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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

 

+

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

++

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

+++

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

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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