he agrees with. His knowledge about us and other groups he tries to pull down, shows clearly enough he did not do enough research and did not read enough about those groups, their leaders and teachers, often having no clue at all about their teachings, the same as with us. Or, in case he knows what our and their teachings are and what the background is of those groups he writes about, then it is clear he wants to spread fake news (therewith wanting to be popular in these times of someone speaking all the time of fake news) or does not mind to bring all sorts of inaccuracies to bring damage to those societies or communities.

Belgian Biblestudents Deception- 8 by D Norris on Exposing Christian error -about JW + Cd + false prophecies ~~~ Russell never made his own Bible or Scripture or never made our Holy Scriptures, like Norris wants his readers to believe.

Mr. Norris has also clearly a different view of what a cult is than what the state or a court would consider a cult or a sect. We can assure all his and our readers they do not have to worry that we would try to lure them in a sect and like certain churches do, then demand money and oblige them to stay with us. Every body is free to come and free to go in our churches (ecclesiae).

Only if one wants to join our community (as a member) we ask the candidate to believe in God as the Only True God and to believe that through God His only begotten beloved son salvation has come upon mankind and that this man of flesh and blood is the way to God and now the mediator between God and the people and is our high priest for God.

Psalms 83:18 (AKJV)
18 That men may know that you, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, are the most high over all the earth.

Romans 10:13 (AKJV)
13 For whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Matthew 3:16-17 (AKJV)
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, see, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting on him: 17 And see a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

John 14:6 (AKJV)
6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.

1 Timothy 2:5 (AKJV)
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Hebrews 12:24 (AKJV)
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things that that of Abel.

Hebrews 3:1 (AKJV) Hebrews 3
1 Why, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Hebrews 6:20 (AKJV)
20 Where the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Clearly the intentions of Mr. Dave Norris can be seen in his many articles against Catholics and all sorts of Protestants, Emergent Church, Extreme Prophetic MovementHebrew Roots Movement, but also Judaism. Main churches also do not escape his acid pen. But Non-Trinitarians seem to work on him as a red cloth on a bull. He not only writes about them a lot of lies but also has no decency when they write to him in a polite manner. Some of his replies may be lot worse than the once shown here (and therefore we would not make public.).

An example of the way Mr. Dave Norris answers people who wrote to him

An example of the way how Mr. Dave Norris react to people when they ask him to show the link for the article he talks about in a previous reply, him writing: “I linked to an article from Wikipedia it clearly states your history. Russell did many false prophecies as in his successor Rutherford Hayes. You need to Bone up on your history.” And we having stated that there is no such page in Wikipedia telling about the history of the Belgian Biblestudents.

Though we can only find

Proof of “Belgian Bible Students” Wikipedia page not existing on 2018 August 11

 

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Preceding

Charles Taze Russell and what he started

Was Russell and Rutherford “Illuminati”?

Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WBTS) main groups that broke away

Different approach in organisation of services #1

Different approach in organisation of services #2

Different approach in organisation of services #3

Belonging to or being judged by

Jehovah’s Witnesses Circuit Assembly and a Pillar to freedom

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Please find also to read

  1. International Biblestudents Association
  2. International Bible Students Association
  3. International Bible Students Association
  4. Jehovah’s Witness
  5. Charles Taze Russell
  6.  Dawn Bible Students Association
  7. Italian Bible Students Association in Hartford, CT Christian Millennial Fellowship
  8. What are Brothers in Christ
  9. Who are Christadelphians
  10. Against the anti Jehovah people
  11. Unmasking anti Jehovah sites and people
  12. Aim of Unmasking anti Jehovah people
  13. Joseph Rutherford with the iron glove
  14. To remove the whitewash of the Jehovah Witnesses as being the only true Bible Students and Bible Researchers
  15. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  16. Faith coming by hearing and sent preacher gift from God
  17. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  18. Confrontation by people telling lies to force others to avoid the targetted groups
  19. For those who do everything to stop the work of Christadelphians
  20. Who cries out against a hearty and uncompromising castigation of error
  21. re-frame obligation into conscious choices
  22. Christianity primarily a matter of imitation

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When Jesus speaks of obedience, he is speaking of a lifestyle of devotion to that which garners his devotion. Jesus’ disciples obey him by keeping what he keeps, and holding on to that which he holds… with a steadfast dedication. Once again we see our definition of a disciple emerge:

Necessity to imitate the Jewish master teacher Jeshua or Jesus Christ, following his commandments trying to become like him, is what the Belgian Bible Students do.

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Related

  1. 4 attacks on Jehovah’s Witnesses churches linked -25k reward offered
  2. Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses preach?
  3. Romans 8:12-17 – Heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ
  4. Brothers in Christ – bond in Christ
  5. To the Compulsive Liar
  6. The Value of Truth
  7. Myths About Net Neutrality
  8. Lovers of God are Better Lovers
  9. Part 1 – Your Relationship with God
  10. 6 Priorities You Need
  11. Four – Understanding Our Purpose, p. 126 Jesus came to be what the original Adam was supposed to be: the very “image” of God.
  12. Four – Understanding Our Purpose, p. 128
  13. Six – Understanding the Holy Spirit, p. 176
  14. Six – Understanding the Holy Spirit, p. 178
  15. Imitating Jesus — From the new book Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)
  16. Following Jesus requires you to grow up
  17. Proclamation
  18. Ep. 4 – Jehovah’s Witnesses
  19. Notes on the Proclaimers Book
  20. Some Prophetic Speculations
  21. Jehovah’s Witness Myopic View Of Jesus (I)
  22. Jehovah’s Witnesses and False Prophecies
  23. Dance me to the end

Valse profeten en leraren als roofzuchtige wolven in schaapskleren #6 Valse leraren en geestelijke hoererij

Erg genoeg en spijtig genoeg moeten wij vast stellen dat de grote meerderheid van christenen ver afgeweken zijn van het Ware Geloof.

Als men weet dat Dé Allerhoogste Goddelijke Schepper zich aan de mens openbaar heeft gemaakt, zich zelf een volk heeft gekozen en hen duidelijk heeft gemaakt dat Hij hun Enige God hoort te zijn, waar geen afbeeldingen van mogen gemaakt worden en die niet duld dat andere godheden aanbeden worden of zaken worden afgesmeekt, dan zien wij bepaalde kerken waar men wél beelden van hun god aan de muur heeft hangen en waar ook beelden van mensen hangen, die ze heiligen noemen en waar zij wél dingen van afsmeken of hopen dat zij bepaalde dingen voor hen kunnen verwezenlijken, ook al zijn ze al lang geleden gestorven. Aan die kerkgemeenschappen kunnen wij zien dat zij afgeweken zijn van de teksten die zijn overgeleverd door de mannen van God, de profeten en Bijbelschrijvers of Schriftstellers.

Opmerkelijk is ook dat wij vele kerkgemeenschappen zien waar men eerder de woorden van de schrift heeft aangepast aan hun leven en hun tijd in plats van zich aan te passen aan de woorden van de Bijbel en hun leven op te bouwen zoals de eerste christenen probeerden naar Jezus leerstellingen te leven en God te dienen op de wijze dat God verlangt.

Uit de Schrift komen wij te weten dat er een tijd zal komen waar het kaf en het koren duidelijk zichtbaar zullen worden en van elkaar gescheiden zullen worden. Valse leraren zullen ontmaskerd worden. Het onderscheid tussen de groepen zal steeds duidelijker worden (Openb. 18:1, 4) De Universele Kerk zal meer en meer haar ware gezicht gaan laten zien. De Bijbel spreekt van Babylon de hoer en van de duivel die meer en meer heviger te keer zal gaan. De satans of tegenstrevers van God zullen meer en meer gepikeerd geraken dat er meer verkondigers opduiken die Gods Waarheid verkondigen. De Schrift vertelt ons namelijk dat het één van de tekenen der eindtijd zal zijn dat er meer verkondigers het Goede Nieuws zullen komen te verkondigen en alle moeite zullen doen om anderen ook heet licht der waarheid te laten zien.

Die instelling die zogezegd de ware kerk moest zijn zal ontmantelt worden door vele schandalen, waarbij het letterlijk hoereren ook blootgelegd zal worden. De laatste jaren doken er dan ook meer en meer schandalen in de Rooms Katholieke Kerk op.

Sinds de 19de eeuw gingen veel meer gewone mensen bewust de bijbel onderzoeken en zich aan te sluiten bij andere Bijbelonderzoekers. Deze Studenten van de bijbel vormden geloofsgemeenschappen met namen als Bijbelstudenten of Bible Students of wensten te verwijzen naar hun broederschap met Christus of aan te tonen dat zij onderdeel maakten van de Stad van Jezus Christus, Christadelphia of van een broederschap als Filadelphia of Christadelphians of Broeders in Christus.

Onder de Bijbelonderzoekers waren er die de leiding namen om te sturen en ondersteuning te geven aan diegenen die er bewust van waren van de noodzaak en belangrijkheid van het predikingswerk. Zij gingen de nadruk leggen op een persoonlijk aandeel aan de prediking van het Koninkrijk. Getrouwe christenen vonden het belangrijk om van deur tot deur te gaan om de Waarheid te verkondigen.

Naar de jaren zestig toe van de vorige eeuw werden vele christelijke leiders zo bang voor de naam van God dat zij er zelfs op stonden om die Heilige naam beter weg te laten. Zij die van God hielden en beseften hoe belangrijk die Naam wel is gingen verder om die Naam te verkondigen. Meerdere groepen zetten zich in om Gods Naam uit te dragen. Zo zijn de Getuigen van Jehovah wel de meest gekende groep van Bijbelonderzoekers. Die uitdragers van de Naam van God werden als om meer geschoffeerd. Op allerhande manieren wenst men ze nog steeds zwart te maken. Hiertoe worden vele leugens uit de kast gehaald om hen zwart te maken en om met hen te spotten. Andere niet-trinitarische bewegingen worden te samen met hen op dezelfde lijst van ongewenste ‘sekten’ geplaatst.

In het Christendom zitten de Universele Kerken, van het katholicisme en Protestantisme, nog lekker hoog op hun troon. Zo hoog gezeten en aanzien als de Grote Kerk en als Rijke Kerk en Politiek sterke kerk, zien zij zich nog onaantastbaar. Als koningen en koninginnen kunnen hun leiders nu nog zetelen, zoals in de Schrift vermeld.

„Ik zit als koningin, en ik ben geen weduwe, en ik zal nooit rouw zien” (Openb. 18:7).

Die grote instellingen in het christendom voelen zich inderdaad nog erg zeker. Zij zijn zelfs in de veronderstelling dat ze ’als een koningin zitten’ op de klasse van politieke leiders. Op dit moment zijn degenen die door het onkruid worden afgebeeld in Jezus parabels niet bepaald aan het wenen. Maar daar komt binnenkort verandering in.

Aan de hechte samenwerking tussen diegenen die leiding hebben in het christendom en de politieke leiders komt binnenkort een eind

Eeuwenlang hadden protestantse denominaties verwezen naar het Babylon uit Bijbelse profetieën, met de vinger wijzend naar de Rooms Katholieke Kerk. De vele Bijbelonderzoekers kunnen ook als een strekking in het protestantisme aanschouwd worden, maar in tegenstelling tot vele protestanten houden zij niet aan een drievoudige godheid maar aanbidden zij slechts één Ware God, de God van Israël. Met de jaren gingen meer Bijbelonderzoekers geleidelijk beseffen dat vele kerken van het christendom bij het hedendaagse Babylon horen. Dit omdat ze allemaal leugens onderwijzen zoals o.a. de leer van de Drie-eenheid.

Al in 1891 werd bijvoorbeeld in het derde deel van Millennial Dawn over Gods verwerping van het hedendaagse Babylon gezegd:

„Het hele systeem — een systeem van systemen — is verworpen.”

Er werd aan toegevoegd dat iedereen

„die het niet eens is met haar valse leerstellingen en gebruiken nu opgeroepen wordt om zich van haar af te scheiden”.

Die afscheiding is ook waar Jezus en zijn apostelen naar wezen … het niet van de wereld zijn … het durven afstand nemen van populaire maar valse leerstellingen. Dat afstand nemen van die kerken waar niet kosher wordt geleefd is voor zeer veel mensen zeer moeilijk. Het grotendeel van de mensen wil ook vasthouden aan de gangbare tradities en is ook bang om anderen te laten merken dat zij zich hebben aangesloten bij een kleine kerkgemeenschap die er de voorkeur aan geven om constant met dat Woord van God bezig te zijn.

De Bijbelonderzoekers leerden en leren nog steeds, dat geloofsgenoten waar mogelijk voor aanbidding bij elkaar moeten komen. Voor ware christenen is het niet genoeg om valse religie te verlaten zij moeten zich ook gaan verenigen met anderen die het Ware Geloof willen aanhouden. Zij moeten beseffen dat men niet op zichzelf moet blijven en in zijn eentje moet zitten de Bijbel te lezen of te studeren. Men moet beseffen dat het belangrijk is om ook samen te komen om deel te nemen aan ware aanbidding.

In de Nieuwe Wereld beseften vele uitwijkelingen van Europa hoe kerken hen misleid hadden en hoe zij meerdere dingen hadden moeten aan nemen omdat het zogezegd onbegrijpbaar was voor een mens en omdat het een dogma was. De in de 19de eeuw rondtrekkende bijbelonderzoekers voelden aan hoe opbouwend hun bijeenkomsten waren die zij in de verschillende nederzettingen konden bijwonen.

In juli 1880 bracht broeder Russell bijvoorbeeld verslag uit van een rondreis die hij had gemaakt om lezingen te houden. Hij vertelde hoe opbouwend alle bijeenkomsten waren geweest. Vervolgens spoorde hij de lezers aan om briefkaarten op te sturen over hun vooruitgang. Sommige daarvan zouden in het tijdschrift gepubliceerd worden. Het doel?

„Laat ons allemaal weten (…) hoe de Heer jullie voorspoed geeft, en of jullie geregeld samenkomen met hen die hetzelfde kostbare geloof hebben.”

Een groep Bijbelonderzoekers in Kopenhagen in 1909

Russell met een groep Bijbelonderzoekers in Kopenhagen (1909)

De Bijbel bestuderend kwamen meerdere mensen tot meer inzicht dat de beschrijving die de bijbel van Babylon de Grote geeft, past bij de valse religie als geheel, als een collectief lichaam. Hoewel de duizenden godsdiensten die de wereld telt niet officieel één wereldorganisatie vormen, zijn ze wat hun doel en daden betreft onafscheidelijk verbonden. Zoals door de immorele vrouw in Openbaring wordt afgebeeld, heeft de valse religie een reusachtige invloed op regeringen. Net als een vrouw die zich niet aan haar huwelijksgeloften houdt, heeft de valse religie zich geprostitueerd door verbintenissen aan te gaan met de ene politieke macht na de andere.

„Overspeelsters, weet gij niet dat de vriendschap met de wereld vijandschap met God is?”,

schreef de discipel Jakobus.

„Al wie daarom een vriend van de wereld wil zijn, maakt zich tot een vijand van God.” — Jakobus 4:4.

Op vele plaatsen waar Bijbelonderzoekers kwamen verkregen zij weerstand en werden zij regelmatig beschimpt. Vandaag zijn zij nog steeds een bespotte groep, waarvoor velen graag een ommetje maken of de deuren niet openen, om niet te moeten spreken met zulk iemand.

Johannes 15:19: 19 Als jullie een deel van de wereld zouden zijn, zou de wereld aan jullie gehecht zijn als iets van haarzelf. Omdat jullie geen deel van de wereld zijn+ maar ik jullie uit de wereld heb uitgekozen, daarom haat de wereld jullie.+

Geen deel uit makend van de wereld is voor de Bijbelonderzoekers of Bijbelstudenten belangrijker dan ongehoorzaamheid aan God Zijn Woord. Voor ons is de liefde voor God het voor op liggende.

1 Johannes 2:15: 15 Heb de wereld niet lief en ook de dingen in de wereld niet.+ Als iemand de wereld liefheeft, is de liefde voor de Vader niet in hem.+

Wij beseffen dat onze weg niet altijd makkelijk zal zijn doordat onze voorkeur voor de vriendschap met God niet zo veel vrienden van deze wereld zal opleveren. Wij beseffen dat wij om vrienden van God te zijn, ons moeten losmaken van elke emotionele gehechtheid aan de huidige goddeloze wereld, en dat wij ons moeten ontdoen van al de valse leerstellingen.

God houd niet van valse aanbidding en zij die van God houden willen God niet tegen de borst stoten. Naleven van God Zijn geboden is veel belangrijker dan het na leven van mensen hun leringen en regels.

De diverse „christelijke” en heidense sekten die deze wereld rijk is maken er aanspraak op organisaties te zijn die de ware aanbidding beoefenen. Maar in haar zucht naar macht en materieel gewin heeft ze vriendschappelijke betrekkingen aangeknoopt met de heersers van deze wereld, en „de koningen der aarde hebben hoererij met haar bedreven”. Haar onreine, smerige handelwijze in verband met haar hoererij is in Gods ogen verfoeilijk en heeft tot veel bloedvergieten en grote benauwdheid op aarde geleid (Opb 17:1-6; 18:3). Derhalve zal God het voor hoereerders bestemde oordeel aan haar voltrekken: vernietiging. (Opb 17:16; 18:8, 9).

Laat iedereen beseffen dat wij best de valse leraren links laten liggen en dat wij de woorden in de Bijbel nemen zoals zij er staan. Als er dus “zoon van God” staat, laat ons dan ook lezen en denken “zoon van God” en niet zoals velen u proberen diets te maken dat u (zou) moeten geloven dat het om een “god de zoon” gaat. Als u volgeling van Christus wil zijn, dus een christen zijn, moet u de zelfde God aanbidden als Jezus en moet u zijn leerstellingen volgen en niet deze van die zo vele mensen die als zogenaamde theoloog de bijbel duidelijker zouden kunnen maken dan God Zijn woord zelf.

Besef ook dat als u zich laat dopen en opgenomen wordt in het Lichaam van Christus, dat dit inhoud dat u zich bereid voelt om onder Christus Jezus te staan. Bij zulk een overgave in een doop hebt u dan ook als christen aan Jehovah opgedragen om zodoende onder de Gave van Genade in het nieuwe verbond te zijn opgenomen. Zij die zich als christen uit geven en valse leerstellingen aanhouden en zich met het huidige samenstel van dingen verontreinigen, plegen geestelijk overspel.  (Jakobus 4:4.)

+

Voorgaande

Valse profeten en leraren als roofzuchtige wolven in schaapskleren #1 Stromen van gelovigen

Valse profeten en leraren als roofzuchtige wolven in schaapskleren #2 Een Zoon als gids en Geschriften als leidraad

Valse profeten en leraren als roofzuchtige wolven in schaapskleren #3 Van een bepaalde wereld zijnde

Valse profeten en leraren als roofzuchtige wolven in schaapskleren #4 Ambitieuze mannen, verdraaide woorden en akkoorden met wereldleiders

Valse profeten en leraren als roofzuchtige wolven in schaapskleren #5 Valse leraren en afvalligen

Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 3

++

Aanverwante lectuur

  1. Wetenschappers, filosofen hun zeggen, geloven en waarheden
  2. Filosofen, theologen en ogen naar de ware kennisgever van bestaan van God
  3. Bedenkingen: Gods eigen Volk
  4. Joodse Wetten en Wetten voor Christenen
  5. Kerkshoppen: “Arrogant tegenover kerklidmaatschap”
  6. Benedictus XVI treedt af
  7. Christelijke, geestelijke zaken kunnen leiden tot hoogmoed
  8. Kerkzijn in een ik-gerichte tijd
  9. Jongmense wil nie meer sit en luister nie
  10. De Ware Kerk
  11. Kleine gemeenschap in ongeïnteresseerde wereld
  12. Intenties van de ecclesia
  13. Stichter van een beweging
  14. Wie kan zich beroepen op C.T. Russell
  15. Biblestudents & T.C.Russell
  16. Bijbelonderzoekers en Russelism
  17. Bijbelonderzoekers, Bijbelstudents, Jehovah Getuigen, Russell en denominaties
  18. Bijbelonderzoekers niet steeds Getuigen van Jehovah
  19. Volharding en Bijbelstudenten
  20. Christadelphia
  21. Is uitleg over christadelphians op Katholieke website correct
  22. Goed Nieuws brengen met en door voorbeeld
  23. Is de Beleidvolle Slaaf van de Getuigen van Jehovah Gods enige instrument
  24. Niet alle Getuigen behorend tot Getuige van Jehovah
  25. De naam van Jehovah gebruikend maar geen getuigen met die naam
  26. Bijbelvorsers uitkijkend om meerdere lezers te bereiken
  27. Eenheid van spreken onder de loep genomen
  28. Een terugblik op Christadelphianisme en de Broeders in Christus in België
  29. Gebed ter bescherming en versterking van de verkondigers van het Goede Nieuws
  30. Belangrijkheid van Gods Naam
  31. Gods volk onderweg – Het leven in de gemeente
  32. Redding, vertrouwen en actie in Jezus #9 Omgang met anderen
  33. Verzoening en Broederschap 3 Verenigen onder de Hoeksteen
  34. Verzoening en Broederschap 4 Deelgenoten in Christus
  35. De Ekklesia #10 Addendum 1: een moderne theocratie?
  36. Is God een Drie-eenheid
  37. Heilige-drievuldigheid of drie-eenheid

+++

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