The ‘Evil Slave Class’

biblestudents2For Years it has been said that Bible Students are guilty of creature worship. That this “creature worship” led to the largest schism in Watchtower history, and separated the “Faithful Slave Class” from the “Evil Slave Class”. What is the creature they are charged with worshipping? None other then Charles Taze Russell, organizer of the International Bible Students Association and founder and first president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. And who are these accusers who make such a claim? None other then the very Society Russell founded, the Watch Tower and it’s current members the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Notice this statement found in the book; Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Divine Purpose

The insistence that Russell had been “that Servant” led many to regard Russell in what amounted actually to creature worship. They believed that all the truth God had seen fit to reveal to his people had been revealed to Russell, and now nothing more could be brought forth because “that servant” was dead.” [1959, pg 69]

As recent as 1988, in the book Revelation – It’s Grand Climax at Hand! The Watchtower makes this claim:

“The John class, however, emerged from the tumultuous days of the first world war with a love for Jehovah and for the truth that impelled them to serve him with flaming zeal. They resisted those who tried to introduce sectarianism through practically idolizing the first president of the Watch Tower Society, Charles T. Russell, following his death in 1916.” [p. 35, 36]

Who were “those” the “John class” tried to resist? And how did “those” try “to introduce sectarianism”? The answer lies in the book; God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in 1973. It had this to say concerning the issue of idolizing C.T. Russell:

“This view was prominently featured in the book published in July of 1917 by the People’s Pulpit Association of Brooklyn, New York. This book was called “The Finished Mystery” and furnished a commentary of the Bible books of Revelation and Ezekiel and The Songs of Solomon. On its Publishers page the book was called the “Posthumous Works of Pastor Russell.” Such a book and religious attitude tended to establish a religious sect centered around a man” [pg 347]

Who or what was the People’s Pulpit Association? The answer again can be found in the pages of the book Qualified to Be Ministers published in 1967, by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. It had this to say about the Association:

“Such a corporation came into legal existence February 23, 1909, and was named People’s Pulpit Association. Thirty years later, in 1939, the name was changed to its present one, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Inc.” [pg. 309]

So, in essence, the Watchtower Society itself was to blame for promoting the idolizing of C.T. Russell, not a group of individuals. The Book The Finished Mystery was published by the Watchtower Society, it was sanctioned by then president J.F. Rutherford, and was the cause of much schism within the Bible Students Association, not because it was promoting Russell, but because it was filled with misquotes, half truths and perversion of thoughts.

Nowhere within the pages of C.T. Russell’s writings, is there a thought alluding to worshipping him. Never did he ever claim to be “That Faithful and Wise Servant” mentioned in Matthew 24:45-48. Yes … there were those in his day who believe he filled that office, members of the Association, some representatives of the Watch Tower Society, but Russell never made such a claim for himself. In fact his thought on the matter was:

“I have nothing to say about the subject. What I would say would not change matters any way. You have your right to your opinion and they have their right to theirs. [Convention Reports 1909, pg. 25]

Russell did teach “that servant” to be a class, representing the church as early as 1897 in the book, The Battle of Armageddon, but some years later, would change his mind and believed it to be an individual. Yet he never claimed to be that individual.

In fact, the thought of promoting Russell as “That Servant” and giving him prominence was J.F. Rutherford. In the 1916 Watchtower it stated:

Thousands of the readers of Pastor Russell’s writings believe that he filled the office of “that faithful and wise servant,” and that his great work was giving to the Household of Faith meat in due season. His modesty and humility precluded him from openly claiming this title, but he admitted as much in private conversation. [pg 357]

The only ones who admitted to these so-called private conversations were, Rutherford, VanAmburgh and MacMillan, the three individuals responsible for seizing control of the Watch Tower Society. Their motives behind such a promotion was to appease the close friends, colleagues and supporters of Russell. Rutherford vowed to continue the work Russell had started. But in promoting Russell, elevating him and his writings to that of equal par to the Scriptures, he created a monster. Many Bible Students parted company with the Society. Some actually believed and accepted this new idea. It was even taught through the pages of The Watch Tower that Russell was still directing the affairs of the Society from heaven.

Evidently Rutherford, decided to slay the monster he created, by cunningly denouncing all he had stated and written in The Watch Tower. Not only was Russell pushed to the background, but the Scriptures had been reinterpreted. Russell’s books were left to go out of print, with no new editions being published. His name if mentioned at all, was done only in passing, as “first President” of the Society. His writings were replaced by newer ones. This cause more schisms and departures by Bible Students who could not and would not accept the Society’s leadership, and autocratic rule.

For years afterwards, Bible Students and Jehovah’s Witnesses grew apart, animosity and hatred was promoted by the Society towards the independent Bible Student groups who rejected the Society as God’s Sole Channel of communication. The Society rewrote its history, omitting many important facts, and in the cases cited above distorted many events, to place them in a good light and branding Bible Students as evil opposers who would rather follow and worship a man, rather than their organization. The Society claiming to be “The Faithful and Wise Slave Class” denounced all independent Bible Students outside of the Society as “The Evil Slave Class”, The Watchtower of June 15, 1987, had this to say:

“By the summer of 1918 … At the time of the Society’s conventions that summer, some apostates turned away and formed their own opposing religious groups. Manifesting the traits of an “evil slave,” they were ‘winnowed’ like “chaff” to be separated from Jehovah’s faithful remnant. (Matthew 3:12; 24:48-51) The Memorial of Christ’s death was celebrated on Sunday, April 13, 1919, with 17,961 attending in many lands. As compared to a partial report for 1917, the Memorial attendance had dropped by more than 3,000, indicating the effects of sifting.”

It was not so much that Bible Students “opposed” the work of the Society, the issue was the Bible Students and the Society were no longer in harmony doctrinally, the 3,000 or so who “dropped” out by 1918, eventually grew in the coming years, by 1930 seventy-five percent of the original Bible Students had abandoned the Society.

For years, the Society shifted the blame on Professor Paul S.L. Johnson, a colleague of Russell, an ordained minister, born a Jew, who joined the Bible Students Association and became an important promoter of Bible Truths. He was the Society’s scapegoat for many years. Most of the attacks on Johnson came after his death in 1950, and continued until the 1980s, it was as the old saying goes “beating a dead horse”, as Johnson was not alive to defend himself.

The Society tried to silence the Bible Students, by holding on to the copyrights of such works as Studies in the Scriptures and the Watch Tower Reprints. As Bible Students, they relied on their Bibles and nothing more. When the copyrights ran out, Paul S. L. Johnson, decided to reprint the Studies in the Scriptures. He contacted Rutherford, as they at one time were like brothers. Rutherford’s reply came in the destruction of the original plates. It was a slow process, but Johnson in 1937, made the Volumes available to the brethren. In that same time period the Dawn Bible Students Association, also reproduced the volumes. And years later, The Watch Tower Reprints were made available to the brethren by way of the Chicago Bible Students Republishing committee [with the exception of the years 1917-1919.]

Through the years many Jehovah’s Witnesses, upon obtaining these writings, have come to know the Truth, not only in regards to the Watchtower but in regards to God’s Plans and purposes. In 1971 the Watchtower had this to say, about the Bible Students and their witness work:

“The modern-day history of Jehovah’s witnesses shows that attempts have been made by some, making up an “evil slave” class, to assume control over Jehovah’s work and his people. This was especially seen during the World War I period. Jehovah, however, has cleansed his organization, and made it wholly theocratic. The credit is due to him, not to man.” [pages 436-7 ]

This led the Watchtower to warn Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, to read only those publications stamped with the insignia “Published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society”. Russell’s books were viewed as “old light” and many were tyold to not waste time reading errors. In some cases Russell’s writings were on a “blacklist” on books not to read. Yes it is true that many Kingdom Hall libraries have Russell’s books, but there are there as a result of donation from a deceased witness, or there simply as a ornament of sorts. There have been documented cases of Jehovah’s Witnesses being disfellowshiped simply because of their reading, studying and apllying what they read in Russell’s volumes. Notice this quotes from the Watchtower:

“Individually, careful watch has still to be kept. The records show that, in our congregations, some need to be warned, others put on probation, and others have to be disfellowshiped. Why? Because, while claiming to be in the truth, they do not practice the truth. This often starts in a small way, but, if persisted in, it leads away from the light into the darkness. [ibid]

What is this “truth” these Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to be “in”? it is the truth of the scriptures, the truths they learned in regards to God’s plans and purposes, the truths they learned from such works as “Studies in the Scriptures” written by the late Charles Taze Russell. Elders, Ministerial Servants, Pioneers, Bethelites and rank and file members of the Society, have been disfellowshiped because of their accepting these writings as containing truth.

The Society’s publications having a much larger circulation then all the Bible Student literature combined, tried a new tactic, everytime they mentioned the term “Bible Students” they always had in parenthesis “as Jehovah’s Witnesses were then known as”. Giving the reader the thought that Bible Students and Jehovah’s Witnesses are one and the same. When people came across the name or writings of Russell or Bible Students, they would automatically associate it with the Witnesses.

In recent years, with the advent of computers, and counter cult ministries, Witnesses were being made aware of the Bible Students, and the real issues being raised by the Watchtower Society. Some did their research, many returned to their roots, namely the Bible Students Association. Some were simply enlightened to their history as Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was not until the Society was forced to write a new history, still intent on perverting the truth, they nevertheless, did admit a distinction between Bible Students and Jehovah’s Witnesses:

“After the death of Brother Russell, some former associates refused to cooperate with the Watch Tower Society and the International Bible Students Association, even opposing the work of these societies. Such fragmented groups used a variety of names, some of them clinging to the designation Associated Bible Students.” [Jehovah’s Witnesses – Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, pg. 151]

This however does not state that the Bible Students still exist today, it merely referred to “fragmented” groups during the schism of 1917. However the fact that you are reading this … shows that you now know … that Bible Students and Jehovah’s Witnesses are two distinct groups, with distinct beliefs. It is not so much the importance that we stress the individuality of both groups, for we do recognize the Watchtower Society, and do recognize our Jehovah’s Witness friends. But the fact that we have been misrepresented, not by Christians in general, but by the very association we helped build.

It is very strange … that the Watchtower Society, forbids its members from associating with the “evil slave class”, namely the Bible Students, and have chastised those witnesses, who possess and read Russell’s writings, and at the same time, the Society has been in contact with various Bible Student groups, exchanging literature and purchasing one anthers books. This is has been verified by both correspondence to and from the Society from Bible Students, as well as eye-witness accounts of Bible Student literature sitting on not only Kingdom Hall libraries, but Watchtower libraries as well.

One would be apt to conclude this is a love/hate relationship on the part of the Watchtower Society. But we know the promises contained in Scriptures will not allow this relationship to continue. For one day, in God’s due time, all of mankind will learn the truth, and all will reside under His loving care.

Jehovah’s Witness Resignation Letter

penChristian greetings.

Below is the resignation letter I wrote to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, various congregations and individual Jehovah’s Witnesses on May 27, 1993

Watchtower Bible & Tract Society Brooklyn, New York

My Dear Brethren,

Grace and Peace be with you in His name.

It pains me greatly to have to write you this letter, but, I feel that I must in light of my present circumstances.  My life has changed for the better within the past year despite rumors to the contrary.   My sincere love for you impels me to tell you about it.  It is not a short story, but one I feel needs to be told.

As you well know, it has been over ten years that I have served Jehovah, our Great God, alongside you. I look back on the occasion of my baptism with no regrets.  I did what I believed was the right thing to do based on the knowledge that I had at the time.   I was willing to become an “apostate” to the faith that my parents raised me in.

My reasons for becoming one of Jehovah’s Witnesses was a result of taking in knowledge.  I thank God I never lost my thirst for knowledge.  As many who associated with me know, I have a great love for books.   I have one of the largest collections of Watchtower literature dating back to the 1800s.

Do you know why I made a hobby of collecting this literature?  It was because I wanted to know.  To know, after all, is the root of knowledge.  I also appreciated the heritage that this literature has recorded and represents.  I do not say any of this to boast, but to present my library as a testimony to the fact that I love knowledge.

My faith as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses made me want to share it with everyone.   Occasionally I would meet persons in the field ministry who would offer objections based on what opposers claimed about the organization.  I wanted to be able to refute these claims,  and what better way is there to do so but to examine them and look for the answers in an unbiased way?  The ‘Truth’ book which I studied before my baptism says on page 13, paragraph 5:

    “We need to examine, not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organizations with which we may be associated. Are its teachings in full harmony with God’s Word, or are they based on the traditions of men?  If we are lovers of the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination.  It should be the sincere desire of every one of us to learn what God’s will is for us, and then do it. John 8:32.”

The “Awake!” magazine of October 22, 1973, says on page 6:

“If you were on trial in a court of law, would it be fair if only your opponent was allowed to present evidence?  No, you would surely want the court to hear your side of the matter …  Reasonable persons agree that the only fair method is to examine the evidence on both sides, both for and against a disputed theory.  That is how one arrives at the truth.”

Finally, the “Watchtower” of August 1, 1978, says on page 12:

“Over the years, representatives of different churches have published many books and brochures for the purpose of “exposing” Jehovah’s Witnesses as heretics … Naturally, we are not afraid of this kind of publicity, because we know that it serves to awaken the curiosity of many honest persons.”

Because of my own experience and having gained my new found faith as a result of impartial investigation, I quickly saw the wisdom in the above statements.  My curiosity was awakened because I am an honest person.  If the Watchtower was not afraid of honest investigation, why in the world should I be?

Some of what I read made my blood boil, because a few of the opposers spoke of Jehovah’s Witnesses as if they were evil, willing tools of the devil.  No amount of convincing could persuade me to believe such thoughts. I knew that I wasn’t like that and that the overwhelming majority of the Witnesses were not like that either.

My research did lead me to one conclusion, and that is that the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society is not all that they claimed to be.  Since 1919 onward, supposedly when the Lord came to inspect his “Church” and approved of the “Anointed Remnant,” the Society has made false predictions for Armageddon (1925, 1945, 1975, 1999, Prior to 1919, it was 1914, 1918 just to name a few).  They’ve twisted the Scriptures in support of doctrines that are not in harmony with God’s plans and purpose.  They’ve lied and have flip flopped their doctrines.  They’ve ruined lives, separated families, caused divisions, divorces and mental breakdowns.  All under the guise of “new light.”

Do you remember how the “Watchtower” illustrated its progress towards ultimate truth?  In the December 1, 1981 issue of the Watchtower magazine, on page 27 it states:

    “…it may have seemed to some as though that path has not always gone straight forward.  At times explanations given by Jehovah’s visible organization have shown adjustments, seemingly to previous points of view. But this has not actually been the case.  This might be compared to what is known in navigational circles as “tacking”.  By maneuvering the sails the sailors can cause a ship to go from right to left, back and forth, (zigzag?) but all the time making progress toward their destination…”

It most certainly has too have been the case!  How does that illustration hold through in the light of a more recent “Watchtower”, the August 1, 1992 issue?  On page 17, it reads this way:

   “Hence, to run ‘not certainly’ means that to every observer it should be very evident where the runner is heading.  The Anchor Bible renders it, ‘not on a zigzag course.’  If you saw a set of footprints that meanders up and down the beach, circles around now and then, and even goes backward at times, you would hardly think the person was running at all, let alone that he had any idea where he was heading.”

I could not agree more.  I do not think that the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society know where they are going and I am not going to risk my precious relationship with God and Christ by following them wherever it is they think their going.  I am not trying to be sarcastic, I’m just stating my feelings as plainly as I can.

What I have shared with you in this letter is merely the shallowest scratch on the surface of the huge number of problems I found with the form of worship I have pursued for over ten years.  There are many, many more and they are not petty complaints.  They are in fact enough to cause me to determine never to “…be confined again in a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

Some will wonder where I will go now for spiritual enlightenment without the organization.  The “Watchtower” of November 15, 1992 says on page 21:

   “We will be impelled to serve Jehovah loyally with his organization if we remember that there is nowhere else to go for life eternal.”

The apostle Peter is then quoted.   Please note that he asked Jesus not, “Lord, to where shall we go away to?”  but, “Lord, to whom shall we go away to?” I have gone to Jesus, there is nowhere else to go.

I thank Almighty God for loving me, for allowing His son to make his unique sacrifice on my behalf and for my wonderful wife.   I thank God for true friends who are “sticking closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)  I thank God that I am free.

I have tearfully debated this subject and I feel that in all honesty to you and myself the only remedy is to disassociate myself from the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses at this time.  To remain would be to misrepresent your views and to have you misrepresent my views.  This action, therefore, is not to be understood as a withdrawal from the Church of Christ, whose “names are written in heaven,” but merely a withdrawal from our unauthorized human organization whose names are written on earth.  I will joyfully remember the many happy years we have spent together.

My brothers, I regret to have to say “good-bye”.  Perhaps we will meet again.  If we do, I’m sure that it will be in the Messianic Kingdom.

Faithfully, Yours in Christ,

Rolando Rodriguez

Do Bible Students Worship C.T. Russell?

photo-of-young-charles-taze-russellFor Years it has been said that Bible Students are guilty of creature worship. What is the creature they are charged with worshipping? None other then Charles Taze Russell, organizer of the International Bible Students Association and founder and first president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. And who are these accusers who make such a claim? None other then the very Society Russell founded, the Watch Tower and it’s current members the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Notice this statement found in the book; Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Divine Purpose:

The insistence that Russell had been “that Servant” led many to regard Russell in what amounted actually to creature worship. They believed that all the truth God had seen fit to reveal to his people had been revealed to Russell, and now nothing more could be brought forth because “that servant” was dead.” [1959, pg 69]

As recent as 1988, in the book Revelation – It’s Grand Climax at Hand! The Watchtower makes this claim:

“The John class, however, emerged from the tumultuous days of the first world war with a love for Jehovah and for the truth that impelled them to serve him with flaming zeal. They resisted those who tried to introduce sectarianism through practically idolizing the first president of the Watch Tower Society, Charles T. Russell, following his death in 1916.” [p. 35, 36]

Who were “those” the “John class” tried to resist? And how did “those” try “to introduce sectarianism”? The answer lies in the book; God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in 1973. It had this to say concerning the issue of idolizing C.T. Russell:

“This view was prominently featured in the book published in July of 1917 by the People’s Pulpit Association of Brooklyn, New York. This book was called “The Finished Mystery” and furnished a commentary of the Bible books of Revelation and Ezekiel and The Songs of Solomon. On its Publishers page the book was called the “Posthumous Works of Pastor Russell.” Such a book and religious attitude tended to establish a religious sect centered around a man” [pg 347]

Who or what was the People’s Pulpit Association? The answer again can be found in the pages of the book Qualified to Be Ministers published in 1967, by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. It had this to say about the Association:

“Such a corporation came into legal existence February 23, 1909, and was named People’s Pulpit Association. Thirty years later, in 1939, the name was changed to its present one, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Inc.” [pg. 309]

So, in essence, the Watchtower Society itself was to blame for promoting the idolizing of C.T. Russell, not a group of individuals. The Book The Finished Mystery was published by the Watchtower Society, it was sanctioned by then president J.F. Rutherford, and was the cause of much schism within the Bible Students Association, not because it was promoting Russell, but because it was filled with misquotes, half truths and perversion of thoughts.

Nowhere within the pages of C.T. Russell’s writings, is there a thought alluding to worshipping him. Never did he ever claim to be “That Faithful and Wise Servant” mentioned in Matthew 24:45-48. Yes … there were those in his day who believe he filled that office, members of the Association, some representatives of the Watch Tower Society, but Russell never made such a claim for himself. In fact his thought on the matter was:

“I have nothing to say about the subject. What I would say would not change matters any way. You have your right to your opinion and they have their right to theirs. [Convention Reports 1909, pg. 25]

Russell did teach “that servant” to be a class, representing the church as early as 1897 in the book, The Battle of Armageddon, but some years later, would change his mind and believed it to be an individual. Yet he never claimed to be that individual.

In fact, the thought of promoting Russell as “That Servant” and giving him prominence was J.F. Rutherford. In the 1916 Watchtower it stated:

Thousands of the readers of Pastor Russell’s writings believe that he filled the office of “that faithful and wise servant,” and that his great work was giving to the Household of Faith meat in due season. His modesty and humility precluded him from openly claiming this title, but he admitted as much in private conversation. [pg 357]

The only ones who admitted to these so-called private conversations were, Rutherford, VamAmburgh and MacMillan, the three individuals responsible for seizing control of the Watch Tower Society. Their motives behind such a promotion was to appease the close friends, colleagues and supporters of Russell. Rutherford vowed to continue the work Russell had started. But in promoting Russell, elevating him and his writings to that of equal par to the Scriptures, he created a monster. Many Bible Students parted company with the Society. Some actually believed and accepted this new idea. It was even taught through the pages of The Watch Tower that Russell was still directing the affairs of the Society from heaven.

Evidently Rutherford, decided to slay the monster he created, by cunningly denouncing all he had stated and written in The Watch Tower. Not only was Russell pushed to the background, but the Scriptures had been reinterpreted. Russell’s books were left to go out of print, with no new editions being published. His name if mentioned at all, was done only in passing, as “first President” of the Society. His writings were replaced by newer ones. This cause more schisms and departures by Bible Students who could not and would not accept the Society’s leadership, and autonomous rule.

For years afterwards, Bible Students and Jehovah’s Witnesses grew apart, animosity and hatred was promoted by the Society towards the independent Bible Student groups who rejected the Society as God’s Sole Channel of communication. The Society rewrote its history, omitting many important facts, and in the cases cited above distorted many events, to place them in a good light and branding Bible Students as evil opposers who would rather follow and worship a man, rather than their organization.

For years, the Society shifted the blame on Professor Paul S.L. Johnson, a colleague of Russell, an ordained minister, born a Jew, who joined the Bible Students Association and became an important promoter of Bible Truths. He was the Society’s scapegoat for many years. Most of the attacks on Johnson came after his death in 1950, and continued until the 1980s, it was as the old saying goes “beating a dead horse”, as Johnson was not alive to defend himself.

The Society tried to silence the Bible Students, by holding on to the copyrights of such works as Studies in the Scriptures and the Watch Tower Reprints. As Bible Students, they relied on their Bibles and nothing more. When the copyrights ran out, Paul S.L. Johnson, decided to reprint the Studies in the Scriptures. He contacted Rutherford, as they at one time were like brothers. Rutherford’s reply came in the destruction of the original plates. It was a slow process, but Johnson in 1937, made the Volumes available to the brethren. In 1940, the Dawn Bible Students Association, also reproduced the volumes. And years later, the original Watch Towers were made available to the brethren by way of the Chicago Bible Students.

The Society’s publications having a much larger circulation then all the Bible Student literature combined, tried a new tactic, everytime they mentioned the term “Bible Students” they always had in parenthesis “as Jehovah’s Witnesses were then known as”. Giving the reader the thought that Bible Students and Jehovah’s Witnesses are one and the same. When people came across the name or writings of Russell or Bible Students, they would automatically associate it with the Witnesses.

In recent years, with the advent of computers, and counter cult ministries, Witnesses were being made aware of the Bible Students, and the real issues being raised by the Watchtower Society. Some did their research, many returned to their roots, namely the Bible Students Association. Some were simply enlightened to their history as Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was not until the Society was forced to write a new history, still intent on perverting the truth, they nevertheless, did admit a distinction between Bible Students and Jehovah’s Witnesses:

“After the death of Brother Russell, some former associates refused to cooperate with the Watch Tower Society and the International Bible Students Association, even opposing the work of these societies. Such fragmented groups used a variety of names, some of them clinging to the designation Associated Bible Students.” [Jehovah’s Witnesses – Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, pg. 151]

This however does not state that the Bible Students still exist today, it merely referred to “fragmented” groups during the schism of 1917. However the fact that you are reading this … shows that you now know … that Bible Students and Jehovah’s Witnesses are two distinct groups, with distinct beliefs. It is not so much the importance that we stress the individuality of both groups, for we do recognize the Watchtower Society, and do recognize our Jehovah’s Witness friends. But the fact that we have been misrepresented, not by Christians in general, but by the very association we helped build.

It is very strange … that the Watchtower Society, forbids its members from associating with the “evil slave class”, namely the Bible Students, and have chastised those witnesses, who possess and read Russell’s writings, and at the same time, the Society has been in contact with various Bible Student groups, exchanging literature and purchasing one anothers books. This has been verified by both correspondence to and from the Society from Bible Students, as well as eye-witness accounts of Bible Student literature sitting on not only Kingdom Hall libraries, but Watchtower libraries as well.

One would be apt to conclude this is a love/hate relationship on the part of the Watchtower Society. But we know the promises contained in Scriptures will not allow this relationship to continue. For one day, in God’s due time, all of mankind will learn the truth, and all will reside under His loving care.

The Forbidding of Marriage

wedding_ringsThe leaders of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society have often taken liberty with God’s Word, inserting themselves into the Scriptures, claiming that they are the literal fulfillment of certain Bible prophecies. While many have taken exception to their claims, we have found at least one verse in which they do fulfill.

The scripture can be found in 1 Timothy 4:1- 3, where it reads:

“However, the inspired utterance says definitely that in later periods of time some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to misleading inspired utterances and teachings of demons, by the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, marked in their conscience as with a branding iron; forbidding to marry, …

You may ask, how does this apply to the Watchtower Society? We find the answer within the Watchtowers history. During World War II, Jehovah’s Witnesses put almost twice as much effort into making converts as they do today. According to the November 1940 Informant, the average hours per month per Jehovah’s Witness was 15.9, today it is much less.  Why is that? Because they felt Armageddon was near.

Witnesses were told that the Bible warned against marriage at this time because it would hinder their witnessing work. Is there proof that the leadership of the Watchtower prohibited Jehovah’s Witnesses from marrying?

Let’s look at the booklet Face the Facts authored by Judge Rutherford in 1938. We read:

“Would it be scripturally proper for them to marry and rear children? No, is the answer, which is supported by the scriptures …. The scriptures fully support the conclusion that the filling of the earth is not due to begin before, but after Armageddon. … It will be far better to be unhampered and without burdens, that they may do the Lord’s will now, as the Lord commands, and also be without hindrance during Armageddon … Those Jonadabs* who now contemplate marriage, it would seem, would do better if they wait a few years, until the fiery storm of Armageddon.” [pages 46,46, 50] [* an early reference to the rank and file Jehovah’s Witnesses]

In that same year The Watchtower magazine had this to say:

“… mark the words of Jesus, which definitely seem to discourage the bearing of children immediately before or during Armageddon … it would therefore appear that there is no reasonable or scriptural injunction to bring children into the world immediately before Armageddon, where we now are.”  [The Watchtower, 1938, p. 324]

Rutherford’s last endeavor to warn against marriage and raising children was found in his last book Children, published in 1941.  in it he admonished the rank and file not to marry, and those already married not to have children.

“Should men and women, both of whom are Jonadabs or “other sheep” of the Lord, now marry before Armageddon and bring forth children? They may choose to do so, but the admonition or advice of the Scriptures appears to be against it.” [Children, page. 311]

The July 17th issue of Time Magazine had this to say in 1950:

“Some Witnesses believe the coming is so imminent that they put off marrying or having children until Armageddon.”

In the 1970s the Watchtower leadership were still warning their followers against raising children before Armageddon.

“Today there is a great crowd of people who are confident that a destruction of even greater magnitude is now imminent. The evidence is that Jesus’ prophecy will shortly have a major fulfillment, upon this entire system of things. This has been a major factor in influencing many couple to decide to not have children at this time. They have chosen to remain childless so that they would be less encumbered to carry out the instructions of Jesus Christ to preach the good news of God’s Kingdom earth wide before the end of this system comes.” [Awake!, November 8, 1974, p. 11]

Here again, we see the deceiving of sincere Jehovah’s Witnesses, causing them to trust in manmade rules, to the point of putting off marriage to please the leadership of the Watchtower Society. The Scriptures do not say to put off marriage before Armageddon. They do however warn us against those who would suggest it.

Trust in the Scriptures!

Questions and Answers About Bible Students

questions-answersWhat Are Bible Students?

Bible Students are Christians interested in the study of God’s Word for the promotion of true knowledge.

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Where are the Bible Students Located?

Bible Students can be found in all walks of life and in every land and country.

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What is the origin of the Bible Students?

The Bible Students Association was formed in the 1860s, in Alleghney, Pa. A group of Christians under the eldership of Pastor Charles Taze Russell, who helped form a Bible study group to unearth the hidden mysteries of the Word of God.

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Isn’t Charles Taze Russell the Founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses?

That is a misconception. Pastor Russell was the organizer of the International Bible Students Association. It was this loosely formed association that helped published the [Zion’s] Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence journal, and the [Zion’s] Watch Tower Society.

This Society was an organizer of Bible Student conventions and other activities, but it did not dictate any creeds or rules to the independent congregations.

After Pastor Russell’s death, The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society began to rise as a hierarchy over the once independent congregations. Many refused to surrender their Christian liberty and here started the work of separation. As early as 1917 this exodus from the Society began, and those who appreciated the wonderful harmony of the Bible as taught by Pastor Russell are today known as Associated Bible Students.

By 1930, the Society no longer resembled that of its former self. Many Bible Students abandoned the Society, and by 1931, the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” was adopted by the new leadership to differentiate between the Society’s Bible Students and those independent of the Society.

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What are the doctrinal differences between the two groups, if any?

There are some similarities between the two groups. Both believe in two salvations, an earthly and a heavenly. Both believe in the Kingdom of God as the means of bringing about true peace on earth. Both deny the existence of a place of fiery torment and deny the Trinity doctrine. Apart from these similarties, the two groups are world’s apart.

The following doctrines are an example as to how Bible Students still retain the basic teachings of Pastor Russell in contrast with “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” who do not.

BIBLE STUDENTS: Pastor Russell was led to believe in a future probation because millions have died and continue to die without hearing the Gospel. Of those that do hear, uncertainty and confusion exists in their minds because Christianity of today is burdened with contradictory beliefs and teachings.

JW’S: “Jehovah’s Witnesses” see no further probation for any of the present generation who do not subscribe to their teachings – which means that a large percentage of the world’s population is to perish eternally in Armageddon. In this respect their views are less generous than most established Churches. They not only see no hope for those who live today, who do not subscribe to their teachings, but they entertain no hope for a large percentage of the millions who have gone into the grave since the creation of man. For example, JW’S believe that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, etc. have perished eternally, with no hope for a resurrection.

BIBLE STUDENTS: Pastor Russell pointed to the Scriptures, such as Ezek.16:55, where it declares that these are all going to return to their “former estate.” And our Lord, in Matt. 10:15, confirms this thought when he said, “It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city”- (speaking of the Jews). Thus our Lord pointed forward to a day of judgment for those people who died centuries ago. And again it says, in Acts 17:31 that, “He hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness.”

JW’S: “Jehovah’s Witnesses” deny that Adam will ever have a resurrection, while the Scriptures plainly state that Jesus Christ tasted death “for every man.” Heb. 2:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.

BIBLE STUDENTS: Pastor Russell pointed to these scriptures and many others such as 1 Cor. 15:22 – “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Also Hosea 13:14 – “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be they plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction.”

Pastor Russell taught, according to the Scriptures, that now is “the day of salvation” for those who are to be the Bride of Christ, the Little Flock; and that another day – a day of salvation is awaiting mankind in general, in the Millennial Age – “the times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”

One of the main teachings of Pastor Russell was that all would be enlightened with a knowledge of God’s Truth before they are placed on trial and judged for their final destiny. For the majority of mankind this would be when they are raised from the dead at the time of the general resurrection. Their final judgment would be based on their conduct while enlightened, not while in ignorance. This teaching separated Bible Students from all other religious groups. Now it separates them from “Jehovah’s Witnesses” as well. This view broke with the concept of salvation current in his day. At that time nearly all evangelists taught a literal hell of torment for those who did not accept Christ in this life. They felt hell-fire threats were necessary to restrain evil and, if need be, to bring salvation by fear. Many theologians have since broadened their concept of salvation beyond this life, but “Jehovah’s Witnesses” hold strongly to the position that those who reject their message are rejecting salvation.

Contrary to our Lord’s Word, every “Jehovah’s Witness” becomes a missionary of life or death, using the fear of eternal destruction or second death as their final appeal.

The Jewish People: Israel, and the Jewish people, present another major difference between Pastor Russell and the JW’s. After applying the Scripture, “Ye are my witnesses saith Jehovah” (Isa. 43:12) to themselves, “Jehovah’s Witnesses” declare that the Jewish people have no special role in the Divine Plan since the death of Jesus. On the contrary, Pastor Russell taught that the Jewish people and nation have a leading role in the Divine Plan for man, and accordingly during the year 1910 he spoke to vast Jewish audiences, comforting them according to the Scripture, Isa. 40:2 – “Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” He encouraged them not to join the various churches of today but to wait for the fulfillment of the many Old Testament promises that they would be blessed as a nation.

While they were yet a scattered and dispersed people, he said, upon the basis of these promises, that they would be regathered to Palestine and established as an independent nation. Time has proven this to be so. Although denied by “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” Bible Students today teach that the new state of Israel emerged in Divine Providence and is a precursor to the fulfillment of God’s promise to that nation that, – “Lo the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.” (Jer. 30:3)

And again, Jer.24:6, 7, says, – “I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them and not pull them down; and I will plant them and not pluck them up. And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.”

And a further promise in Jer. 31:27-34 was that, – “Like as I have watched over them to pluck up, and to destroy and to afflict; so will I watch over them to build and to plant, saith the Lord… and I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in that day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they break… but this shall be the covenant that I will make… I will put my Law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts… and they shall be my people… I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more.”

From these facts it can be seen that Pastor Charles Taze Russell was neither in principle nor in spirit, the founder of “Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

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How are Bible Students governed?

The Bible Students are autonomous. Meaning they are self-governing. The ecclesia [congregation] itself elects it’s own officers [i.e. elders, deacons, etc.] and committees [i.e. witness, comfort, convention] to help the class run as smoothly as possible. There are no paid clergy and no collections are taken during the meetings.

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How are the services organized?

The congregation itself determines what is to be studied, the elected elders [those spiritually mature-minded] conduct the meetings in an orderly fashion.

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How is the work financed?

The work is financed by voluntary contributions of it’s members. Bible Students for over one hundred years have prided themselves on the motto: SEATS FREE – NO COLLECTIONS.

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Where do Bible Students meet and have their services?

Unlike the more established churches, the Bible Students meet in individual homes and rented halls, depending on the size of the congregation. We do not own our own church buildings, as this affords us the opportunity to direct our monetary resources in spreading God’s Word.

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Do Bible Students preach/witness? And if so, how?

BIble Students, individually and congregationally, have the liberty to witness in whatever fashion is suitable to them. We realise that their are many different avenue to witness, thus what may suit one class or individual, may not suit another. Thus we leave it to each consecrated member and class to determine what best suits their environment. That said, let it be known that we take advantage of every avenue open to us, this would include going door to door, tracting in the neighborhood, public showings, advertisments in newspaper, magazines and billboards, county fairbooths, etc.

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What are public showings?

Publics showings are shown in rented halls. They can be in the form of a public discourse on a timely Bible topic, or they can be in the form of a movie or slide presentation.

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Do Bible Students publish any literature?

Yes. The Association as a whole and as individual congregations have published throughout the years volumeously. The six volumes of Studies in the Scriptures by the late Pastor Charles Taze Russell are still republished today. Along with many other older and current writings, reflecting over 100 years of service.

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Are there any Bible Student publishing houses?

Yes. There are quite a few throughout the United States and Europe. Some have come and gone in recent years. There are also individual congregations and Bible Students who published independent of each other. These publication however are used and distributed by the association worldwide, regardless of who publishes them.

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Are there any Bible Student Journals and Magazine in print?

Most congregations publish a monthly newsletter, distributed to those they come in contact with through their independent witness work. However there are several journals and newsletters published for the general public and the association.

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How many Bible Students are there?

Since Bible Students do not take roll-call, that is a difficult question to answer. Bible Students can be seen in all four corners of the earth, some are isolated, and others have abundant association.

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Since the congregations are autonomous, are all Bible Students in agreement, doctrinally? Just how closely are the Bible Students in harmony? Do you still hold to the doctrinal teachings as espoused by Charles Taze Russell?

To say that all Bible Students think alike would be to undermine the freedom in Christ we share. Most Bible Students accept the teachings of Scriptures as set forth in the Studies in the Scriptures as being doctrinally sound and supported by God’s Word. However since Pastor Russell never claimed infallibility, it is safe to say that some of his thoughts are opened to interpretation. However, these interpretations, do not take away from The Divine Plan of the Ages, as espoused by Pastor Russell.

It is safe to say there are those, individually and as publishing houses who have taken liberty with the Plan of Salvation as espoused by Pastor Russell.

About Bible Students ….

cross_crownHow are Bible Students governed? The Bible Students are autonomous. Meaning they are self-governing. The ecclesia [congregation] itself elects it’s own officers [i.e. elders, deacons, etc.] and committees [i.e. witness, comfort, convention] to help the class run as smoothly as possible. There are no paid clergy and no collections are taken during the meetings.

How are the services organized? The congregation itself determines what is to be studied, the elected elders [those spiritually mature-minded] conduct the meetings in an orderly fashion.

How is the work financed? The work is financed by voluntary contributions of its members. Bible Students for over one hundred years have prided themselves on the motto: SEATS FREE – NO COLLECTIONS.

Where do Bible Students meet and have their services? Unlike the more established churches, Bible Students meet in individual homes and rented halls, depending on the size of the congregation. We do not own our own church buildings, as this affords us the opportunity to direct our monetary resources in spreading God’s Word.

Do Bible Students preach/witness? And if so, how? Bible Students, individually and congregationally, have the liberty to witness in whatever fashion is suitable to them. We realise that their are many different avenues to witness, what may suit one class or individual, may not suit another. We leave it to each consecrated member and class to determine what best suits their environment. That said, let it be known that we take advantage of every avenue open to us, this would include going door to door, tracting in the neighborhood, public showings, advertisments in newspaper, magazines and billboards, county fairbooths, etc.

What are public showings? Publics showings are shown in rented halls. They can be in the form of a public discourse on a timely Bible topic, or they can be in the form of a movie or slide presentation.

Do Bible Students publish any literature? Yes. The Association as a whole and as individual congregations have published throughout the years volumeously. The six volumes of Studies in the Scriptures by the late Pastor Charles Taze Russell are still republished today. Along with many other older and current writings, reflecting over 100 years of service.

Are there any Bible Student publishing houses? Yes. There are quite a few throughout the United States and Europe. Some have come and gone in recent years. There are also individual congregations and Bible Students who published independent of each other. These publication however are used and distributed by the association worldwide, regardless of who publishes them.

Are there any Bible Student Journals and Magazine in print? Most congregations publish a monthly newsletter, distributed to those they come in contact with through their independent witness work. However there are several journals and newsletters published for the general public and the association.

How many Bible Students are there? Since Bible Students do not take roll-call, that is a difficult question to answer. Bible Students can be seen in all four corners of the earth, some are isolated, and others have abundant association.

Since the congregations are autonomous, are all Bible Students in agreement, doctrinally? Just how closely are the Bible Students in harmony? Do you still hold to the doctrinal teachings as espoused by Charles Taze Russell? To say that all Bible Students think alike would be to undermine the freedom in Christ we share. Most Bible Students accept the teachings as set forth in Pastor Russell’s Studies in the Scriptures as being doctrinally sound and supported by God’s Word. However since Pastor Russell never claimed infallibility, it is safe to say that some of his thoughts are opened to interpretation. However, these interpretations, do not take away from The Divine Plan of the Ages, as espoused by Pastor Russell.

It is safe to say there are those, individually and as publishing houses who have taken liberty with the Plan of Salvation as espoused by Pastor Russell.

What Bible Students Believe …

bible in handFirst Century Patterns The Bible Students are a small religious body who are following in the faith and character of the early Christian Church. We have been in existence for over 100 years. The Bible Students are located in many parts of the United States with many groups in the United Kingdom and Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North America, South East Asia and Africa. Like the first century Christians, we meet in homes, rented rooms and, in some cases, our own halls. Acts 1:13-14, 2:46-47, 18:7, 19:9, 28:30

We are a lay community patterned after first century Christianity. Each congregation is called an “ecclesia” (the New Testament word for Church). We have no paid clergy or church hierarchy. Members of each congregation are addressed as ‘Brother’ or ‘Sister’, and ALL are involved in organizing our activities. All members contribute their time and energy voluntarily in service to God. A strong common belief binds our brotherhood together. Rom 12:4-8; 1Cor 12:4-27; Gal 3:28

We accept the Bible [Old and New Testament] as our guide and believe it to be the inspired word of God.

Our Purpose

The purpose of the Bible Students Association and this website; is set for the defense of the only true foundation of the Christian’s hope now being so generally repudiated –

Redemption through the precious blood of “the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all.” 1 Peter 1:19; 1 Timothy 2:6.

Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones of the Word of God. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Peter 1:5-11

Its further mission is to – “Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which …has been hid in God,…to the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God.” – “which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed.” Ephesians 3:5-10.

To “show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:4

To reach others of the household of faith. Heb. 11:1, 6; Gal. 1-3

To witness the love and plan of God to all who have a hearing ear. Isa. 61:1-3.

Free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into the fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken – according to the Divine wisdom granted unto us to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God.

A Brief History

The Bible Students had their humble beginning in the late 1860s. In 1868, a young businessman named Charles Taze Russell, who feared the Lord, began studying with a small band of Christians independent of the creeds of the Churches, they soon discovered that many of the doctrines that were popularly taught and believed were inconsistent with the Bible. Dissatisfied, Mr. Russell devoted himself to a careful independent study of the Scriptures. He made no claim to any vision or personal revelation.

The work of Mr. Russell attracted the support of others in America and Britain who were convinced of the truth of his conclusions. Together they formed the Bible Students Association. Since then, Bible Student communities have been established in many countries all over the world. [for a more fuller detailed account of Charles Taze Russell and the Bible Students, please visit the following Link: Soldiers of the Cross

What we believe

The Bible is God’s only revealed message to mankind, given to bring responsive individuals to the obedience of faith. The Bible is our only authority and we teach that it should be read prayerfully and with care at every opportunity. Acts 17:11; Rom 16:26; 2Tim 3:16-17; 2Pet 1:20-21

There is one Almighty God, the Father, of whom are all things. 1 Cor. 8:6; Psa. 83:18; 90:1, Ex. 3:14; 6:3; John 14:28

There is one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things. 1 Cor. 8:6; John 3:16; Col. 1:15-18

The Holy Spirit is the divine will, influence, or power of the Almighty Creator. Psa. 33:6-9; 1 Cor. 2:9, 10; Joel 2:28, 29; Luke 11:13

Because of disobedience, Adam was condemned to death – not eternal torment. Gen. 2:16, 17; Ezek. 18:4, 20; Rom. 6:23; 5:17

The seed of Abraham is in Christ, Head and body members, who sacrifice their earthly hopes in exchange for the heavenly hope of becoming heirs of God. Gen. 22:15-18; Gal. 3:16, 29; 4:28-31; Rom. 12:1; Psa. 50:5

The New Covenant, whose mediator between God and man is the Christ, will be sealed with the precious blood of the dear Redeemer after all of his merit has passed through the fully consecrated of the Gospel Age. The New Covenant will be inaugurated with those with faith in Israel, but in the course of time all others will have a full opportunity to become the earthly seed of Abraham. Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:7-12; Gen. 25:1; Acts 3:22; Heb. 9:22-26

The man Christ Jesus gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time. 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 2:9

Shortly after the spiritual phase of the kingdom is fully set up, the heavenly Father, by or through the elect Christ, will terminate the trouble, and then the earthly phase of the kingdom will begin at the time the ancient worthies are resurrected to become princes in all the earth. Zech. 14:3; Matt. 24:22; Heb. 11:35-40; Psa. 25:16

The soul (being) who refuses to accept and obey the better Mediator will be destroyed or devoured (not tormented). Fire is a forceful symbol of destruction – not preservation. Acts 3:23; Ezek. 18:4; Rev. 20:9

So what’s the Difference?

Often we are asked, “How are you different from other Christian groups”? Apart from our distinctive organization (with no clergy or hierarchy), some of our doctrines are quite different from most churches. For example:

The Trinity

We reject the doctrine of a ‘Trinity’. This doctrine developed 300 years after Jesus and His Apostles died as a result of disputes within the orthodox church. The Bible teaches that Jesus was the Son of God, nowhere does it speak of him being ‘God the Son’.

The Soul

We also reject the idea of an “immortal soul” that goes to heaven at death. The Bible teaches that the only hope for eternal life is through a resurrection when Jesus returns.

Baptism

We believe that baptism is an outward manifestation of ones consecration to the Lord, after they have been enlightened by His Holy Spirit. We believe that sprinkling of babies is not baptism.

The Lord’s Return

We believe that the Lord’s promised return is not physical to the eye, but spiritual, an invisible presence.

Our Way of Life

The Bible gives effective direction to our lives. We try to rely fully upon God and develop a faith which is active in prayer and good works. At the same time, however, we recognize that salvation is by grace.

With God’s help, we seek to please and obey him every day, striving to imitate Christ who faithfully obeyed his Father. We therefore endeavor to be enthusiastic in work, loyal in marriage, generous in giving, dedicated in preaching and happy in our God.

A widespread custom amongst Bible Students is to read the Bible every day using a reading plan which enables us to systematically read the Old and the New Testaments once, each year. Of course, many read much more widely than this.

We may also attend one or more evening Bible Study classes each weekday. Each Sunday, we attend two meetings. These meetings vary between ecclesias. There are “Bible Studies”, “Topical Studies”, “Testimony Meetings” and “Discourses.” Attendance at these meetings is the focus of our religious life.

There are also monthly conventions sponsored by various ecclesias and associations and an International Conventions held outside of the United States.

We also have Sunday Schools for young ones of various ages; During the summer, Bible Students sponsor Youth Camps for Bible Study and fellowship.

Some members travel overseas on mission work; others care for the elderly in our retirement centers. There are several monthly magazines to read.

The Bible Students are a close-knit community working in God’s service in whatever ways we can.

An Appeal to Jehovah’s Witnesses

watchtower_awakeIf sincerity and zeal alone determined what is Truth, then the “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” would have an argument almost second to none, in favor of its teaching. Its publishing organization has flooded the world with a succession of leaflets, pamphlets and books proclaiming its doctrines; its members are untiring in their proselytising zeal, supplementing these public appeals by voluntary donations and goodwill.
All this would be very commendable if the things preached were in accordance with Divine Truth, but if not, the words of the Master apply:
“If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness” (Matt. 6: 23). Something more than sincerity, and zeal, and proselytizing fervor is required in the things of God and that is a mind disciplined to seek and accept the truths of His Word. Paul shows, in 1 Corinthians 15:14 that it is possible to be found “false witnesses of God.” He spoke of some who had – “a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge” (Rom. 10: 2).
These “compassed sea and land to make one prosleyte” only to lead him into greater error (Matt. 23:15). Unfortunately, as we shall show, the energy of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” has been harnessed to error, and not truth.
“Jehovah’s Witnesses” have never hesitated to hold up the failings of others for all the world to see, and to classify the world’s denominations as part of “Satan’s organization.” A group that so roughly handles the opinions and teachings of others must, itself, be prepared to have its own ideas ruthlessly examined. If they are firmly based upon the Rock of Truth, it has nothing to fear; but if not, its members are well advised to do what they of Berea are reported to have done when the Apostles preached to them the truth in Christ Jesus: “They searched the Scriptures, whether those things were so” (Acts 17: 11). To quote the Watchtower itself: “The Watchtower… invites careful and critical examination of its contents in the light of the Scriptures.” – Watchtower August 15, 1950 p. 263
Yet, sad to say, this very journal reveals that Jehovah’s Witnesses are exempt from such examination. That questioning their beliefs and practices is akin to treason, independent thinking, and a subtle design of the Devil. [See Watchtower “Exposing the Devil’s Subtle Designs” 01/15/83 p. 22] Why? Because many passages from the Bible are quoted therein, but many are either quoted out of context, or are misapplied in order to conform to their teachings. A faulty use of Scripture must result in instability of doctrine, and though Truth does not vary with time, it is significant that the doctrines of the “Watchtower” have been constantly revised. An example of this is found in the subject of the restoration of the Jews to Israel. C. T. Russell the founder and first president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, taught that the Jews must return in fulfilment of prophecy. His teaching was followed by J.F. Rutherford for some time, but later, changed his mind upon this subject, and today the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” repudiate the very ideas they then set forth before millions of people as truth! Meanwhile, the Jews have and still are returning to the land in fulfilment of prophecy, as the Bible from the very beginning maintained they must (Jer. 31: 10, Ezek. 36: 22-24; 37: 21-22). Yet this truth, now vindicated by events, is vigorously opposed by Jehovah’s Witnesses. We believe that if members of this organization were to carefully examine their teachings, without bias, in the light of Scripture, they would see the need to considerably amend many of their doctrines.
Among the tenets promulgated by the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” are some that are true, false, peculiar to them alone, and some that have been borrowed from other religious systems. They are most outspoken against Roman Catholicism, and yet they cling to some of the teaching of that system.
The reader will understand that it is impossible for us to thoroughly examine all the beliefs propagated by the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” through their various legal entities [e.g. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society] within the compass of this short article. We propose to comment upon a few of those peculiar to them, as our space permits, recognising that much more could be said upon those we touch upon, as well as other matters, if we had more space at our disposal.
We ask the reader to bear with us in this, and (particularly if they are a member of the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” to give the evidence we submit thier candid and unbiased consideration. We pray this site and its contents may be, not only an “eye-opener”, but a blessing, in revealing to you God Plan of the Ages. A Plan that will involve every man, women and child … a Plan that involves YOU!