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Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #5 Further steps to women’s bibles

In the Wild West women took care their children got a knowledge of the Word of God. In the growing states of the New World the oral tradition of the Word of God ensured the Gospel-readings spreading.

For millennia prior to the invention of writing, which is a very recent phenomenon in the history of humankind, oral tradition served as the sole means of communication available for forming and maintaining societies and their institutions. Moreover, numerous studies — conducted on six continents — have illustrated that oral tradition remains the dominant mode of communication in the 21st century, despite increasing rates of literacy. {Encyclopaedia Britannica}

The States got some very strong ladies, creating schools and congregations where women told in their own words what was written in the Holy Scriptures. In the early nineteenth century, at the European continent and in the colonies where the largest, most influential churches like Catholics and Church of England reigned, they like Presbyterians, and the Episcopalians (or Anglicanism and Episcopal Church in the United States of America) forbade women to preach. In the New World women proved their necessity for leading everything in good directions. Searching the bible and having met people from different denominations many came to conclusions which made them to form newer groups. In a small number of those denominations, particularly the Congregationalists, the restrictions on women’s religious speech became challenged. Professor of Religions in America and the History of Christianity in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, Catherine Brekus whose works have included a history of female preaching in America, entitled Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America, 1740 – 1845 (1998) and a history of early evangelicalism based on a woman’s diaries, entitled Sarah Osborn‘s World: The Rise of Evangelicalism in Early America (2013), writes.

“Anti-authoritarian, anti-intellectual, and often visionary, they deliberately set themselves apart from the ‘worldliness’ of established churches by insisting that God could choose anyone — even the poor, uneducated, enslaved, or female — to spread the gospel.”

She briefly traces the story of evangelicals — especially Free Will Baptists, Christian Connection, northern Methodists, African Methodists, and Millerites — who allowed women to preach.

Benjamin Randall (1749-1808) main organizer of the Freewill Baptists (Randall Line) in the Northeastern United States.

Inspired by the preaching of the lay exhorter Benjamin Randall in New Hampshire that Free Will Baptist Association was formed in 1782. By 1780 the various Baptist groups had formed around 450 churches, a number exceeded only by Congregationalists with about 750 and Presbyterians with some 490. With the disappearance of a Puritan orthodoxy at the beginning of the eighteenth century the Congregational churches, whose ideas were based on the priesthood of all believers, developed by Robert Browne and Henry Barrow, and were Calvinist in tone, had opened the way for women preaching and for people telling with their own words what was written in the Bible.

The gradual collapse of state religious establishments after ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1789 served Baptist purposes, and by 1800 they had become for a while the largest denomination in the nation, with almost twice as many adherents as the second-ranked Congregationalists. Those Baptists supported the creation of colleges, seminaries, tract societies, and missionary agencies. Educated leaders provided the impetus for the creation in 1814 of a General Missionary Convention, soon called the Triennial Convention, to sponsor home and foreign missions. Before long, it had allied itself with other agencies to promote publication and education. Several groups considered themselves to be a continuation of the first church where followers of Christ, men and women tried to bring people to God and have them baptised by immersion, the only true form of Christian baptism. At the end of the 20th century it would be the pressure of the major trinitarian Baptist groups, like the 13.9 million Southern Baptist Convention which would make the non-trinitarian Baptists looking for other congregations, but still leaving 26,7 million U.S.A. Baptists.

Brekus notes how fearing the colonies’ established churches had “quenched the spirit” by requiring college education for ministers, evangelicals said

“God could communicate directly with people through dreams, visions, and voices,”

and appealed to Joel’s promise (quoted by Peter at Pentecost) to invest

“female preaching with transcendent significance. Whenever a woman stood in the pulpit, she was a visible reminder that Christ might soon return to earth.”

Yet influenced by the wider culture, they did not think the Bible sanctioned their equality with men in Church, home, or political life. Rather than seeking ordination and settled pastorates, they remained itinerate evangelists. So, these biblical feminists were caught between two worlds — too radical to be accepted by evangelicals, but too conservative to be accepted by women’s rights activists. {Christian Reflection; A Series in Faith and Ethics}

Waves of Irish Presbyterians flooded into the middle and southern colonies, which tolerated their religious beliefs, and flowed into the unoccupied western regions. Some were established congregations who brought their ministers with them; most immigrated as individuals or in small family groups and were followed by clergymen. But the Presbyterian Church in England, re-established in 1844, was reported to have only 76 places of worship in 1851 — one-fifth the number of quaker meeting-houses. {J. A. Cannon; The Oxford Companion to British History; 2002}
A Plan of Union with the Congregational associations of New England that existed from 1792 until 1837 was disrupted when the Old School Presbyterians, favoring separate denominational agencies for missionary and evangelistic work, prevailed. The Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions was then established.

The P.C.U.S.A split in 1837 to become New School Presbyterians and Old School Presbyterians.

The P.C.U.S.A split in 1837 to become New School Presbyterians and Old School Presbyterians.

Placing great importance upon education and lifelong learning the Presbyterians and their missionary schools also prepared others to think about the Word of God and to spread it around.

Several men and women brought their notes to the bible words and also did not mind when preaching to quote freely from the bible. In this way the Americans got used to an easy fluent language to tell about God His sayings and wonders.

Gradually, the evangelicals’ educational systems, church organizations, and worship styles became more like those of churches that had been established and wealthy in the colonial era but many Bible students, followers of Dr. John Thomas and of Charles Taze Russell continued to spread the Word of God in their own words and in Bible fragments translated to American English in tracts and magazines.

The Christadelphians offered people the Wilson’s polyglot translation for free. When Benjamin Wilson died in 1900, his heirs inherited the plates and copyright. When they were approached by Charles Taze Russell, then president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, he via a third party obtained the copyright, and at some later point, the plates. The Society published the Diaglott in 1902, and later had the type reset for publication on its own presses in 1927, with an additional printing in 1942.

Much discussion went on between the other Bible-student parties involved in the first edition and still using the version in their churches or ecclesia. Unto the exclusiveness to reprint the polyglot for public release the Christadelphians and Wilson his church had to keep reproduction only for their own members.
In 2003 the MiamiChurch of the Blessed Hope with support from Christadelphians in the United Kingdom and the United States published their own edition, with a new preface, and where pleased the Emphatic Diaglott at last came home again.

Christadelphians, Watchtower Biblestudents and others looked at the return of Christ, a terrible war where nations would get against many other nations, but also were aware that Jerusalem would be restored after some time.

Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843–1921) American theologian, minister, and writer whose best-selling annotated Bible popularized futurism and dispensationalism among fundamentalist Christians.

From English and Puritan descent the American orphan Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843–1921) converted to evangelical Christianity through the testimony of a lawyer acquaintance. He came under the mentorship of James H. Brookes, pastor of Walnut Street Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, a prominent dispensationalist premillennialist. He also attempted with limited success to take charge of Dwight L. Moody‘s Northfield Bible Training School, and served as superintendent of the American Home Missionary Society of Texas and Louisiana; and in 1890, he helped found Lake Charles College (1890–1903) in Lake Charles, Louisiana and in 1914 founded the Philadelphia School of the Bible in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (now Cairn University)

Scofield’s premillennialism seemed prophetic.

“At the popular level, especially, many people came to regard the dispensationalist scheme as completely vindicated.”

Scofield Reference Bible, page 1115. This page includes Scofield’s note on John 1:17, which some have interpreted to mean that Scofield believed in two means of salvation.

The first bible translation, since the Geneva Bible (1560), to bring a commentary on the biblical text alongside the Bible instead of in a separate volume, also attempted to date events of the Bible in its second edition (1917) eight years after its first edition. This Scofield Reference Bible, published by Oxford University Press in 1909 contained the entire text of the traditional, Protestant King James Version, and became a widely circulated study Bible edited and annotated by this American Bible student Cyrus I. Scofield, whose notes teach futurism and dispensationalism, a theology that was systematized in the early nineteenth century by the Anglo-Irish clergyman John Nelson Darby, one of the influential figures among the original Plymouth Brethren (Christian brethren, or Darbyites) and the founder of the Exclusive Brethren, (who like Scofield had also been trained as a lawyer).

John Nelson Darby (1800–1882) Anglo-Irish Bible teacher, one of the influential figures among the original Plymouth Brethren and the founder of the Exclusive Brethren.

In 1867 ex curate in the Church of Ireland parish of Delgany, County Wicklow, Darby had presented a translation of the New Testament which he revised for the editions in 1872 and 1884.  He declined however to contribute to the compilation of the Revised Version of the King James Bible. After his death, some of his students produced an Old Testament translation based on Darby’s French and German translations in which we may see Darby’s dependence on W. H. Westcott’s Congo vernacular Bible, Victor Danielson’s Faroese work and the Romanian Bible published by G.B.V. and Dillenburg, Germany (GBV)

It was after 25 years serious research that in 1881 the British bishop, biblical scholar and theologian, and Bishop of Durham, Brooke Foss Westcott (1825–1901) with Irish-born theologian and editor Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828–1892) had presented their “New Testament in the Original Greek” on the believe that the combination of Codex Bezae with the Old Latin and the Old Syriac represents the original form of the New Testament text. Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort their Greek translation was used as the base fro many later translations.

The Revised Version of the New Testament translators, 1881.

They also were asked to become translation committee members for the Revised Version which in the United States was adapted and revised as the “Revised Version, Standard American Edition” (better known as the American Standard Version) in 1901.

Those translations using the advanced knowledge of the newly found ancient manuscripts and better insight in the old language, received until today opposition from fervent “King James Only” people. Up to today those King James only people say that is the only worthy and true Bible, also forgetting that other people who speak an other language than would be deprived of God’s Word in the Bible. Those KJV-only people complaining that the or a new translation did not base their text on the 1611 KJV forget that it should not be based on that text but on the most original bible manuscripts we can find. The last straw is that many who swear by only the KJV itself do not use themselves the original version and worse even do not know what print edition they use and that this has many differences against the 1611 edition.

Problem with those KJV-only believers is that they want to have their church doctrines still confirmed in the new translations though those versions using the Name of God where it was placed, makes it clear about whom is spoken and about who speaks, so that no confusing is being made between God and Jesus and shows clearly that it are two different characters. Therefore, it mostly are ardent trinitarians who do not want to accept versions which come closer to the original ancient writings, because this way people believing in the Trinity may come to see that it is a human doctrine and not a Biblical doctrine, and as such they may come to see that the non-trinitarian churches are much more following God’s Word than their church want them to believe.

Lots of KJV-only people also do not want to have the real translation or a synonym for a word they use wrongly, like sheol or the hell which just means the grave or sepulchre, but when a bible translation like the NIV translates it with the “grave” they consider an attack on the KJV word of “hell” they understanding it to be a place of eternal doom and torture.

The KJV-only people believe that this English translation of the Authorised King James Version should never be changed, but do not see or forget that they themselves use also a changed version and not the original 1611 first version.

A staunch Seventh-day Adventist missionary, theology professor and college president was even more stepped on his toes when the Bible Students of the Zion’s Watchtower dared to bring out a modern English translation based on that Westcott-Hort translation and on the Greek texts of Nestle, Bover, Merk and others.

Not only women and children had asked for a less archaic Bible translation.

On December 2, 1947 a “New World Bible Translation Committee” was formed, composed of Jehovah’s Witnesses who professed to be anointed.

The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures was released at a convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses at Yankee Stadium, New York, on August 2, 1950. The translation of the Old Testament, which Jehovah’s Witnesses refer to as the Hebrew Scriptures, was released in five volumes in 1953, 1955, 1957, 1958, and 1960. The complete New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was released as a single volume in 1961, and has since undergone minor revisions and standing strong between the 55 new English translations of the Christian Greek Scriptures which were published between 1952 and 1990.

They also reproduced The Greek transliterations for the Christian Greek Scripture portion of the Bible from the Westcott and Hort text in The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures (1969).

While critical of some of its translation choices, , associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A., Jason BeDuhn called the New World Translation a “remarkably good” translation, “better by far” and “consistently better” than some of the others considered. Overall, concluded BeDuhn, the New World Translation

“is one of the most accurate English translations of the New Testament currently available”

and

“the most accurate of the translations compared.”

in his 2003 book, Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament, which has generated considerable controversy for highlighting cases of theological bias in the translation process, by which, he argues, contemporary Christian views are anachronistically introduced into the Bible versions upon which most modern English-speaking Christians rely.

BeDuhn noted, too, that many translators were subject to pressure

“to paraphrase or expand on what the Bible does say in the direction of what modern readers want and need it to say.”

On the other hand, the New World Translation is different, observed BeDuhn, because of

“the greater accuracy of the NW as a literal, conservative translation of the original expressions of the New Testament writers.”

The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures by 2004 had been made available in 32 languages plus 2 Braille editions and two years later already in 57 languages.

The 1984 revised edition of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures richly enhanced accurate Bible knowledge by means of several distinctive features such as the marginal (cross) references, an extensive footnote apparatus, a concordance (Bible Words Indexed) and an appendix. Modern computerization has assisted greatly in preparing these features.

In the New World Translation an effort was made to capture the authority, power, dynamism and directness of the original Hebrew and Greek Scriptures and to convey these characteristics in modern English. They also made an end to the used of  now-sanctimonious formal pronouns thou, thy, thine, thee and ye, with their corresponding verb inflections.

Many trinitarians were not pleased with that translation which tried to give as literal a translation as possible where the modern-English idiom allows and where a literal rendition does not, by any awkwardness, hide the thought, but which also placed in the Hebrew text everywhere the tetragrammaton יהוה (YHWH) was notated, printed God’s Holy Name Jehovah. As such God His Name was again visible, like in the ancient manuscripts,  6,973 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and 237 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures. Though it may be called a pity that they also did not take the effort to put Jesus name right, not going for the Issou or “Hail Zeus“, but printing his real original name Jeshua.

With this word-for-word statement of the original in the hand the real followers of Christ could show those who call themselves Christian, but do follow the human doctrine of the Trinity, where they went wrong in their thinking and could show them that Jesus is the way to God and not God himself.

But in this clear up-to-date contemporary version many churches saw a danger for their followers who could be brought to other thinking than their denomination’s doctrines.

In the previous decades several paraphrased bible book translations had seen the light and many bible students also had used free translations in their pamphlets. This time taking liberties with the texts for the mere sake of brevity, and substituting some modern parallel when a literal rendering of the original makes good sense, had been avoided. Uniformity of rendering has been maintained by assigning one meaning to each major word and by holding to that meaning as far as the context permits. At times this has imposed a restriction upon word choice, but it aids in cross-reference work and in comparing related texts.

In rendering the sense and feel of the action and state of Hebrew verbs into English, it is not always possible to preserve the brevity due to a lack of corresponding colour in English verb forms. Hence, auxiliary words that lengthen the expression are at times required to bring out the vividness, mental imagery and dramatic action of the verbs, as well as the point of view and the concept of time expressed by the Bible writers. In general the same is true of the Greek verbs. Thus, imperfect verbs have been kept in the imperfect state denoting progressive action. Participles have been rendered as participles involving continuous action.

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Preceding articles:

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #2 King James Bible versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #3 Women and versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #4 Steps to the women’s bibles

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Additional reading

  1. Codex Sinaiticus available for perusal on the Web
  2. Bible Translating and Concordance Making
  3. Looking at notes of Samuel Ward and previous Bible translation efforts in English
  4. Written and translated by different men over thousands of years
  5. Rare original King James Bible discovered
  6. King James Bible Coming into being
  7. Celebrating the Bible in English
  8. TheBible4Life KJV Jubileum
  9. What English Bible do you use?
  10. The Most Reliable English Bible
  11. 2001 Translation an American English Bible
  12. NWT and what other scholars have to say to its critics
  13. New American Bible Revised Edition
  14. The NIV and the Name of God
  15. Archeological Findings the name of God YHWHUse of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  16. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  17. Hebrew, Aramaic and Bibletranslation
  18. Some Restored Name Versions
  19. Anchor Yale Bible
  20. iPod & Android Bibles
  21. Missed opportunity for North Korea
  22. What are Brothers in Christ
  23. Wanting to know more about basic teachings of Christadelphianism
  24. Around C.T.Russell
  25. A visible organisation on earth
  26. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  27. Jesus three days in hell
  28. Dead and after
  29. Sheol or the grave
  30. This month’s survey question: Heaven and Hell
  31. Interpreting the Scriptures (Part 5)
  32. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures (1)
  33. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures (2)
  34. Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians
  35. To remove the whitewash of the Jehovah Witnesses as being the only true Bible Students and Bible Researchers
  36. Archaeology and the Bible researcher 2/4

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Further reading

  1. The Bible
  2. Where was the Bible before 1611? How can we know God endorsed the KJV?
  3. Earliest Known Draft of 1611 King James Bible Is Found
  4. KJV Onlyism: What It Does And Doesn’t Mean
  5. What’s wrong with the New King James?
  6. Is it true no doctrines are changed in modern versions?
  7. The King James AV 1611 Bible vs. The New International Version
  8. King James version (1)
  9. King James Version 2
  10. I got saved reading the NIV. How can you say it’s no good?
  11. Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible
  12. Why should God’s Word be restricted to English?
  13. Some Notes on Bible Translations
  14. Which Bible Translation?
  15. Is Christianity a paradox?
  16. Migration in a context of colonisation
  17. The sorrow and burden of it all
  18. A Belgian refugee in Maidenhead finds work
  19. When the boys come home…
  20. Do not be dissuaded by so paltry a matter as a change of time
  21. “I often wonder why I joined up”
  22. Dedicating the Powner Hall
  23. A dinner treat for the Congregational men
  24. Church Hill
  25. That We May All Be One: World Communion Sunday, 2015
  26. History, Empathy, and Race in America
  27. Empathy, racial reconciliation, and the study of history
  28. “The End of White Christian America”
  29. The calling we have in culture
  30. A. W. Tozer and the Historic Trinity
  31. Tozer’s Critique of Evangelical Christians
  32. Corporate Evangelicalism – Where did it come from?
  33. Defining Evangelicalism
  34. Decline and Fall
  35. Fundamentalism Will Kill You
  36. Progressive Evangelicals: Who We Are And What We Believe
  37. How Evangelicals are Losing an Entire Generation – by Amy Gannett
  38. On celebrating diversity within the church
  39. Evangelicalism is no longer growing–why?
  40. The Scofield Bible—The Book That Made Zionists of America’s Evangelical Christians
  41. Becoming a Liberal Christian Part I: High Church and Militant Evangelicalism
  42. Reformed Baptists and the Purity of the Church
  43. The Westminster Factor
  44. Of Polls, Presbyterians, and Seventh-Day Adventists
  45. Understanding the Presbyterian Model (Reformed the web)
  46. Understanding the Presbyterian Model (Chanty notes)
  47. “Episcopals Now Second Class Christians”: Anglicans Demote Episcopalians As Global Christianity Gets More Polarized
  48. Am I a Presbyterian?
  49. Daniel’s 70-Week Vision Series #18 – Part 94 of Riddles, Enigmas & Esoteric Imagery of Revelation
  50. At the resurrection who is left behind?
  51. A Thousand Years
  52. News brings great joy
  53. Confirmation
  54. Bible Wars
  55. How Trustworthy Are Bible Translations?
  56. How I Know The King James Bible is the Word of God
  57. King James Only–Refuted part 2
  58. King James Only–Refuted (part 3)
  59. Ways in which Fundamentalists are discriminated against
  60. Between Christians
  61. Repentance From Dead Works: 3 – Don’t Forget Good Works Are Dead Works
  62. Communion – the most terrifying sacrament in the IFB church
  63. Spirit of our times.
  64. King James XX
  65. I believe the King James Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.  
  66. Is Modern Really Better?
  67. How some preachers trick you when defining Greek words!
  68. What’s wrong with the New King James?
  69. Is it true no doctrines are changed in modern versions?
  70. I got saved reading the NIV. How can you say it’s no good?
  71. Why should God’s Word be restricted to English?
  72. Transilvania în 1865, prin ochii lui Edward Millard – blogul unui duh întarâtat

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Jehovah’s Witnesses Circuit Assembly and a Pillar to freedom

A Mother and daughter

An other strange story which caught our attention. Again somebody who went to meet other Jehovah’s Witnesses, to attend the Jehovah’s Witnesses Circuit Assembly. This time that person could be a Jehovah’s Witness herself but did not like it so much, so why did she go in the first place.

She wrote

Between my being confined to the Jehovah’s Witness “way of life” and my parents being… the way they are, it makes it a challenge to maneuver things in order to spend those days with him as much as possible. {My Mother, the Bully}

She seems to be a daughter of a homemaker, a dedicated worker, a good JW, sensible, practical, giving, and responsible. She is a creator, artistic, free-minded, quite rebellious, self-focused according to her own saying {My Mother, the Bully}. Whilst her mother is repressed, self-disciplined, and morally bound she finds herself to be fluid, experimental, and abstract.

Could these things be at the root of a kind of jealousy? {My Mother, the Bully}

she wonders and let her thoughts linger

Does my reaching for more freedom trigger insecurities in her about her complete lack of it? {My Mother, the Bully}

Instability and felt mislead

Last April she felt like she exploded in anger and frustration towards “The Org”,

“telling M that I felt as if I had a “tiny elder in my head, screaming scriptures at me.” {Two Pillars of Freedom}

In this world everybody needs , and most of all youngsters are seeking some kind of stability when it comes to their spiritual beliefs or non beliefs and want to build up a spiritual life full of spiritual well-being. For many it may take years to find a place in the world of atheists and believers. Lots of people have to go on a calvary route to find their way to a belief, believing in God or not believing in a god or the God.

English: Personal bible study Português: Estud...

Personal bible study essential part for coming to the truth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For us serious bible students it surprises us that this girl, though when grown up in a JW family came to believe she is been completely misled about the Bible, and that she feels she is never really been taught about God. Not being JW, not knowing their exact ways of teaching in the church community, we only can see what they let the outside world to be known. From their public publications we can only get the impression they do everything to get others to know God. All their teaching seems very God centred when you leave out the misleading teachings of their organisation and the position of the 144 000.

A bait to trap many

We are aware of the danger where the writer finds her possible anger and disappointment. It is true that

The Organization could’ve used any bait to trap the masses. Organizations do it every day. Cults appeal to people’s desires for all kinds of things – this one appealed to the desire to understand the Bible & know “the truth” about God.

and then she gets to the core of the big problem (we think)

The Bible is only the bait for them, a secondary issue – The Organization is the primary concern: gaining and keeping peoples’ complete unquestioning obedience. If they can use the Bible in order to accomplish that, so be it. {Two Pillars of Freedom}

That last bit is naturally a serious accusation. But we fear that what we said already to so many people that those questions in their magazine and the way how they treat verses can be sometimes dubious and often smell to brainwashing (mind control)or indoctrination, the organisation having thought control over all its members.

Reminding who is the Way

Too many JW, like lots of so called Christians do forget that Jesus told he is the Way to God. The Bible also tells us that this sent one from God has become the high priest and the one mediator between God and man. This last saying excludes all human organisations as a necessity to link to God. Jesus (rabbi Jeshua) is our link to the Only One True God of Israel.
We do not need ordained priests, ministers or organisations to dictate what the Words of God say and to dictate what we do have to do or may not do, and control us. Guidance belongs to the Word of God itself. God did not provide such a difficult word to understand for mankind, which would exclude all uneducated people (Bété people or ‘bast shoes‘). No, all people, those who have been to school but also who have not been to school, should be able to understand God’s Word.

The bible does not speak about One and only one organisation that He would take, but He gives an indication by His only begotten son that there may be many different groups and organisations, all part of the Body of Christ and necessary for that Body of Christ. Many people think religion is wrong and endangers man, because than man would control them, but than they have chosen the wrong religion, because in the religious ways of the True God there is no man who should be in control of others, all man should give themselves into the hands of God, the Divine Creator, Who is not a man but a Spirit.

As people we can give ourselves to Christ, willing to be under his guidance. That is our choice and makes us to become Christians or ‘being Christian‘, it is following Christ Jesus.

Jehovah for millennia not using an organisation

Since the early Christians continually there were people who stayed truthful to Christ Jesus his teaching, no matter of the false teachers and churches coming into being. even when the pressure from the Roman empire became so great that lots of Christians chose to agree with Greco-Roman teaching of a three-headed god and chose to accept the Trinity. Though the Roman Catholic Church came into existence and later got many schisms, several God faithfully abiding continued their life of worship of the One and Only One True God. There was no world wide organisation at all to lead God’s People, like there was also no such organisation before the birth of Jesus. The shepherding of God’s People was done by individual men and women, who were chosen by God Himself (the nevim or prophets) or went for God, allowed by God to live and preach. The words given to mankind for enabling to find eternal life was not provided by man or a human organisation, but by God Himself. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

The JW Organisation claims erroneous that Charles Taze Russell is their founder. But he never claimed to be a prophet nor wanted a human directive organisation. He, like many  Biblestudents, very well knew that the gathering of people is done by God Himself and that The Word is a quality or aspect of God Himself.

As Facts About Jehovah’s Witnesses writes

Watchtower makes the claim that “Jehovah has always guided his servants in an organized way.” (You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth p.192) If that is the case, how were they guided and organised during the dark ages? What group represented God’s organization immediately prior to the formation of the Watchtower Society in the 1884 by Charles Russell, and why didn’t Russell just follow them? {Does Jehovah require an Organization?}

Does Jehovah require an Organization?

Watch Tower headquarters in Columbia Heights, Brooklyn.

When the Jehovah’s Witnesses Watchtower Bible and tract Society in Brooklyn with their different corporations [Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Religious Order of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Kingdom Support Services, International Bible Students Association (IBSA), Associação Torre de Vigia de Bíblias e Tratados (Brazil), Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses of East Africa, Los Testigos de Jehová en México, Wachtturm-Gesellschaft, Selters/Taunus (Germany), Watchtower Bible & Tract Society Of Australia, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Canada, European Association of Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses (EAJCW)] would be the sole organisation under the direction of God and when it is changing so many times of its teachings, would this mean that God is not giving the full truth to His own chosen ones or that God is not sure what He can give them for information?

How can it be than when the organisation is God’s only instrument that members of it dispose one of their very important main writers like Raymond Franz, former member of the Governing Body? Does that mean that God first tells others a person is one of the 144 000 but then takes somebody else in his place and get rid of him after he has been used to produce an enormous amount of good literature? He was one of the researchers who created Aid to Bible Understanding, the first doctrinal and biblical encyclopedia of Jehovah’s Witnesses, published in full in 1971.

When the leaders of the Watchtower Society, the Governing Body, say themselves that they are appointed by Christ and the only means by which he directs his true followers today, how can they than demand certain people from the board to resign?

They themselves write

“Consider, too, the fact that Jehovah’s organization alone, in all the earth, is directed by God’s holy spirit or active force. (Zech. 4:6) Only this organization functions for Jehovah’s purpose and to his praise. To it alone God’s Sacred Word, the Bible, is not a sealed book.” Watchtower 1973 Jul 1 p.402

Saying this they also give the impression the bible is not yet complete or is not able to give full biblical Wisdom to mankind, without that body of God, their organisation.

“However, the Governing Body are appointed through the holy spirit under the direction of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ.” Watchtower 1990 Mar 15 p.18

 

When that Governing Body is appointed by God through His Holy Spirit how can it than be, when led by His Spirit, that there have been taken place so many disputes and that such dismissals occurred?

Would the organisation be the only means God can have contact with people nowadays? According to us that would place man above the Power of God, Him being not able to call people for Himself and to give them wisdom. As in the precious centuries it is still God Who calls people and gives insight to those who are willing to open their heart to Him, whatever there being The Organisation, a organisation or no organisation at all near to them.

Witnessing for Jehovah

A Jehovah’s Witness distributing literature at Marble Arch tube station in London

We are sure the Jehovah’s Witnesses may be part of that Body of Christ, members of people under Christ witnessing for Jehovah. But in many other denominations or churches you may find also people witnessing for this One and the Same God.

Strangely enough the organisation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses does not believe that individual people are able to bring men and women to God without their organisation. They consider themselves the only righteous way to God. This dismisses totally the position of Christ Jesus, who according to the Bible is the Way to God.

Key factor to being a Witness

According to us the key factor to being a Witness for Jehovah is to stand up for Him and not for one or another earthly organisation and when the Jehovah’s Witnesses Organisation would be a Godly organisation why did so many teachings changed and why did so many prophesies by them did not come through? Were people not warned for those who prophesied and whose prophesies did not come through? are we not told that such people could be false teachers?

We kindly ask our readers and all people walking around this earth to know that Jehovah’s Witnesses are not the only ones witnessing for Jehovah God.

It is belonging to the “Organization” that distinguishes one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and makes them feel solely worthy of salvation, but Jesus died for all people and God’s grace is given to all living souls.

Requirements for Salvation

The way the WBTS presents itself to mankind gives the impression that membership of their organization is essential for salvation. If this would be so, why were we not told by God Himself or by His son?

The word “organization” never appears in the Bible, yet organization appears 16,789 times on the 2006 Watchtower Library CD. This is because belonging to an organization is not a Scriptural requirement, but rather a common concept amongst high control groups as a technique of building a member’s high degree of conviction and uniformity. {Does Jehovah require an Organization?}

Though the Watchtower claims that belonging to an organization is essential for salvation.

To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it.” Watchtower 1983 Feb 15 p.12

When you read the whole bible, the Hebrew and Messianic books, nowhere shall you find an indication of God going to provide a worldwide organisation other than the theocratic government of rabbi Jeshua from the new world’s capital Jerusalem.

It is not stated in either the Old or New Testaments that membership of an organization is a requirement of eternal salvation. The Scriptures repeatedly state that it is faith in Jesus and the Father that results in everlasting life. Instead we are told of salvation by the blood of Christ. It is not by keeping to certain rituals or organisations that we can receive salvation. We do not need to be a soldier of a worldly organisation but should be soldiers for Christ by whom salvation comes to us.

2 You, therefore, my child,+ keep on acquiring power in the undeserved kindness that is in Christ Jesus; and the things you heard from me that were supported by many witnesses,+ these things entrust to faithful men, who, in turn, will be adequately qualified to teach others. As a fine soldier+ of Christ Jesus, take your part in suffering adversity.+ No man serving as a soldier involves himself* in the commercial businesses* of life, in order to gain the approval of the one who enrolled him as a soldier. And even in the games, anyone who competes is not crowned unless he has competed according to the rules.+ The hardworking farmer must be the first to partake of the fruits. Give constant thought to what I am saying; the Lord will give you understanding* in all things. …  10 For this reason I go on enduring all things for the sake of the chosen ones,+ so that they too may obtain the salvation that is through Christ Jesus, along with everlasting glory {2 Timothy 2:2-7, 10)

    • 2 Timothy 2:10 Kingdom Interlinear
    • 10 διὰ through τοῦτο this πάντα all (things) ὑπομένω I am enduring διὰ through τοὺς the ἐκλεκτούς, chosen (ones), ἵνα in order that καὶ also αὐτοὶ they σωτηρίας of salvation τύχωσιν they might obtain τῆς of the (one) ἐν in Χριστῷ Christ Ἰησοῦ Jesus μετὰ with δόξης glory αἰωνίου. everlasting.

Faith in the sent one from God

It is by faith in the sent one from God, rabbi Jeshua, the Kristos or Christ Jesus, we may have the opportunity not to become destroyed but to have everlasting life. We all should all remember that everything which is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth: he that comes from heaven, the sent one from God, is above all. Him being above any organisation is the one we could and should follow, as brothers and sisters in him who has eternal life.

14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,+ so the Son of man must be lifted up,+ 15 so that everyone believing in him may have everlasting life.+

16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son,+ so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.+ 17 For God did not send his Son into the world for him to judge the world, but for the world to be saved through him.+ 18 Whoever exercises faith in him is not to be judged.+ Whoever does not exercise faith has been judged already, because he has not exercised faith in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.+

31 The one who comes from above+ is over all others. The one who is from the earth is from the earth and speaks of things of the earth. The one who comes from heaven is over all others.+ 32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard,+ but no man accepts his witness.+ 33 Whoever has accepted his witness has put his seal to it* that God is true.+ 34 For the one whom God sent speaks the sayings of God,+ for He does not give the spirit sparingly.* 35 The Father loves the Son+ and has given all things into his hand.+ 36 The one who exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life;+ the one who disobeys the Son will not see life,+ but the wrath of God remains upon him.+ {John 3:14-18, 31-36}

Connection with the son of God

Let us be sure to come to Jesus first, because not an organisation here on earth would be our gateway, but because Jesus is the door to the Kingdom of God.

44 How can you believe, when you are accepting glory from one another and you are not seeking the glory that is from the only God?+ {John 5:44}

So Jesus said again: “Most truly I say to you, I am the door for the sheep.+ All those who have come in place of me are thieves and plunderers; but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the door; whoever enters through me will be saved, and that one will go in and out and find pasturage.+ {John 10:7-9}

This means everlasting life,+ their coming to know you,* the only true God,+ and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.+ {John 17:3}

Living under Christ Jesus

Those who want to have everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of the Only True God, them having regret of what they have done wrong and asking for forgiveness, wanting to live under Christ, the one whom Jehovah sent forth and who belongs to God.

16 Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple+ and that the spirit of God dwells in you?+ 17 If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him; for the temple of God is holy, and you are that temple.+

18 Let no one deceive himself: If anyone among you thinks he is wise in this system of things,* let him become a fool, so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, for it is written: “He catches the wise in their own cunning.”+ 20 And again: “Jehovah* knows that the reasonings of the wise men are futile.”+ 21 So let no one boast in men; for all things belong to you, 22 whether Paul or A·polʹlos or Ceʹphas*+ or the world or life or death or things now here or things to come, all things belong to you; 23 in turn you belong to Christ;+ Christ, in turn, belongs to God. {1 Corinthians 3:16-23}

The Organisation playing the mediator of man and God, man and Christ

As the female writer of ‘Finding the truth: In recovery from Jehovah’s Witnesses & alcoholism‘ at last came to see, when she sees a

WT quote in direct opposition:

“The other sheep should never forget that their salvation depends on their active support of Christ’s anointed “brothers” still on earth.” WT March 15 2012 pg. 20 {Two Pillars of Freedom}

She concludes

Check and mate. It seems so obvious, so simple. The Org has taken it upon themselves to become the mediator of man and God, man and Christ; completely ignoring what the Bible has to say on the matter and making themselves Lords over man. {Two Pillars of Freedom}

There are more things, of course, that have been giving me evidence that The Org is not God’s ‘spirit-directed organization,’ but these two points seem to be building some kind of foundation in my mind. They seem to be the things that come closest to unraveling the whole thing; the answers to the tiny screaming elder in my head. I’ll keep building more until I can silence him completely, or maybe one day oust him permanently. {Two Pillars of Freedom}

We only can hope more people shall come to see the twists in their teachings and their focus on the organisation instead of focussing more on the works of Jesus and his heavenly Father.

+

Preceding articles

Oklahoma City Regional Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses

An atheist writer meeting Jehovah’s witnesses far from home

Politics and power first priority #1

Charles Taze Russell and what he started

Was Russell and Rutherford “Illuminati”?

A Society pleading poverty

Following articles:

Jesus’ footstep followers, irrespective of sectarian lines

Authority from the one God to one mediator between God and men

++

Additional reading

  1. Religious Practices around the world
  2. Religions and Mainliners
  3. Denominationalism exists because?
  4. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
  5. Why is it that Christians don’t understand Muslims and Muslims do not understand Christians?
  6. Responses to Radical Muslims and Radical Christians
  7. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  8. Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing
  9. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  10. In a world which knows no peace sharing blessed hope
  11. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  12. Breaking up with a cult
  13. Christianity without the Trinity
  14. Writers needed to preach to non-believers
  15. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  16. Those who call the Christadelphians a cult
  17. A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium
  18. Quibbling siblings united or allied children of an organisation or a church
  19. On the Affirmation of Scripture
  20. Not many coming out with their community name
  21. To remove the whitewash of the Jehovah Witnesses as being the only true Bible Students and Bible Researchers
  22. Around C.T.Russell
  23. Russell himself never claimed to be a prophet.
  24. Misunderstandings concerning C.T. Russell
  25. Surprising figures about Jehovah Witnesses
  26. Russell and his beliefs
  27. Biblestudents & T.C.Russell
  28. Bijbelonderzoekers en Russelism / Bible researchers and Russelism
  29. Charles Taze Russell never claimed to have found a new religion, or a new church.
  30. A visible organisation on earth
  31. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church
  32. When seeing a biblically sound church
  33. Ecclesia to exist, grow and communities to have people communicating with each other
  34. The Big conversation Why it matters
  35. Soviet Witnesses
  36. Date Setting
  37. A British judge rules that mother can’t indoctrinate son with religion
  38. Retrieving some older articles previously placed on Multiply
  39. Bringing Good News into the world
  40. Deaf helped in their ability to progress in this community
  41. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  42. Russia’s battle against the Jehovah’s Witnesses
  43. Jehovah’s Witnesses Shunning ex-members adverse effects on family relationships
  44. Disappointed expectations
  45. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  46. Saved through grace not through keeping rituals
  47. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  48. Sealed in their foreheads
  49. Solution for Willing hearts filled with gifts
  50. The Bride New Jerusalem
  51. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  52. Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth
  53. The one who set the standard
  54. Revelation 1:8 – Who is Speaking?
  55. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  56. A small company of Jesus’ footstep follower
  57. The longer you wait
  58. Preaching Christ Is Not Enough

+++

Further related articles

  1. Celebrating Christendom’s Demise?
  2. Nineteenth Century Protestant Doctrines of the Trinity
  3. “Should You Believe in the Trinity?”
  4. Why I Am a Christian.
  5. Christ didn’t come to help us, He came to Include us
  6. Change Your Village
  7. Pouring Into Others
  8. Who Are Jehovah’s Witnesses?
  9. “Ye Are My Witnesses, Saith Jehovah Baldwin: Arkansas Man Arrested For Firing Shots At Jehovah’s Witnesses Who Approached Him On His Lawn
  10. Rosary No More!! Why I Stopped Praying The Rosary!! (Testimony of a Former Roman Catholic)
  11. The Semiology of Jehovah’s Witnesses
  12. Prophecy, power and weakness
  13. Serena Williams and Jehovah’s Witnesses
  14. A Hymn From Christendom in July 2016 JW Broadcasting?
  15. Is it blind faith, or tradition?
  16. The Decision
  17. I Am Not A Victim
  18. Jehovah’s witnesses
  19. It is not a trip at all
  20. Day in the life..
  21. Why Do Some JWs Live A Lie?
  22. Do people get a second chance?
  23. Why do EX – Jehovahs Witnesses struggle to find a church?
  24. Conditional Love
  25. Sheep and Wolves
  26. Warning: You Might Get Kicked Out of the Kingdom Hall by a Donkey
  27. What to do with Jehovah’s Witnesses?
  28. Exodus Chapter 8
  29. Witness to Jehovahs like Frank & Joe Hardy
  30. Jehovah’s (False) Witnesses
  31. Trust issues…and then some
  32. Charles Taze Russell – “Don’t read your Bible”
  33. Watchtower Study June 5, 2016—Being Faithful Leads to God’s Approval
  34. Finding the Way
  35. World’s Fastest Growing Religion?
  36. A fallen Prince
  37. Prince found ’real happiness’ as Jehovah’s Witness, talking about Bible, longtime friend and bassist says
  38. A Different Sort of Church History 1
  39. Who were the Arians and what did they believe?
  40. Two Pillars of Freedom
  41. Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses preach?
  42. Two Classes Of Christians?
  43. Are Jehovah’s Witnesses Christian?
  44. My first false baptism
  45. You are Welcome to be Unwelcome….
  46. The Sting of Slavery
  47. Jehovah’s Witness Convention 2016—A Weekend of Robbery and Manipulation
  48. Review of talk at “Remain loyal to Jehovah” 2016 convention of Jehovahs Witnesses
  49. Jehovah’s Witness Convention 2016—Maintain Loyalty Symposium
  50. On False Prophets and False Accusers
  51. Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Worship of Jesus
  52. Growing up a Jehovah’s Witness—Anxiety at a Young Age
  53. Sgt. Robert Wilson III Ceremony for Valor Showcases Watchtower Hypocrisy
  54. Late Prince honored by Jehovah’s Witnesses
  55. The Picture of the Governing Body
  56. Witnessing to JW’s Enhances Witnessing to Others
  57. Is Watchtower Running out of Money?
  58. How Jehovah’s Witnesses Think
  59. Dating A Jehovah’s Witness
  60. Reminder for uncertain times: “Heeding advance warning can save your life!”
  61. Numbers in Scripture
  62. The Mark in the Forehead
  63. Who Do You Say Jesus Is?
  64. Religion Roundup
  65. #Islam & Muslim’s and the #Murder of a #Catholic so called #Priest in #France. More lying #Propaganda for the deceived Catholic’s. They actually think that they are being persecuted for their belief’s, but actually, it is simply the #Ignorance of #Islam. — Boot The Door And Shout Through The Crack
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  67. Spiritual Sobriety: Stumbling Back to Faith When Good Religion Goes Bad
  68. On the Russian evangelism law
  69. Is doctrine important? What’s the danger in deviating from sound doctrine?
  70. Religions are Cults: I Refuse to Let Another Man Control my Life
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  72. Dangerous Cult: House Of Yahweh
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  74. Why you wouldn’t want to be a Jim Jones liberal
  75. Reclaiming the Church of God
  76. The Master Manipulator
  77. Ungracious “Grace” Leaders
  78. Bunkeroos vs. Scientologists
  79. Scientology Floggers
  80. China, Cults, And Persecution (oh my!)
  81. Beware of Shincheonji!!
  82. Video on the Shincheonji Cult!
  83. Is Young Life a cult?
  84. The recons flee defeated on Christology

+++

Charles Taze Russell and what he started

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

Charles Taze Russell and what he started.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Time is at Hand (1889)

Thy Kingdom Come (1891)

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

The Atonement Between God and Men (1899)

The New Creation (1904)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

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Find also:

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

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

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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A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium

Figures in history

Photograph of Charles Taze Russell.

Photograph of Charles Taze Russell. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Throughout history lots of religions had troubles with certain figures wanting to have control over everything and wanting to be the main leader.

The Biblestudent movement is no different than any other Christian denomination. In its coarse of history there have been strong leaders creating schisms or denying there where divisions having come out of their group.

One of the pupils of Dr. John Thomas never wanted to have a following of a singular person. Charles Taze Russell managed to create a big amount of followers who were genuinely interested to make the best out of Bible study. Their leader had arranged that they could have additional literature which could be of help to their study, but it was never intended to replace the Bible.

Centralized authority

Russell did not believe in any centralized authority except Jesus and the apostles through the Bible. Because he did believe that Jesus returned in 1874 and that the Gentile Times ended in 1914 he could not be associated with other Bible Students who do not believe that Christ returned in 1874, or that the Gentile Times ended in 1914. The Christadelphians for example are such a group who think Christ still has to return. Whilst his freedom to believe Thomas his unique beliefs were accepted many objected to them being preached as necessary for salvation and this led to a series of debates particularly between Alexander Campbell and Dr Thomas.

John Thomas

John Thomas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Thomas might have had a particular vision on what was predicted in the Bible. His exposition of Bible prophecy led to him making various detailed predictions about then current day events many of which did not come to pass, as was noted in the foreword to subsequent editions of Elpis Israel after his death. those predictions make it sometimes, mainly for Roman Catholics, difficult that he could have followers, because they expect that they would accept everything their teacher would have said or written. But Dr. Thomas Thomas never claimed to be any kind of prophet, or in any way inspired, and as such his writings should not bind any body to believe other things than those which are clear in the Bible. All other findings are ideas, of which some may be accepted and others rejected, without having to be excluded of the community, because in the community there should be freedom of thought. Everybody may say his opinion of how he thinks things could be. But what we can not know for sure we do not have to accept the predictions or guessing of individual members. Nobody can or should force his or her ideas on somebody else. Every person should come into the faith by independent study and should not bound himself or herself to any  particular person or organisation and not be placed under any specific ranking, like in the traditional churches, with their pope, cardinals, bishops and priests.

Time of the end

c131

Dr. Thomas may have written:

There is a part of prophetic time, upon the heels of which, our race is now treading, called “the time of the end”—“a time of trouble,” says the Messenger of God, “such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.”

and have thought that end-time could have been very close. Thomas thought that they had at length arrived at

“the time of the end,” in its bearing upon the congregation of the Lord Christ.

At the time when he lived he considered

The political signs of the disastrous times—“the time of the end”—coming upon the nations, are crowding the page of history; and the rumbling of that voice, which is to “roar out of Zion,” already trembles upon the ear.

For him it was time to put on the complete armour of God, and gird the loins of your minds with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, preparing our feet with the glad tidings of peace, taking up the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation, and arming ourselves with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

If you would win you must fight; and you must either take a decided stand on the one side or the other. You may delude yourselves with peace here, and happiness hereafter; but be assured that these states are incompatible; for, if you would reign hereafter, you must suffer here.

The Christian Church, or “the Lamb’s wife,” has arrived at the period of preparation, and the proclamation of the Great Captain is — Make ready! And how are the Christians to do this? — By a reformation of morals and combining together heart and soul, and purse, for the restoration of the Christian institution to what it was in apostolic times. This is what must and will be done before the Messiah comes; and, if the faint hearted professors of this generation won’t do themselves the honor of effecting it, the next generation will, and our contemporaries will have the mortification of losing that great recompense of the inheritance, to secure which is now within their grasp.

He believed it was time to rejoice and exult, and give glory to him, because the marriage of the Lamb had come.

But the congregation of the Lord — the Lamb’s wife — will only have attained to this glorious character, when every individual member shall have been immersed into Christ; instead of being composed of persons, as it is now, some of whom have put on Christ and others their own experience. Every saint must have his robe washed white in the blood of Christ; no speckled garments will be admitted there.

What we do know from Scripture is that at the end-times certain signs would be given to the world, like more earthquakes and tsunamis, floods and storms. But there is also been told about a starting of the troubles in the land of Euphrates and Tigris, after which children would come to resist their parents and religions would come up against other religions, even having wars in the own families and religious groups. And when you look at it that is just what we are encountering today.

Powerful engines

In Dr. Thomas his time the press was a powerful engine.

It is a mighty messenger, whom all the combined power of the Kings of Europe cannot control. Without his aid, Luther’s revolt could not have been effected, and the world might still have been groaning under the despotism of kings, priests, ignorance and superstition. His voice is loud, as when a lion roars; and when he cries seven thunders utter their voices.

“A little book” is a mighty weapon, and like the tongue, has “set the wheel of nature in a blaze.” We rely, therefore, a great deal on the potency of a little book, in our efforts at reformation and restoration. It has done wonders, and will yet do more. It has embittered the stomach, but sweetened the taste; and, while the ponderous tomes of systems of divinity encumber the dusty shelves of the libraries of the downy doctors of the day, from which they pilfer the chopped logic of their sermons, — the wayfaring man though unlearned, can recline under the shade of a tree, and, drawing from his pocket the little book which contains the will of his heavenly Father, he can imbibe the divine words of the Holy Spirit which are able to make him wise to salvation, and far more learned, too, than the gods of the people, though charged to the full with the crudities of Whitby, Gill, Scott and Henry. Despise not, therefore, the day of little books and small things, but promote, as far as you can, the circulation of the fearless and independent “Advocate” of the ancient gospel and apostolic order of things. Editor.

{Thomas, J. (1834-1836). The apostolic advocate. Title from caption. (1:277-284). Richmond, Va.: s.n.}

Lots of little books, newsletters and exhortations have been written by now. Today certain people become more afraid of the small writings by many persons or want others to follow only their “little writings”. They even want to go so far to take care that what is published can be taken away from public view.

Forcing ideas in other’s heads

Dr.Thomas did not force his ideas onto others and never suggested that he was speaking under inspiration from God or had any personal visions. In this we should find the big difference between what John Thomas did and the false prophet of Deuteronomy 18. We should remember when people read the Bible they are just humans who also can easily miss the mark. He too like any of us could err on doctrine. There is one of the big differences in our believes, we do not belief that any person can be having all the wisdom and be infallible. Some religions claim infallibility for their leaders, but the Christadelphians are not among them.

John Thomas changed his mind several times during the course of his life on many Biblical matters as his understanding became clearer. He was a Bible student of the first order whose main purpose in life was to sift through the myths and dogmas and understand what was the original teaching of Christianity. John Thomas never wanted or desired for people to follow him. His desire was that people would follow God and Jesus Christ as taught in the Holy Scriptures.

Today once more the Biblestudent movement is having a person who is forcing his ideas onto others and who wants that they follow him and his organisation and no other.

No prophets and no solo teachers

Despite being wrong on the date of Christ’s return, John Thomas was amazingly accurate in many of his interpretations of prophecy. He predicted with uncanny accuracy, among other things, the establishment of the state of Israel a hundred years before the fact. Again, the only credit John Thomas can take for this accurate prediction is for the countless hours he put in as a Bible student and not as a prophet.

Other Christadelphians have predicted the date of Christ’s return only to see the time come and go. We always should remember that even Christ Jesus did not know when he would be coming back, so how could we say when he would be coming back? Mark 13:32 should put an end to the practice of guessing or predicting. Speaking of the Second Coming, Jesus states

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

The bottom line is that neither John Thomas nor any other Christadelphian is a prophet or has claimed to be and should not claim to be so. We should go to the infallible word of God for our prophetic visions and most importantly for our understanding of the Hope of Israel (Acts 28:20).

That Book of books should be our infallible Guide and not a singular man.

Excessive zeal

Some  Christadelphians and other Bible Students might have had an

excessive zeal carried to the point of harshness on the part of a few that has led to the Christadelphians being everywhere spoken against. {Robert Roberts in The Sect Everywhere Spoken Against}

English: Variants of symbol of Cross and Crown...

Variants of bible Students symbol of Cross and Crown enclosed within wreath(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By the years there came to be moments in the Bible Student movement that a particular person got master of the strings and forced his ideas on others. One of such persons imposing his law was Joseph Franklin Rutherford with his “Jehovah’s visible organization” dogma. Rutherford wanted to distinguish himself from other Bible Student groups and by taking the name Jehovah’s witnesses wanted to symbolize a break with the legacy of Russell’s traditions. Others just wanted to have the power themselves and love to be the one in the spotlight.

Today Belgium is been hit by the attempts of a man from the North to get in charge of what is to happen in the Christadelphian community in Belgium. Previously he had already made some attempts to have a good crack to become the leader in Belgium as part of his strategy to be a leader of a worldwide organisation which would “link” all people together to him.

He wanted a cat flap in the Belgian community by having the Belgian responsible, under the wings of the Christadelphian Bible Mission or CBM, denouncing his connection with that group and giving all honour to Mr.D.H. and his organisation C.l..

The difference with the other members of the Biblestudent movement which consider them the only one sincere Biblestudents, is that they as Witnesses of Jehovah have the zeal to reach everybody and as much as persons they can reach. The present group forbids its members to take contact with other members of the Christadelphian community and do not allow them to look for other like-minded people. Their members are also not encouraged to go out preaching and do not seem to bring the gospel to other people. Though their organisation has the word “Care” in their name they do not seem to care about other people. They do not seem to be interested to meet other Christadelphians, though they call themselves Christadelphian. We do find it strange, that all those people baptised in Belgium by Mr. D.H. do not look for other Christadelphians, when they themselves would call themselves Christadelphian. There are enough Christadelphian websites by which people in Belgium could find some Belgian Christadelphians. We wonder why they do not take any contact then with those very few Brothers and Sisters in Christ, who live in isolation in that small country!

Asked to defile

CBM Feb. 18 18.13

Christadelphian Bible Mission U.K. or CBM – 2014 February

Mr.D.H. asks from every person who wants to become a member of or to be associated with his organisation “C.l.” to “defile” (his words) the Christadelphian Bible Mission or CBM members. Mr. D.H. is even proud he can find enough people who were under the wings of the CBM but got attracted by his organisation and were willing to denounce the CBM and to corrupt the name of the other Christadelphians.

Mr.D.H. also writes to the association of Belgian Christadelphians:

You describe yourselves as “CBM brethren”, but the policies of that organization preclude you from fellowshipping with us, … There are at this time 7 brothers and sisters from British ecclesias having a great time in Riga, Latvia fellowshipping with us and witnessing baptisms there. They have had to defy the CBM to do so but it has been to their and everyone’s blessing.

All the previous members of the Biblestudent movement except Mr. Rutherford never did ask that of their members. Therefore we are concerned about seeing once again a schism coming into existence where the leader of the group who excludes the other shall proclaim the others are the bad guys and have many schisms under them, while they go out in the clear. This time it looks more dangerous than with the group of Rutherford which became the Jehovah’s Witnesses. We would not consider them a sect, and would not consider they are following just one leader. They at least do have a committee. Now everything seems to turn around one man having everything in control and the others having no opportunity to say something against that person in charge.

During Russell’s ministry congregations continued to form and each of them remained self-administrative, functioning under the congregationalist style of church governance. Russell’s organization maintained hundreds of “pilgrims,” or travelling preachers. By 1910, about 50,000 people worldwide were associated with the movement. {The New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 1910, vol 7, pg 374} but his organisation became under the influence of an autocratic and secretive person who was enjoying to have power. Like Rutherford centralized organizational control of the Watch Tower Society the Man from the North would like to have control over the Christadelphians as well.

It is a pity many people do not know that because being disappointed by the changes, tens of thousands of defections occurred during the first half of Rutherford’s tenure, leading to the formation of several Bible Student organizations independent of the Watch Tower Society. Though today the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to be the original and only true Biblestudents, founded by Russell.

Here we see a repetition of history, Mr.D.H. from the North claiming to be the organisation bringing the Truth and being the real followers of Christ and the real followers of John Thomas. They consider all others as the “bad ones”.

Concerns

Belgian Christadelphians English pages

English web-pages of the Belgian Christadelphians

The CBM was and is concerned about Mr.D.H his many converts.

“The issue with CBM is that it feels these converts are not properly taught, instructed and baptised. … it is not the converts fault at all, hence bringing them into a small fellowship group would be to their benefit.”

Mr. Marcus Ampe from the Belgian Christadelphians tried to bring the Central Fellowship CBM members (Amended Christadelphians) together with other Christadelphians. He and some committed members of the Ecclesia Brussel-Leuven engaged in an effort to bring all different souls under one roof and having them meet in peace at different places in Belgium.

Currently people might find different Christadelphian groups like the Bereans, mostly in North America and the remnants of the Dawn fellowship mainly in the UK and Australia. In Ghent there live some Old Paths who do not want to meet with us, though an other person from the Old Paths is already several years happy meeting with us at different places in Belgium and France. From those Old Paths, in the world you might find also the Companion and Lightstand fellowships resulting from splits within this group, but with some of these later joining with the Dawn group and some remaining separate. All refuse association with any other fellowship, and all share three main characteristics of which the claim that the Central fellowship is either apostate or willing to accept apostasy, is one.

For months discussions and writings went on and lots of time was spend to come to a solution to have baptised Christadelphians in Belgium a place to meet other brothers and sisters, plus having an opening to invite non-baptised people to different places in the country.

Christadelphia Black-out Feb. 15 10.47

Christadelphia Facebook page being blacked-out in February 2014

It might not be. Mr.D.H. keeps refusing and doing everything to break the unity of the Christadelphian community. The last few days he even went so far to go into attack against Mr. Ampe and his publications on the net, hindering all his preaching work. The Man from the North succeeded to silence Mr. Ampe by jamming his personal Google+ pages and publications, as well as having taken away from public viewing his website Christadelphian World and the Facebook page Christadelphia.

When a person goes so far he takes down the websites of others,we do come in a very dangerous situation where the dictator manages to silence anybody who does not agree with him. This did not happen yet in the world of the Biblestudents before. Lots of screaming to each other and having lots of words going to and fro, might have happened more than once in the community where many people were very concerned to preach and to get as many people as they could to the Truth.

Necessity for union

Mr. Marcus Ampe tried to get the people living in Belgium, to meet with others, no matter to which Christadelphian group they might originally belong. for him unity between followers of Christ is most important.

According to him the ecclesia or the parish is part of the Body of Christ. Each community having its own independance, but joining hands in the general basic creeds. all those different communities should feel the bond with each other, though all keep their own choice and responsibility to appoint representatives, for the discharge of all the duties of an ecclesia: for the instruction and proper baptism of new members; for the spiritual as well as physical welfare of all its members; for the repudiation of error and, where ultimately necessary, for withdrawal from disorderly or erring members. These duties are carried out by the ecclesia concerned on behalf of the whole body of believers, and therefore there must be complete agreement among all ecclesiae as to the basis on which fellowship is shared.

It is not good for the Body of Christ when there is division in it. All should have brotherly love and be willing to accept the differences of character of each individual. Each person should feel that he or she is fully respected and taken on in the community of believers and recognised as a follower of Christ, full member of the Body of Christ.

Central fellowship practice

Marcus Ampe does regret that many groups have continued to differentiate and divide because their members either can’t resist (or don’t want to resist) the urge to police anyone and everyone in their “fellowship”.  today Mr.D.H. and his organisation also have shown their true face, certainly after creating a black out for some of the Belgian websites and pages (Google+ and Facebook).

Like you may find on different Central Fellowship websites, the Central Fellowship members of Belgium believe that all ecclesiae in a community should be regarded as part of a single body; the division into individual ecclesiae being only a matter of geographical convenience. For this reason the concept of “ecclesial autonomy”, where individual ecclesiae accept different standards in matters relating to fundamentals of belief and practice, is rejected by the Dawn community. But on non-fundamental matters there must be ecclesial independence. We firmly reject any idea of an overall controlling body.

The Central fellowship has been using the Ecclesial Guide, appreciating ecclesial autonomy and ecclesia-based fellowship, as based upon the Scriptural principles encapsulated in the BASF. It has rejected those who demand the BASF only, and allowed instead for different expressions of the same saving truths, both in its different reunion documents, and in individual ecclesial statements. This has given the breakaway fragments, if they sought unity again, a way back into the larger group. And the reasonable combination of ecclesial autonomy, a common set of beliefs, and a more or less standard fellowship practice has allowed ecclesias and individuals of some diversity to remain together. It is a paradigm that works (with some glitches, of course) for a worldwide community. {Christadelphian Divisions and Fellowship, Glad Tidings, March 2013}

Sad occurrence

Having Mr. D.H. such an aggressive stand, blocking any form of co-operation and not only making that the CBM members can not meet with other brethren, worse him silencing several of the Belgian internet places to meet the general public, or a real intrusion of democratic freedom of speech and of showing brotherly love and willingness to give everybody the same possibilities to reach others to bring them to the Kingdom of God.

Also the Association of Bible Students got a red notice from Google and got the message their reply on Christadelphian World was taken of public viewing because of ‘inappropriate language’. For our readers to decide if it was really a language which should not be open to the public we here present a photograph of the reply to the article: No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks:

Biblestudents comment on Christadelphian World - Blogger Feb. 14 14.04Such an action of silencing all who have some remark to make or have other ideas, is creating a ground for a dictatorial community and would not resist others to accuse such a community for being a cult. Sectarianism is something none of the Bible-students would like to be associated with. Many groups face already difficulty, by being called a cult, that we can need such a group of Mr.D.H. like we need a hole in the head.

It is incredible that such a single man can create such upheaval and cause a black out of websites or voices on the international internet. We do not understand how he managed to this, but it is an inadmissible action. The man from the North his attitude is impermissible and all those involved in the building up the body of Christ here on earth should warn their flock of the dangers of such a person, who does not recoil to use all means to get his goal.

Reason to react

We can not just do if nothing happened.  The man of the North keeping back ways to reach non-believers and believers, making the Belgian brethren to fail to talk to them about salvation, he is essentially condemning them to separation from God and withholding them from getting in contact with lovers of God.  When we see such un-christian action been taken to silence a follower of Christ, certainly when such events are caused by somebody who calls himself a Christian, the community should act. According to us when a Christian sees a fellow Christian sinning and does not say anything, the person who stays silent is not showing them the love of Christ and in effect is actually “hating” the other person. When people have an argument with somebody they should come to terms and solve the matter, first in private, than by bringing it the eyes of some private brothers or/and sisters, and when nothing helps they should let more people from the community know what is going on and where there are problems. Mr. Marcus Ampe followed this path of trial to come to reconciliation between all the parties involved. He and the members of the Belgian ecclesia wanted it to work it out. They did not want to have seeds of anger and hostility sown in anybodies heart toward any person or organisation.  The Belgian Christadelphians have been pushed in the corner and are obliged to defend themselves.

All those who consider themselves to be a follower of Christ should try to unite with the other followers of Christ. All those sincerely studying the bible should show others the way Christ Jesus has paved for us and how he wanted us to unite. Therefore let us show that brotherly love to each other, give each other hands and unite under the body of Christ.

In the peace and love of Christ, peace be with you all.

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Without freedom of thought there can be no suc...

Without freedom of thought there can be no such think as wisdom & no such thing as puclick liberty without freedom of speech, Benjamin Franklin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The cause of maddening:

After months of trying to get reconciliation and getting nowhere Mr. Marcus Ampe found it necessary to let his public know that he nor his ecclesia members could do much against the unbearable situation not to meet with others or being able to give the addresses of other communities in Belgium. After having placed the articles Duncan Heaster en Carelinks onverbiddelijke verhinderaars and  No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks, Mr. D.H. accused him of slander. In his defence Mr. Ampe replied to the articles and accusations, but found that very quickly his defence was taken off the net, with the accusation of being of “inappropriate language”.

Other reactions were given afterwards:

  1. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God (2/10/2014)
  2. Priority to form a loving brotherhood (February 10, 2014)
  3. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them (2/12/2014)
  4. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech (Friday, February 14, 2014)
  5. Censorship possible by a person and his organisation (February 14, 2014)
  6. Attackers silenced freedom of speech (2014/02/15)
  7. Attackers silenced freedom of speech (17 , Feb, 2014)
  8. Delay in publications because attack from outside (February 17, 2014)

Dutch articles:

  1. Vertraging door ongehoorde moeilijkheden (February 15, 2014)
  2. Vertraging door ongehoorde moeilijkheden (17 , Feb, 2014)

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Please do also find to read:

  1. Christadelphian Divisions and Fellowship
  2. Integrity of the fellowship
  3. Secret or public return of Jesus
  4. Signs of the Last Days
  5. Weapons of our warfare
  6. Creator and Blogger God 9 A Blog of a Book 3 Blog about Prophecy
  7. Belonging to or being judged by
  8. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian

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  • One Mind, One Accord (propheticsteps.com)
    How often do you find total agreement with other people? I often find myself in agreement with others, but not always for the same reason. There are times I can see someone else’s point of view, but I do not agree with their assessment. Just because people laugh at the same joke does not mean they find the same thing funny.This is one of the many problems plaguing the body of Christ today. I have found myself in different congregations, in different denominations, among friends and strangers, and have discussed some of those differences. If this were a solvable problem, the many denominations of churches would be reduced to one.
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    Today I simply ask that you pray for the churches. Prayerfully ask for Godly knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Pray for strength to stand strong on truth. Pray for humble submission to God’s word, God’s will and the Holy Spirit. Pray for discernment. Pray for the leaders of the body of Christ, the burden is great for those in positions of authority, as is the judgment they assume in taking positions of leadership.
    +

    Another gospel?
    The church, in general, today is experiencing perilous times. There are so many denominations, doctrines, teachings, and ideas. What I find to be most dangerous is this: The general acceptance of all things. If someone thinks it, believes it, and says it loud enough multiple times, someone else is willing to accept it and repeat the process.
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    If we find a gospel being preached that is easy to digest and a gospel that tickles the ears, we better be alarmed. If we hear soothing words that eases the burden of sin without true repentance and cheapens the grace which God has given, it must become our duty to defend the truth.

  • “Shut Up!” – One Year Bible – February 18 – Tuesday (jerryrothauser.wordpress.com)
    Cheatin’ goes, always shows!  If someone snookers his neighbor in any way, he had to repay and add 20% to it. To boot, he had to sacrifice a ram.Maybe we take sin too casually.  If we had to buy a smelly ram and then have it slaughtered in front of our eyes and smell the burning flesh and see the blood maybe we wouldn’t be so casual about sin.  Or would we?  Maybe we’d also appreciate the lamb slain for us a bit more, too?  Naaah.
  • SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 2:17-18 (settledinheaven.wordpress.com)
    Christ’s message was meant for both Gentile (afar off) and Jews (nigh).  Keep in mind, although the ministry of Christ centered upon the Jews (Matt 15:24), Christ did minister to Gentiles as well:
  • Dealing With Problems (dailybibleplan.com)
    As problems arise for us, we often do not know exactly how to handle them and we can easily be tempted not deal with them at all.  When we see a non-believer who does not know the Way, we can be tempted to “bury our heads in the sand” and not talk to them about Christ because it might be uncomfortable.  When we see a fellow believer sinning, we can be tempted to “bury our heads in the sand” and not confront them on their sins because we want to maintain the peace.  Just like Festus, we can be tempted to try to send others on their way to allow someone else to deal with the problem, but none of this is biblical.  Being a follower of Christ does not afford us the opportunity to “bury our heads in the sand”.  Jesus was very specific when He told us how to deal with problems, and regardless of the situation we are called to deal with problems head on.
  • “But did you pray for the wolf?” (standupforthetruth.com)
    First of all I want to say up front that I do not believe praying for a wolf is wrong, a sin, nor am I saying that you shouldn’t do it. Furthermore, this post is not intended to discourage you from doing so, but only to raise the question are wesupposed to pray for the wolves?I would also like to preface this thesis by clarifying that when I speak of wolves in this post, I am not referring to the rank and file who have fallen under the spell of their leaders, but the leaders themselves (Think: Helen Ukbato, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Gloria Copeland, Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, et al).

    With that said, allow me to present some thoughts on this matter.

  • Bibles removed from Iowa State guest rooms (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
    On January 29 I put up a brief post noting that someone had complained about the presence of Gideon Bibles in the guest rooms at Iowa State University’s (ISU) Memorial Union, lodgings that are part of a public university. I also reproduced the letter that the ISU got from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) saying that those Bibles were a no-no—a violation of the First Amendment. The letter worked: no litigation was necessary. The University removed the Bibles.

    There are many reports of this victory on the internet, but I was most interested in the one at the Christian News Network, as the coverage was most extensive and I hoped there would be some funny comments.

  • After Christian Politicians in Northern Ireland Force Cancellation of Satirical Bible Play, the Backlash is Fierce (patheos.com)
    Remember how the Mormon Church responded when The Book of Mormon musical came out? They embraced it (without quite endorsing it), placed ads in the Playbill, and even issued a well-crafted public statement:

    The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.
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    When “keeping the peace” becomes of higher value than God’s glory, tolerance begins to set in. It is one thing to have a nation where everyone is free to worship as they please. It is another to promote false religion and to censor the worship of Jesus. One protects people’s right to worship the other promotes principles contrary to the Bible and works against the worship of Jesus.

    “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Matthew 12:30

    In an effort to appease, Solomon opened the door for the eventuality of his wives’ religions to be on an equal footing with the law of God in matters of law and order leading to the acceptance of anti-biblical principles whose practice cannot be blessed by God.

  • Freedom of Speech (keithgarrettpoetry.com)
    Freedom of speech, the words, phrase, and the meaning are not clear,

    It Is our right we are told that speak we may In public our own way.

    There Is no such thing as saying what you’re thinking out loud In the streets,

    They say that It’s your right but you better be careful of what you are saying.

    How much freedom of speech do we really have, I do know not that much,

     

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Belonging to or being judged by

What to be and where to belong

Many Christians may have lots of questions about why we are created so and so, what we do have to do, how we have to behave and form our selves.  Jehovah’s Witnesses also can become confronted with such questions which can bring them into many doubts. They also can become frustrated.

Jehovah's witnesses from door to door

Jehovah’s witnesses from door to door (Photo credit: ideacreamanuelaPps)

Strangely in our world today we may find people who are excluded by the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW), but who are still feeling 100% pro-Jehovah’s Witnesses. This despite the fact that the organisation has removed them from the congregation, and despite the believer his or her belief that the organisation happens to be in error for doing so!

What we do find strange by many ex-Jehovah Witnesses is that they either go totally against the Faith in One God or that they go totally against the non-trinitarian idea and go to an other organisational church. Many of them keep thinking you need A Organisation, others came to come to see clear and do find it is not as such the church of men but the church of God they have to look for.

Witnesses for Jehovah

A few believe that there is no other religious organization on earth today that is so completely committed to doing the work Jesus asked of his followers, and following in his footsteps, worshipping the God of the Bible, in the way that he prescribes, doing their utmost to be continually teaching and living by the truth of his word, and not simply the often-vacillating moral and secular opinions of men. They stay blinded that there are no other serious Bible Students who try to do the task Jesus had ordered his followers to do. This mainly because they limit their idea about preaching to having to go on the streets and to knock at the door or ringing the bell.

We do agree that the Jehovah Witnesses organisation is a powerful organisation, very well structured, and because having enough money and interested people, able to bring the tasks together, organise editions and meetings, much better than many others. They have very beautiful good publications to help people willing to learn about the Word and Work of Jehovah God. Though sometimes they seem to forget that it is “God’s word is alive, and exerts power,” (Hebrews 4:12) and that it is God’s Hand which hovers over the world bringing all sorts of people active in the Word of God. The Jehovah Witnesses  and the excluded ones who still hope to be part of the Jehovah Witnesses (JW) overlook that there are also other witnesses for Jehovah active in the whole world. We consider ourselves some of them.

When all in union or being united

The congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses mistakenly consider them as the only people who are truly united by their religion “in the same mind and in the same line of thought” as Jesus Christ, not just locally, but everywhere around the globe. The JW rightly consider that if all people on earth were Jehovah’s Witnesses, there would be no wars, no violent conflicts. But we also could say in case all Christians would follow the teachings of the one they say they take as their master, than also there would be already less fighting and less problems in the world. In case all people would be real Christians, and not just name Christians, really following the commandments of God, than also there would be no wars, no violent conflicts. The same simply cannot be said of the myriad of other religions on earth today, because there are so many divisions and many having non-Scriptural teachings. Taryn Viv having been a JW, and still feeling like one, seems to know one of the problems of the people in the organisation. She writes:

To their credit, Jehovah’s Witnesses are sincerely diligent when it comes to applying Bible counsel to themselves, and to the congregation. Faithfully doing so has proven to have tremendously positive results, which only makes sense. If the Bible really is, as it claims, the word of our creator, his wisdom certainly must surpass ours, and as it is summed up at Isaiah 48:17, “I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit yourself.”

Fallible or infallible organisation

Diagram Representing Organisational Structure ...

Diagram Representing Organisational Structure of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to us some Witnesses give the impression their organisation is infallible and only brings the Words of God. They have given the Watchtower and tract Society (Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania + Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York + Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses) with their so called ‘Faithful Slave’ the same position as many Christians do give the Pope of the Vatican. It is that Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses based in Brooklyn, New York which is the ruling council of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They may formulate the policy and doctrines everybody has to follow. Strangely enough the members of the Governing Body say they are followers of Christ rather than religious leaders, but take the position of dictatorial leaders, whose rules and ideas everybody has to follow.
When the Society’s second president, J.F. Rutherford, encountered opposition from directors in 1917, he dismissed them; in 1925 he overruled the Watch Tower Society’s editorial committee — selected by Charles Taze Russell to have editorial control of The Watch Tower after his death—when it opposed publication of an article that altered doctrines on Bible chronology related to 1914. In 1931, the editorial committee was dissolved and until January 1976, the president of the Governing Body exercised complete control of doctrines, publications and activity of the Watch Tower Society and the religious denominations with which it was connected — some of the Bible Students Movment and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The ones to tell what is right or wrong

Though not one man is infallible and knows everything. Even Jesus did not know when he would return to the earth. But the organisation claims that they can tell all people what is right and wrong, and that they are the only ones who can bring people to God. For sure they will help a lot of people to find the Only One God and to come to see the difference between the man made gods and the Only One God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. We should know that we as human beings have all our limitations and cannot expect perfection of one another in this system of things, nor can we expect it of the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, nor those appointed to positions of responsibility, in spite of the tremendous good that Jehovah clearly is using the JW, Bible Students, Christadelphians and other non-trinitarian Christians who freely  and sincerely, contribute to the work of God.

Transgender – Being and feeling in a body

As a transgender woman for many, many years, the writer was quite frankly a bit shocked that, within weeks of her first surfacing the truth of her situation openly with a brother whom she considered a long-time friend, the congregation elders had decided this was a “judicial matter,” and scheduled a meeting to essentially determine whether she would be “repentant,” or would need to be removed from the congregation. Strangely enough you could wonder how it did happen they did not know earlier.
Such people with a gender problem, which we encounter much more today (also have a look at the articles on Stepping toes) are not only in trouble with their own situation, having to suffer from major depressive illness for some years and as a result having very little contact with their own family, do not have it always easy  to mix with others and to enjoy friendly contacts and group meetings in Christian groups.

Exclusion because of gender choice

Dr. Camille Cabral, a transgender activist at a demonstration for transgender people in Paris, October 1, 2005

Because Taryn Viv cannot, and will not dress and present herself as the “man” she had come to realize she never truly was in the first place, she has been removed from the congregation. This is somewhat shocking which we often have to hear about the JW, who exclude followers and have their family members and friends of the faith-group charged not to meet the excluded person any more.

When we do know that everybody is created in the likeness of God, and that we do bear the image of God, you may wonder if those who do not feel at ease in their body are really doing something against the Will of God ,when they let science help them to become the person they, in first instance feel to be?

For sure, those who would knowingly and wilfully practice such things that Jehovah condemns as seriously harmful, unloving and wrong, could not rightly still be considered a follower of Christ. Those who practice fornication, theft, murder, and do not regret what they have wrong, even when baptised, can not be any more be considered a person being part of the Body of Christ. We do agree that in many Christian denominations there are a lot of people who believe we do not have to work any more once we are ‘reborn’. They think once baptised that they would enter in heaven because they are saved by Christ. But Faith without works is death.

Looks, judging and counselling

In case people of the congregation see that there is something wrong they should bring this into discussion. Faithful brothers and sisters should be counselled then to avoid any association with such a person, even to the point of just sitting down to a meal with them, where others could see the association with that person. But we do not find it right that natural brothers and sisters and parents are not allowed to speak or associate with their brother or sister or child.

According to us they should be the first ones to bring the other to get to see what he or she did wrong, but than there have to have been something wrong. Therefore we as Christians should examine everything very careful and be attentive before we judge some one else. We also should be aware that by the ages many traditions came into our life as well as ideas how we should be or what would be accepted as normal or acceptable in our community.
For example the JW always like to go around in business suits and do not find it appropriate to wear casual clothing in service. Their way of dress is also not always conform the dress in the country they preach. As such, in West Europe everybody straight ahead recognises the JW because of their Americanised out of date dressing. But that has nothing to do with commandments of God, where no where in Scriptures is written that a dress for a girl has to have a length of so many centimetres beneath the knees or up to the ankles.

Exclusions of persons

Christians should be very careful with exclusions of persons from their community and should also try to do every effort to get the person back on the right track. They never may forget that the rules of exclusion are about someone who has not shown any repentance, remorse or regret for such serious wrongs, and that the purpose of such “disfellowshipping,” as Jehovah’s Witnesses call the practice is twofold.

  • First, it may move the person to reconsider the seriousness of what they have been doing and to turn around, thereby restoring a good relationship, first and foremost, with Jehovah God, but also with their spiritual family, who are urged to “kindly forgive and comfort” them. (2 Corinthians 2:7)

  • A second key reason is that, in the event they should remain unrepentant, “a little leaven ferments the whole lump.” (1 Corinthians 5:6)

Wisdom of scriptural admonition evident

The writer of the article A Matter of Judgement recognises that the wisdom of the scriptural admonition is evident, and can be clearly seen by counterexample. No doubt we’ve all heard of some widely publicized cases of unthinkably horrid offences committed by members of various religions. (Child molestation, for example, comes to mind. Murder is another, such as the bombings of abortion clinics, for example.) When those engaging in such acts, even repeatedly, can yet remain affiliated with others of their “faith,” as though even such gross wrongs are tolerable, or beyond judgement, what does it say to the world at large about that faith?

“Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26)

More believers should hear the call of those who came onto this world in an other body than there mind tells them.

For now, though, I’ll conclude by saying I am grateful to be attending meetings regularly at the Kingdom hall again, and despite being considered “disfellowshipped” I find them spiritually strengthening and encouraging.
These days I am glad to say I can be more sociable again, and although it saddens me that I cannot now freely associate with many of my friends, brothers and sisters in the congregation, I find I am being given precious opportunities to speak about the good news of God’s Word with others I come into contact with.

Far from letting my circumstances cause me to be negative, many an acquaintance has told me they have come away after a conversation with a better view of both the Bible and Jehovah’s Witnesses than they had before.

It pleases me know that I can still plant seeds of truth. I would encourage anyone in my sort of situation to do the same. Jehovah is a rewarder of those loyal to him, and so although the appointed elders may still expect to see me doing things that I cannot do, I know that Jehovah is pleased to see me doing what I can.

We only can hope that those who found their way to Jehovah the Only One God, by the help of the marvellous work of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, when they leave that organisation will continue in the Faith and in the Truth, loving God and all His creation, the good and the bad people also.

English: Moordown: Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s W...

Moordown: Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses Tucked away in Elmes Road, otherwise a residential back street of Moordown. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Please do find:

  1. Taryn Viv a Wrongful Imprisonment ~ Faithful reflections of a transgender Jehovah’s Witness
  2. A Matter of Judgement
  3. Food for thought, that’s all.
  4. Failing to Answer the Most Vital Question About “Becoming Jehovah’s Friend”
  5. Jehovah’s Witnesses Shun Family Members for Selfish Reasons
  6. Focus on Jehovah’s Witnesses
  7. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  8. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  9. Followers with deepening
  10. The business of this life
  11. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  12. Determine the drive
  13. Does the method of preaching from house to house have its basis in the Scriptures?
  14. Blogging for Jesus…
  15. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  16. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  17. Bringing Good News into the world
  18. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  19. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  20. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  21. A Voice to be heard
  22. Breathing to teach
  23. Church sent into the world
  24. Church enemy of faith
  25. Breaking up with a cult
  26. Dependence
  27. Feeling-good, search for happiness and the church
  28. Casual Christians
  29. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  30. Uncovering the Foundations of Faith
  31. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  32. Testify of the things heard
  33. How should we preach?
  34. When discouraged facing opposition
  35. Reasons to come to gether
  36. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  37. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  38. Witnessing at LaGuardia Airport
  39. Bible for you and for life – TheBible4Life Committee explain what is planned for the national preaching effort next year.
  40. Good or bad preacher
  41. Holland Week of billing
  42. Trying to get the youth inspired
  43. Jew refering to be religious or to be a people
  44. Christian fundamentalism as dangerous as Muslim fundamentalism
  45. Faith and works
  46. Repentance and conversion are not milestones which we pass on the way of life and never see again
  47. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  48. God loving people justified
  49. Creation and the Bible

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  • Jehovah’s Way: At the First Sign of Their Religious Doubt, Freeze Out Your Own Flesh and Blood (patheos.com)
    The elder Gonzalez is a Jehovah’s Witness. After his son expressed doubts about the movement, its Watchtower Governing Body promptly ordered the father to shun Rick and Lucas.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses Hateful practice of unbiblical shunning (christiansparlock.wordpress.com)

    “The result of ‘shunning’ is extreme anxiety, depression, self hatred, increased blood pressure, loss of appetite, self injury and suicidal thoughts and attempts. This is not only painful but excruciating.” – Allan N. Schwartz, PhD

  • The Redemption (and Apostasy) of a Devout Jehovah’s Witness (patheos.com)
    James Zimmerman grew up as the kind of Jehovah’s Witness who might have knocked on your door. Devout and fervent, he knew what the consequences were for apostates. And yet he found a way to break free.

    His new memoir detailing his upbringing — and how his questioning of the faith eventually led him away from it — is called Deliverance at Hand!: The Redemption of a Devout Jehovah’s Witness (Freethought House, 2013):

  • Jail for Jehovah’s Witness elder who molested girls (manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
    A Jehovah’s Witness elder who was exposed as a paedophile on Facebook has been jailed.

    Jonathan Rose was branded a hypocrite as he was locked up for molesting two little girls he met through the church.
    +
    The family of Rose’s first accuser say they were encouraged to cover up their allegation. He was cleared of groping the then teenage girl in 1995 trial, but she would go on to be a witness in the latest court case. Her family say they were hounded out of the Jehovah’s Witnesses when they expressed concerns.

  • What Does The Bible Really Teach? – Chapter 18 Review (watchtowerinvestigated.co.uk)
    You are not baptised in the name of the father, son and holy spirit you are baptised into the organisation. In fact the last question they is “Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?”
    +
    Gods law are not burdensome, but let me list some things that the watchtower burden with when you are baptised:-• Fill out a report card every month detailing how much ministry you have done (or not as the case may be).
    • You Must go to all the meetings.
    • You Must go on the field service.
    • You Must not have a blood transfusion even if your life depended on it.
    • You Must not get involved in any holidays, Christmas, Birthday, Mothers Day, Fathers Day…the list goes on.
    • You Must cut off love ones if they reject the religion…
    • The list goes on…
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses call on Christians to safeguard their consciences (modernghana.com)
    Jehovah’s Witnesses at the weekend held a special assembly day programme with a call on Christians to safeguard their consciences to aid them walk with God and follow Jesus’ footsteps.

    The aim of the programme was to help the delegates to work towards acquiring a bible-trained and holy spirit-led conscience, which together with the bible, could serve as a reliable guide in deepening their relationship with God.

Watchtowers’s new face

From September the 1st 2012 the Jehovah’s Witnesses their official website  came into the new world.

Three in one plus …

The Governing Body takes the lead in directing the work of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Three websites managed by Jehovah’s Witnesses were consolidated into just one official website, www.jw.org. The updated website promises to have concise answers to Bible questions and offers information about the societies preaching work, along with facts about their branch offices, Kingdom Halls, and conventions in the section about Jehovah’s Witnesses.

For those looking for reports on topics and events affecting Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, they should be albe to find the right answer in the news section. There are also features for families, teens, and children. As with the old website Our website  audio and digital editions of many of their publications are provided.

By revamping JW.org the mighty organisation tries to get more people at a single point of contact, so that they have a better picture about whom, where people are seeking to access Jehovah’s Witnesses online.

The website looks fresh and inviting and they also thought of the non hearing. Those with hearing difficulties can go to the section Watch Sign-Language Videos and study the Bible using sign-language videos.

There are still other websites from the Jehovah Witnesses which have a very official look but claim  not to be affiliated (??) with the Pensylvanian office: “JWnews, JW news and Jwitness.wordpress.com are not affiliated with the official watchtower, jw-media or the jw.org sites.”  Who is than in charge? They write: “The content we link to on The JWnews is generated by members of the public. The views expressed are those of the public and unless specifically stated are not those of The JWnews. Appearance within this website does not constitute endorsement.”

Major shake-up of the organization

Could it be that in the near future we may look forward to a new major shake-up of the organization like in 1975, when the duties of the President of the Watch Tower Society became dispersed and delegated to the various committees, who were (and still are) directly answerable to the Governing Body. Some Jehovah Witnesses say that they can openly talk about differences of interpretation of Bible verses. They say they can discuss the Watchtower writings at the Kingdomhall study sessions.

Watchtower publications give conflicting impressions about whom is leading the organisation.

In the book Bearing Thorough Witness(also quoted from above) the following assertion is made on page 110:

“The Governing Body relies on God’s holy spirit for direction. Its members do not regard themselves as the leaders of Jehovah’s people.”

This was reiterated on page 23 of a recently released 2012 brochure entitled Who Are Doing Jehovah’s Will Today? where it says:

“The Governing Body looks to the Universal Sovereign, Jehovah, and to the Head of the congregation, Jesus, for guidance. (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:23) Its members do not regard themselves as the leaders of God’s people. They, along with all anointed Christians, ‘keep following the Lamb [Jesus] no matter where he goes.’”

From the above two quotes (both from fairly recent publications) it would be relatively straightforward to conclude that Governing Body members are not to be considered as the leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, things become confusing when we read the many quotes similar to those below where the Governing Body is said to “take the lead” in the organization. {The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses – Explained, JW Survey}

“The faithful and discreet slave today is represented by the Governing Body, who take the lead and coordinate the Kingdom-preaching work throughout the earth.” (w09 2/15 p.28 par.17)

 “The Head, Jesus Christ, supplies the body members with what is needed for good cooperation, coordination, and spiritual nourishment. (Eph. 4:15, 16; Col. 2:19) In such respects, the Governing Body is organized to take the lead as Jehovah directs them by holy spirit.” (w08 5/15 p.29)

“Today, we can observe those making up the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, other anointed overseers, and men of the “great crowd” who take the lead among us.” (w89 9/15 p.21)

“Local elders and members of the Governing Body take the lead among us; hence, we should respect them and pray that God grant them the wisdom needed to govern the congregation.” (w89 12/15 p.21 par.5)

“So we can observe the faithful men today who take the lead among us, particularly those of the governing body of the ‘faithful and discreet slave’.” (w69 6/15 p.367 par.3)

There is also the following quote where Jehovah’s Witnesses are admonished using the bible to show obedience to the Governing Body:

“Though members of the Governing Body are slaves of Jehovah and of Christ, as are their fellow Christians, the Bible instructs us: ‘Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you and be submissive, for they are keeping watch over your souls as those who will render an account; that they may do this with joy and not with sighing, for this would be damaging to you.’—Hebrews 13:17.” (w98 3/15 p21)

It is difficult to imagine how a group of men who “take the lead” among and “govern” God’s organization, and who should be obeyed by Jehovah’s Witnesses, should not therefore be considered as their “leaders”. However, this is precisely how the Governing Body wishes us to think of them. On the one hand, it appears they seek to be viewed as humble fellow worshippers – but on the other hand they ask Jehovah’s Witnesses to view them as “those who are taking the lead”, and obey their direction accordingly.

The ones saved

Surprisingly they now say that they shall not be the only ones being save. They suddenly seem to agree that many millions who lived in centuries past and who weren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses will have an opportunity for salvation. As we do believe, they agree now that the Bible explains that in God’s promised new world, “there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) Additionally, many now living may yet begin to serve God, and they too will gain salvation. In any case, at last they got to understand that it’s not our job to judge who will or won’t be saved. That assignment rests squarely in Jesus’ hands. (John 5:22, 27.)

When we look at those in charge we do see we individuals who profess to have Jesus as their leader and role model,but they still think they are the chosen to be the only guides to bring people to the Truth. As Governing Body members their thoughts and reflections should be consequent and according the teaching of Christ plus in accordance with the Law of God. They consider themselves as the most perfectly people to understand what God is willing from humanity. they also should be aware of their function and its responsibility, certainly when they tell the world that it are they who are the representatives of the Slave Class, or God’s earthly organization.

Still the same organisation

Knowing that Christ’s apostles were never sheepish about having their personalities and foibles exposed in the early Christian writings,those people should not mind that they are exposed to the world and that a clear picture of them is given to those who are interested. But for years the organisation has been a closed mysterious organisation, where outsiders, not to speak of insiders never could get a clear picture of the working of this powerful organisation. It is this mysteriousness that also made people believe that it is a cult in stead of an other denomination. Certainly with all the stories, true and invented, going around and several ex-Jehovah Witnesses taking revenge on the organisation in which they felt trapped for so many years. Angrinessand frustration have proven the best grounds for lies and for counter-attacks.

World headquarters of the Watch Tower Bible & ...

World headquarters of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Biblestudent Movement background

An other problem, certainly for other Biblestudents, like us, is that they presented the founders of the Biblestudent Movement as their founders and depicted us as schism groups of Christendom. They still consider being the first seed of what began at the end of the 19th century. At that time, a small group of Bible students who lived near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the United States, began a systematic analysis of the Bible. They compared the doctrines taught by the churches with what the Bible really teaches.

In the northern part of America there where several people, like the English doctor John Thomas (1805 – 1871) who had some strange experiences when leaving the old world. Their experiences changed their way of life totally and they took to the Holy Scriptures to find more about life, the reason why we live and what is going to happen with us when we die. All over the country, in small communities the searchers started to find other interested people and started meeting at different private locations. More and more groups of sincere Bible students could be found and Charles Taze Russell came also in contact with dr. Thomas and other pupils of him, called the Thomasites at that time.

In the time of the growing Millerite or Adventist movement Thomas and Russell tried to order the many ideas presented by the different preachers of those new movements. Thomas did not claim to be any kind of prophet, or in any way inspired, and found that every individual should take up his own responsibility to come to the Truth. For him it was clear there had not to be any pope, cardinal or some higher person to be in charge of an organisation to be called church, because we had the most high priest, Jesus Christ.

Thomas his work was continued by Robert Roberts (April 18, 1839 – September 23, 1898) and became a prolific author and the editor of The Christadelphian Magazine from 1864–1898.

Russell, Rutherford and Knorr were the last presidents of the Watch Tower Society to hold any real power

Charles Taze Russell got also more followers and began in July 1879 publishing a monthly religious journal, Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. In 1881 he co-founded Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society, a non-stock, not-for-profit organization, and in 1884 the corporation was officially registered, with Russell as president. In 1914 it was Charles Taze Russell who founded in London, England, a corporation of the Bible Students, under the name International Bible Students Association. Some Jehovah’s Witnesses publications cite this corporation as publisher or co-publisher.

Russell and the other Bible Students, as the groups of such Good News bringing teachers where called, was to promote the teachings of Jesus Christ and to follow the practices of the first-century Christian congregation. Since Jesus is the Founder of Christianity, according to Thomas and Russell it is him who should have the honour to be called the founder of our church or organization. (Colossians 1:18-20)

Follow or quit

The legal counsellor and autocrat Joseph Franklin Rutherford more and more took power of the Watchtower group of Biblestudents and made many other sincere Biblestudents leave his growing organisation which became a dictatorial organisation, where every body had to follow the board of directors. With the years less of argument was accepted and all those who objected were summoned to leave.

It is that closed organisation which has tried unbending to dominate a movement which they called the only serious Biblestudents. They obstinately presented to the public that Russell was their founder and that all other denominations where false teachers.

By featuring so prominently on the Society’s DVDs, Governing Body members give themselves “undue attention and honor”

We doubt that the Watch Tower Society and the many congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide would be able to get loose again from the control of the Governing Body. We also have the impression they do not openly say what they really think or how they would like their followers to think. Sometimes we get the impression they talk to what people would like to hear, so that once they get more interested they can be brought into the organisation by the duos who give the house to house studies.

Distorted talk

The matter of the saving is one which we could look into further. Do they still not strongly believe that those who are looking for Jehovah now, should become Jehovah Witnesses before Armageddon. When Armageddon strikes, Jehovah’s Witnesses do feel that they are the only ones who will be saved. The answer to one of the  “Frequently Asked Questions”, “Do You Feel That You Are The Only People Who Will Be Saved?”, is therefore both self-contradictory and misleading.

The new website of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania may be looking more openly and inviting but once again it has been covered with many blurs of double talk, incompleteness, inflected and twisted half truths.

Task for the Bible-student movement

They continue undaunted to present themselves as the spokesman of the Biblestudents and the shame of it is that more Bible students withdraw in their own little cocoon and not associate with other Bible-students to form a bigger block to come out to the world as presenters of the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God. The last few years we also noticed that less Biblestudents organisations were willing to come onto the internet or to propagate the gospel and to spread newsletters or (free) magazines to the general public.

If all those individual Bible students and Bible researchers stay on their own and are not willing to co-operate with other Biblestudents than we shall see  a decreasing group of the Bible Student Movement.

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Please do find additional reading:

Jehovah’s Witnesses—Who Are We?

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Feel That They Are the Only People Who Will Be Saved?

The new JW.org – Watchtower’s attempt to tame the internet

The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses – Explained + inclusive: Has anyone ever left the Governing Body?

Getting To Know Our Governing Body

+++

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses offer 3 day convention (jwitness.wordpress.com)
    The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ convention, “Safeguard Your Heart!” will run Friday through Sunday at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e.
  • Should Jehovah’s Witnesses be feared? (lampandherald.wordpress.com)
    Many people who have become aware of the child sex abuse scandals that have plagued the Witnesses’ movement have become highly suspicious of their activities. Some watch groups have warned residents that if they have children at their homes, to keep an eye on them at all times when Witnesses stop by their door. Some residents have feared Witnesses coming to their property due to the Watchtower Society’s alleged policy of protecting pedophiles.
  • Ten Years Behind A Bible, My Life in the Jehovah’s Witnesses (personal) (everything2.com)
    Many people over the years have asked me whether I truly was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and some have even asked that I write about my adventures. First of all, yes, it is true. I was once a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was “in the Truth” for about ten years. There’s a long story behind my joining, some of which I wrote about in Drop Kick Me Jesus, Through The Goalposts Of Life. If you want just the adventures, the fun stuff, skip to the Anecdotes section. But first, the background.
    +
    Life as a JW is more than just knocking on doors, it’s about attending meetings. There are five of them (or were, maybe things have changed in the past twenty years). Firstly, there are two back-to-back meetings, usually on a Sunday. One is a public talk, given by an appointed and approved member of the congregation (although visiting elders often give this talk). The talk must be based on an approved outline, and audience members are encouraged to look up any Bible references. This is followed by the study of an article in a Watchtower magazine. Someone is appointed to read each paragraph, and an elder asks questions printed as footnotes. Audience members then answer the question. rinse repeat. Again, subtle brainwashing – over time, verbalising the approved answers has each individual “make the Truth their own”.
    +
    There are two other big congregation meetings, both connected with the “field ministry”, the Theocratic Ministry School and the Service Meeting. The School is (or used to be) a series of lessons taken from a Watchtower Society book (available online here) – any approved member can be enrolled in the school, and there are assignments designed to help people become better teachers. Each week there are assigned Bible readings and associated topics, and a five-minute presentation is expected from each student. The Service Meeting is an elder-led series of announcements and demonstrations, again related to door-to-door work.
    +

    Finally, there is the Congregation Book Study, which carries out a Watchtower-study style of “discussion” using material published by the Watchtower Society; this takes place in smaller, home-based groups of between ten and twenty souls.

    Add up the time of the meetings (five hours) and the time needed to prepare (usually another five at least, if one is doing it right),and that’s quite a sizable chunk of time, a big investment for anyone. The idea is to get the Society’s ideas deeply inculcated into newcomers, such that the teachings take, at least on an intellectual level. Call it brainwashing if you will, but it’s pretty effective, especially given the demographics of the members.

     

  • Attorney claims sexually abused children ignored by Jehovah’s Witness church (lampandherald.wordpress.com)
    In a recent Facebook post, attorney Steven Unthank acknowledged the courage and sacrifices made by children of a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Victoria, Australia where Unthank said that the children suffered sexual abuse at the hands of fellow church members.

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