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The Council at Jerusalem – Acts 15:22-33 – Christian Liberty and Doctrinal Differences

JerusalemCouncil[Watchtower - R5892 : page 137]  THE COUNCIL AT JERUSALEM   —MAY 28.—ACTS 15:22-33.—

THE FIRST ECUMENICAL COUNCIL OF THE CHURCH—”THE SPIRIT OF A SOUND MIND” IN SETTLING DOCTRINAL DIFFERENCES —THE YOKE OF THE LAW COVENANT VS. CHRISTIAN LIBERTY—THE DECISION OF THE APOSTLES ON THE QUESTIONS AT ISSUE—LESSONS FOR OUR DAY—LIBERTY IS NOT LICENSE.

 

“The Liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.”— Galatians 5:1.

 

WHEN St. Paul and Barnabas had made their report to the Church at Antioch, both the congregation and their missionaries rejoiced in their mutual service for the Gentiles. The Lord’s Cause was indeed quite prosperous everywhere for a season. But this period of peace, prosperity, growth in knowledge and in numbers was followed by a season of contention and differences at Antioch. From Jerusalem, the headquarters of the Lord’s work, there came certain brethren, Hebrews by birth, who, perceiving that the Gentile Christians ignored circumcision, raised a great commotion on that score, claiming that as circumcision would not save without Christ, neither would Christ’s salvation be operative without circumcision.

The minds of many in the Church were disturbed by these assertions, and for a time a split in the Church seemed probable. But better counsels prevailed; and their beloved brethren, St. Paul and Barnabas, were sent to Jerusalem, as a committee to confer with the Apostles and Elders there. Today’s Study tells of this conference and its results.

Incidentally we remark upon the wisdom shown by these early Christians. They had “the spirit of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7; James 3:17,18.) They had indeed great confidence in St. Paul and Barnabas, and realized that under the administrations of these two faithful brethren the Church at Antioch had already received great blessings from the Lord; and that this fact rather contradicted the idea that they could not be esteemed proper subjects for Divine favor without circumcision. They acted wisely, therefore, in considering that the Lord’s will on the subject was positive; and that His will would be indicated through the Apostles, to whom He had said, “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.” (Matthew 16:19; John 20:21-23.) The Apostles might therefore properly be expected to know whether or not the Gentile Christians were free from that obligation which had been placed upon all the descendants of Abraham.

 

THE JERUSALEM CONFERENCE

At the Conference, the kindly deference of the Apostles, one to the other, is quite marked. It is also noticeable that they based their conclusions on what they found written in the Old Testament Scriptures and on their leadings of Divine providence. For several years the Truth had gradually become more and more plain to them. They saw that the special favor of God to the Jews had given place to a general favor toward people of every nation, so that all men everywhere who believed in the Lord, accepted His promises and consecrated their lives in harmony therewith, might henceforth have equal privileges and advantages with those of Hebrew birth. They knew of God’s covenant relationship with the nation of Israel; and it took time for them to become convinced that the Divine Program had taken another step forward.

Similarly, in the end of this Age there are many who realize that only a “little flock” has been called of God, and has responded, sacrificed under that High Calling. It is difficult for these to grasp the thought that a change of dispensation is at hand; and that God purposes to complete the work of this Age for the Elect and then to inaugurate a new work for the non-elect—for the benefit of “all the families of the earth.”

The conclusions of the Conference are given us in few words; namely, that so far as God is concerned, He had recognized believers of Gentile birth by bestowing upon them His Holy Spirit in just the same way in which He had recognized believers of Hebrew birth, and “put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” (Acts 15:9; 10:44-47.) What more could be asked? These Gentiles had received all this favor from God without having come under the bondage of the Law Covenant. Why, they wisely asked, should they put a yoke upon the Gentiles when God had made no such requirement? They realized that the Law Covenant was indeed a yoke so heavy that neither they nor their fathers had been able to bear it. Christ had relieved them of the yoke of the Law Covenant. Why should they put it upon brethren to whom the Lord had not given it?—Romans 3:19.

Even going beyond this, they recognized that in some respects the Gentiles held the superior position; for they were free from the Law, never having come under that yoke. Hence the statement, “We [Hebrews] believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they [Gentiles].”

 

THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER

In Verses 22-29 of today’s Study we have the decision of the Apostles on the question at issue. They not only wrote it out, but sent it at the hand of two of their trusted brethren—Judas Barsabas and Silas—with St. Paul and Barnabas, that the Church at Antioch might have the matter in both written and oral testimony. The declaration was that the disquieting teachings had not been authorized by the Apostles at Jerusalem. Then they briefly summed up, not as law, but as “necessary things,” the following: (1) Abstain from meats offered (sacrificially) to idols; (2) And from blood; (3) And from things strangled; (4) And from harlotry.

It was not intimated that abstinence from these things would make one a Christian; for nothing but faith in Christ and consecration to Him and endeavor to walk in His steps could constitute any one a Christian. By these recommended abstentions, they declared, “It will be well with you”—you will find these recommendations profitable to you as followers of the Lord. As a matter of fact, the Apostle Paul has pointed out most forcefully that “Love is the fulfilling of the Law” (Romans 13:10); for love for God would control the life as respects holiness, and love for our neighbor as for ourselves would control as respects earthly justice.

 

THE NECESSITY FOR THESE RESTRICTIONS

The things recommended by the Conference were necessary to a preservation of the Body of Christ, composed of Jews and Gentiles of different education and sentiments. Without discussing whether or not harm could come to the meats sold in the markets, by reason of pagan ceremonies in connection with the killing of animals, the Conference advised that these be abstained from, because Jews would certainly consider the eating of such meats as participation in heathen idolatry—even though from the broad standpoint of fact the idol, being nothing but wood or stone or metal, could neither profit nor injure the food. Nevertheless, it was advisable that the Gentile Christians abstain from the use of their liberty in this direction, [R5892 : page 138] out of deference to the weaker brethren, Jews and Gentiles, who could not so deeply philosophize and whose consciences might be injured.

A similar thought attaches to the prohibition of the use of blood. To the Jew it was forbidden. (Leviticus 17:10-14.) Under the Law Covenant, blood was made a symbol of life; and to partake of it would therefore imply responsibility for the life taken. Moreover, in the typical ceremonies of the Law the prohibited blood was used as a symbol to represent the sin-offering; for atonement for sins was effected by the blood. To emphasize these typical lessons the Jew had been forbidden to use blood. There may be other reasons, sanitary or otherwise, connected therewith, but not yet known to us.

These prohibitions had never come to the Gentiles; for they had never been under the Law Covenant. But so deeply rooted were the Jewish ideas on this subject that it was necessary to the peace of the Church that the Gentiles should observe this matter also. The things strangled meant animals taken in traps, whose blood was not shed, or drained out by bleeding to death, as the Jewish Law required of all meats that were to be eaten. This restriction was necessary to the harmony between the two branches of Spiritual Israel—that which came from Judaism and that which came from the Gentiles—previously separated by the Law Covenant. If the Gentile brethren did not wish to be contentious and cause division in the Church, they would surely be willing to restrain or sacrifice their liberty respecting these matters.

The last restriction specified was harlotry. The idol worship which prevailed at the time of our Study had connected with it a great deal of sensuality, which would be contrary to the Spirit of Christ in every sense of the word. It is difficult, however, to understand why one moral precept should be thus separated from others and placed on the list with ceremonial requirements. We incline to ask why were not included profanity, drunkenness, idolatry, adultery, false witness, murder, etc. Are we to understand that the Gentiles are free to commit all crimes not stipulated by this Conference?

Surely not! Rather, all the requirements of the Law are included in the one Law of the New Creation—Love for God and man. Love would cover profanity, murder, theft, false witness, adultery; but the Law of Love would not so thoroughly cover the items enumerated by the Council at Jerusalem. We are to recognize that the Apostles were Divinely authorized to bind things on earth; and that they were so guided in their public utterances that they bound nothing unnecessarily, nothing contrary to the Divine will. It is our opinion, therefore, that these items thus superadded to the Law of Love should be observed by all Spiritual Israelites as representing the Divine will. As a matter of fact, nearly all the butchering for our markets is in harmony with the Jewish regulations, although many Jews decline to recognize this, and eat only such meats as have been inspected and approved by their rabbis.

 

GOOD RESULTS FROM THIS WISE COURSE

The message sent by the Conference to the Church at Antioch was received in faith by all, and caused great rejoicing in the Church. Harmony prevailed, unity of spirit, fellowship amongst the members. The secret of this lay in the fact that the Lord was recognized as having the supervision of the affairs of the Church, and as guiding her course and directing her way through the appointed channels, the Apostles.

Similarly today, where honesty of heart prevails amongst the Lord’s peoples, schisms, divisions, should be unknown. The Lord’s guidance and instruction should be sought—His Word through His Apostles. Moreover, since the Apostles fell asleep, the Lord has been pleased to use faithful brethren in the Church as finger-boards to indicate the right path, in harmony with His Word through the Apostles and Prophets. The thing necessary to each is the honest conscience, the humble spirit, and the pure heart.

We rejoice at the evidences that in the early Church there was such a spirit of broadmindedness as is represented in today’s Study. We rejoice to know that when an important subject was to be considered, with a view to discerning the mind of the Lord, there was full liberty granted for as much dispute or debate, in a proper manner, as was necessary to bring the entire subject before those who had it under consideration. There is a difference, however, between discussion inside the pale of faith and disputes outside that boundary. As St. Paul says, “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations”—do not receive him to dispute his doubts—what he does not believe. (Romans 14:1.) Let him have a full opportunity for hearing the faith discussed. If his doubts do not then disappear, he will probably drop out of the assembly.

 

AS TO WHO COMPOSE THE CHURCH

In harmony with this we are not to recognize disputes respecting the FOUNDATION PRINCIPLES of the Gospel of Christ. The Church is composed only of those who recognize the foundation—that Christ died for our redemption from sin and its penalty; that all who would share His blessings must accept the simple facts of His death for us and His resurrection by the power of God for our ultimate deliverance; and that then, in harmony with the desire to be His disciples, they must consecrate themselves fully to Him, to do His will and to serve His cause. These foundation principles of the Church of Christ are not subject to dispute. Those who reject these principles are not of the Church, and should not be heard in the Church. They are intruders—doubtless wolves in sheep’s clothing—of evil intentions and ultimate results.

But as respects discussions amongst those who are truly the Lord’s, opportunity for freedom of discussion on any point of importance, within reasonable limits, is absolutely necessary to spiritual health and progress. To shut it off means to crush proper activities of thought, and in many instances means to accumulate a force which would ultimately result in an explosion, which would be damaging in some respects at least. Let us remember the Golden Rule in this matter. Let us accord to others the same reasonable liberty, inside of foundation principles, that we would like to have them accord us, if our positions were reversed.

 

LIBERTY IS NOT LICENSE

Our Golden Text is a precious one. The value of true liberty amongst the Lord’s people cannot be over-estimated. It becomes a part of their very life. But because of a wrong conception of union, the spirit of true liberty was crushed out of the Church shortly after the Apostles fell asleep in death; and the Dark Ages resulted, with all their ignorance, superstition, blindness, persecution, etc. The Reformation movement of the Sixteenth Century was only a re-awakening of the spirit of liberty mentioned in our Text—liberty to think inside the foundation lines of the doctrines of Christ, liberty to believe as much or as little more, in harmony with this, as mental conditions and circumstances will permit, without being branded a heretic or persecuted by brethren, either in word or in deed.  [R5892 : page 139]

Strange to say, a peculiar combination of too much liberty and too little liberty is creeping over Christendom today. The too little liberty feature objects to any discussion of the doctrines of Christ and the teachings of the Apostles, for fear that some difference of opinion should be manifested. This is an endeavor to have an outward union without a union of heart and of head. The general trend along this line favors the covering over, the concealment, of truths as well as of errors, in the wrong assumption that the appearance of union will serve the purpose of real union, and will be really effective as respects the prosperity of the true members of the Body of Christ. Such a false union is coming, however, and will cause prosperity in the nominal Church, but only for a brief season. The culmination of the Time of Trouble will overwhelm all.

On the other hand, the too great liberty feature is that represented by the teachings of Higher Critics and Evolutionists. Any attempt to contradict these unscriptural doctrines is tabooed, as tending to stir up strife and thus to destroy the unity of the Church. Thus the too great liberty and the too great bondage features are working together in the nominal church systems to expel and ostracize the Truth and all who love it, all who wish to “stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.” Let all who are the Lord’s people and who have tasted of true Christian liberty see to it that they stand fast in that liberty; and as soon as an attempt is made to restrain their liberty, if not sooner, let them get completely out from all the bondages of human systems, in order that they may stand firmly and loyally with the Lord, our Redeemer, our Instructor, our King.

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This app is a great resource for all Jehovah’s Witnesses, for those that love Jehovah, it answers a lot of questions that you might never thought about.

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The History goes back to late 19th century when Charles Taze Russell established the Watchtower and Tract Society, started to publish the bimonthly Magazine – The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom, and then a series of 6 volumes were published that reviled all errors introduced by Satan in his agents. After Brother Russell’s death major changes happened at the Watchtower. Read more in this app to learn of our history and teachings.

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How are Bible Students connected to the Early Watchtower?

Who are the Bible Students? Where do they come from? These are questions frequently asked by those who seek to identify this movement and its origins. This special issue of The Herald is an expansion of an earlier edition and is meant to answer these queries.

Seeking to place the Bible Student movement in a Read more…

November 19, Wed Study – Join Us – THY KINGDOM COME – Volume 3 of Studies in the Scriptures

Call Phone # (267) 507-0240 After connecting dial pin#: 991337 Prepare for the lesson by reading or hearing by clicking here .

The study begins promptly at 7:00 pm Central time (8:00 pm Eastern & 5:00 pm West Coast). It is best to call in 5 or 10 minutes early to Read more…

1914 – 100 Year Anniversary – Listen to Bible Students as they discuss this topic at the 2014 Arkansas Convention

Listen to this 3 Part Study by clicking here: Select “David Doran – Convention Study on Times of the Gentiles” Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.

Click here for handouts.

David Doran – Study-Gentile Times (Handout 1)

David Doran – Study-Gentile Times (Handout 2)

 

More notes to consider:

Luke 21:24 – “Jerusalem shall Read more…

WHY DID THE JW ORGANIZATION CHANGE THEIR VIEW ON THE EVIL SLAVE CLASS?

In the late 1920s, The Watchtower Organization began to identify the Bible Students who had left the organization as the evil slaves (documentation below). Yet in 2013, the Governing Body eliminated the “evil slaves” as a class, instead applying it as a hypothetical danger to the composite Faithful Slave, which they say has never become Read more…

ARE THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES CHANGING THEIR NAME TO “BIBLE STUDENTS?”

ARE THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES CHANGING THEIR NAME TO “BIBLE STUDENTS?”

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? In 1931, at a Columbus Ohio Convention, with great fanfare, J. F. Rutherford introduced a name change from “Bible Students” to “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” The real reason, we think was to differentiate themselves to the public and brethren from the Bible Students Read more…

1917 Letter to Bible Students from Brother Russell’s Board of Directors who were Ousted by J. F. Rutherford

Letter dated July 27, 1917 to the Bible Students from the majority of the Board of Directors appointed by Brother Russell – J. D. Wright, A. I. Ritchie, I. F. Hoskins and R. H. Hirsh

Dear Brethren,

A situation of such seriousness has arisen in the management of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society Read more…

Is the JW Songbook Really Singing Praise to the Faithful Slave (Governing Body)?

Does the JW Organization believe it is good to extend our worship of praise beyond Jehovah and Jesus and also to the men known as the Faithful Slave (or Governing Body)?

You can find the JW Songbook here: Sing to Jehovah Book

What do you think of these songs? Do you agree with the Read more…

JW BOOK – “GOD’S KINGDOM RULES” – NEW LIGHT OR DAMAGE CONTROL?

UPDATED WITH MORE LINKS TO RELATED INFORMATION – Oct 1, 2014

This year (2014) the Jehovah’s Witnesses Organization published a new book, “God’s Kingdom Rules,” which will be studied by JWs around the world starting in early 2015. This new book attempts to harmonize the organizations teachings, mission and activities from the early days Read more…

Intelligent Design or Evolution – Is Jehovah the Creator?

Followers of Jehovah today are bombarded on every side with agnostic and atheistic philosophies that erode faith. In science, the theory of evolution is embraced by many as the best explanation of man’s existence on earth, of course without the necessity of a supposed mythical creator. However, in recent decades the scientific debate over the Read more…

Bible Student Baptism Service – How Different from a JW Baptism Service

What is a Bible Student Baptism service like? How is it different form a JW Baptism Service? What are we baptized into? What questions are asked of the candidate? What requirements are there?

In 1985 the JW baptism questions changed, with the candidate having to announce their desire to become associated with an Organization. The Read more…

Listen to a Bible Student Convention – Topic: 1914 and the Times of the Gentiles – August 9-10, 2014

You can now listen to the recordings of the Associated Bible Students of Central Ohio Topical Study Weekend August 9-10, 2014. The topic for the weekend Convention about “1914 – Its Lessons and Impact.”

The Speakers were Br. John Baker, Br. Ed Bushlus, Br. Wes Cramer, Br. Ric Cunningham, and Br. Steve Palmgren.

Read more…

Bible Resources – Audio, Video, eBooks, Trivia Game and more!

Amazing Bible Resources! Contains, eBooks, audio, video, Bible trivia game, Studies in the Scriptures, Expanded Biblical Commentary and much more. All Available on the interment or mobile APPS for Android, Itunes, Ipads, etc. Over 15,000 talks/discourses to listen to – just type a topic or speaker and find. Listen to the Studies in the Scriptures Read more…

How a Bible Student Family Copes with the Rape of 15 Year Old Daughter

How would you cope with the rape of your 15 year old daughter? Or how would you cope if you were the victim? Are you a member of a JW family that was struck with the tragedy of sexual assault on yourself or a family member? How did you deal with it? How did your Read more…

Join Us Live – International Bible Students Convention – August 5 thru 10, 2014

The 17th International Convention of Bible Students will be held from Tuesday evening August 5 through Sunday August 10, 2014 in Szczyrk, Poland.

The convention will be broadcast live on the Internet.

There is a new website (in English) with the Program, Adobe Connect Broadcast links and General Information for the International Convention Read more…

Jesus Returns Invisibly – Day of the Lord Comes as a Thief

CLICK HERE TO READ => JESUS INVISIBLE RETURN

“. . . the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night . . . But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thess. 5:2-4.

To many Christians, the second coming of Christ Read more…

LISTEN TO THE 2014 BIBLE STUDENTS GENERAL CONVENTION JULY 19-24

Would you like to experience a convention where hundreds of Bible Students from all around the USA and even the world meet together? These Bible Students believe what was taught by the early Watchtower in 1916 and prior, in the days of Pastor Russell. Envision the feeling of freedom to be able to fellowship openly Read more…

Revelation 20:5 (NASV) “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed”

A common view by many Christians, based on Rev. 20:5, is that the resurrection and a quick judgment of mankind will occur at the end of the 1,000 years. The judgment is considered a formality since it is believed that the trembling sinner is judged hell based on his behavior before he died and he Read more…

HOW CAN I EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF JEHOVAH IN MY LIFE?

Psalms 16:11 (NASV) “11 You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

While Psalms 16 primarily applies to Jesus; as His body members, we share in these promises.

Our Lord has Read more…

SALVATION BY CHRIST OR AN ORGANIZATION? DOES THE GOVERNING BODY EQUATE THEMSELVES WITH JESUS?

Let’s see what the JW Organization itself says about this question.

“The anointed and their other sheep companions recognize that by following the lead of the modern-day Governing Body, they are in fact following their Leader, Christ.” Watchtower 2010 Sep 15 p.23

“A mature Christian must be in unity and full harmony with fellow Read more…

Bible Prophecies being Fulfilled Today through Armageddon and the Kingdom

Dozens of Bible Prophecies are yet to be fulfilled between now – Armageddon and the setting up of the earthly Kingdom. What are these prophecies? What will happen. Listen by clicking here:

Click here to look at the Prophetic Timeline Chart

Listen – The Christian Church in the Early Centuries to the Dark Ages – Rev 12

Listen to this two part talk covering the development of the Church through the early centuries and into the Dark Ages, as the pure Church turns into the Apostate Church. While Christianity converted the world, the world converted Christianity. See how Revelation 12 relates to this topic.

Click here to listen: In The Wilderness part Read more…

A Great Shaking — Then a New Heavens and a New Earth

“For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land.’” Haggai 2:6 NAS

Our world certainly seems to be shaking these days. On every level—whether economic, political, social or religious—conditions are very shaky. Since Read more…

They Egyptian Abydos Tablet contains the Genealogy from Adam to Noah to Ham

Listen to Ric Cunningham talk about The Abydos Tablet by clicking here

The Egyptian Abydos Tablet contains the genealogy from Adam to Noah to Ham.

You can find an electronic image of the Abydos Tablet with the genealogy by clicking here:

In Read more…

Order Free Book – Charles Taze Russell is not the Founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses

Quoting form author Kenneth Rawson, in his book, Pastor Russell the Founder of the Bible Students, not the Jehovah’s Witnesses (2nd Edition), we read the following:

With all the Internet exchange of information, Jehovah’s Witnesses are beginning to realize that the image of Judge Rutherford is a liability and they are out to minimize Read more…

Was Charles Taze Russell a Fraud and False Prophet?

The following article is taken from the book, “Pastor Russell: Messenger of Millennial Hope.” Chapter 8, page 227.

The Pastor a Fraud and False Prophet?

Many of the allegations made against Pastor Russell under this category are sweeping and Read more…

What Does it mean to be Baptized into Christ?

Click here to watch baptism service video

TYPES OF BAPTISM PRACTICED IN THE CHURCHES:

There is more than one type of baptism practiced in the Christian world. There is:

Sprinkling or Pouring on the Head Infant Baptism Submersion under water.

Sprinkling or pouring water on the head

There are no scriptures in the Read more…

Celebrating the Memorial – Listen to the Conference Call Here

LISTEN TO THE RECORDING BY CLICKING HERE:

Read the handout “Pictures of Jesus’ Sacrifice” by clicking here:

 

Bible Student Elder, David Stein previously led a round table discussion on this topic. Joining him will be Bible Student Elders Ric Cunningham and Len Griehs.

How did the Early Church celebrate the Memorial? How Read more…

How Does the Holy Spirit Work?

For the Christian, the Holy Spirit is a sacred part of our faith. It was promised to us in the absence of Jesus as a comforter, a guide, a teacher and even an intercessor. It is a true evidence of one who has been called, chosen and working towards being faithful. So, how does the Read more…

100 Years Ago… The Photo Drama of Creation

 

A world war unprecedented in history broke out. Another unprecedented event occurred. The film, THE PHOTO DRAMA OF CREATION premiered; making 1914 a year that will never be forgotten!

As the twentieth century dawned many new social and religious changes were being proclaimed. Modernism and humanism were gaining control of theological thinking. The Read more…

War in Heaven – Michael The Archangel verses the Dragon

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels” (Revelation 12:7).

Those who have studied the Book of Revelation will recognize this familiar phrase, “War in Heaven,” from the 12th chapter. It is a fascinating Read more…

JW Aunt Accuses Nephew of Apostasy for Asking Questions

Here is the true story of a JW aunt that disowned her niece and nephew over a charge of Apostasy. The names have been changed to protect the privacy of the hurt and injured. We have permission to publish the email correspondence. This exchange of emails occurred in September of 2013.

First is the Read more…

Why The Trinity Doctrine Disrespects God

The human psyche, unfortunately, lends itself to all sorts of unreasoned loyalties. Loyalty to groups and loyalty to ideas are two examples. Consider the extreme emotional bonds people can have for their football team, basketball team, etc. Would any of them ever ask what the point of it was?

Read more…

Should the Governing Body be Questioned and Put to the Test?

Keefa contributed and interesting comment that we present below slightly modifed. We do not mean to cause offense to those highly respect and regard the Jehovah’s Witness Governing Body. However, what we do want to do is raise the question, how can any religious group know Read more…

The Battle of Armageddon

For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. . . . And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.—Revelation 16:14-16

Read more…

How Do We Manage Guilt?

Proverbs 24:16: (NASB) For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, but the wicked stumble in time of calamity.

We have all made mistakes in our lives and we have all had the experience of carrying those mistakes with us often unnecessarily in the form of guilt. Left unattended, guilt like this can Read more…

How Jesus Comforts

“I will not leave you comfortless [or orphans]: I will come to you.” – John 14:18.

IN THESE words of the Savior we have an “I will not” and an “I will” in close and significant conjunction. One seems to show us the negative, and the other the positive side of Christ’s love. The Read more…

What Should We Pray For?

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7 NASB).

In prayer, we can praise, thank, and make requests of God. Is it proper to ask God to improve our health or to provide us a car so Read more…

Are Prophetic Date Predicters False Prophets?

Fundamentalist Christians take a hard line on setting dates for the second advent of Christ. Failed date-setters are labeled as “false prophets.” What are the Read more…

Archaeology Proves Our Bible is True

In our era of scientific and technological advancement, many question how our Bible written 2000-4000 years ago could possibly be true. However, Biblical Archaeology confirms that the Bible is true. How? The people, locations and events of history in the Bible have, metaphorically speaking, left footprints in the sands of history. Archaeology is the process Read more…

Revelation : Breaking the Symbolic Code

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.” —Revelation 1:1

The Book of Revelation is a prophetic picture of the experiences and purpose of the Christian Age. Read more…

All the Nations Shall Be Blessed (Even natural Israel?)

All the Nations Shall Be Blessed

Indeed I will greatly … multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore.—Genesis 22:17, NASB

The Abrahamic promise is one of the most comprehensive covenants in the Bible: “By myself I have sworn, declares the Read more…

NEW LIGHT ON IDENTITY OF “FAITHFUL AND DISCREET SLAVE”

The July 15 2013 “Study Edition” reveals “new light” unveiled at the October 5th 2012 Annual Meeting, at which it was announced that the Governing Body is now considered the “faithful and discreet slave” – the spiritual overlords of the nearly 8 million Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide.

You can find the July15, 2013 Watchtower Study Read more…

June 29 – JW Elder’s Policies for Discipline & Disfellowship Compared to the Bible – Conference Call

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE RECORDING OF THE CONFERENCE CALL.

On Saturday evening, June 29, Bible Student Elder, David Stein will lead a round table discussion on this topic. Joining him will be other Bible Student Elders Ric Read more…

JESUS APPEARED TO MOSES IN THE BURNING BUSH???

Didn’t Jehovah/Yahweh appear to Moses in the burning bush? What kind of crazy talk is this to ask if maybe Jesus appeared to Moses in the burning bush? Fasten your seat belts guys! Brace yourself for turbulence and excitement! This is an amazing study!

Hebrews 1: (NKJV) 10 And: “You, LORD, in the beginning laid Read more…

MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL DISPUTES WITH SATAN ABOUT THE BODY OF MOSES

Michael the Archangel and Satan disputed about the body of Moses. Perhaps Satan was interested in preserving Moses body by like the Egyptian mummies of the Pharaoh’s. Satan could have used Moses body as an object of worship and a stumbling block for natural Israel to bring God’s wrath against them. With such a danger, Read more…

When will Babylon the Great Collapse?

Listen to “When will Babylon Collapse?” by clicking below:

When Will Babylon Collapse

Rev 16(NKJV)

12  Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of Read more…

Deaing with Worry and Anxiety

Matthew 6:27: (NASB) And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?

We all worry and we all get anxious at times. Well, if we are really people of faith, then shouldn’t that faith override our worry? The answer is that in an ideal situation, yes, faith Read more…

When Family members leave the JW Organization-Should they be Shunned?

“Although the Bible makes a clear distinction between true and false teachings, God allows each person the freedom to choose how he or she will respond. (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20) No one should be forced to worship in a way that he finds unacceptable or be made to choose between his beliefs and his family. Does Read more…

JW’s Honest Questions Lead to Isolation and Disfellowship, Then Finally to Answers, Joy and Fellowship

 

Here is the publication of the story of Kent from Sweden by his own hand.

Searching for the true God and the meaning of life.

I grew up in the 70s. My childhood was filled with mixed emotions Read more…

2013 BIBLE STUDENTS GENERAL CONVENTION JULY 20-25 – JOIN US ONLINE

Listen to Recordings of the 2013 General Convention Here:

Find more General Conventions here. Scroll to bottom:

 

WHO HAS A COVENANT RELATIONSHIP WITH JEHOVAH?

Do you and I have a covenant relationship with Jehovah?

Does Jesus make a New Covenant with His followers?

What other covenants did Jehovah make with people?

How do they all interrelate?

The answers to these questions may surprise you. The early Watchtower had this all figured out in the days Read more…

Who is Michael the Archangel?

Click here for the new and updated article: Who is Michael the Archangel 2014_08_27

Below is the older version of the article which is less complete.

Is Michael the Archangel Jesus or is Michael just a mighty angel? Does the Read more…

How J. F. Rutherford Consolidated Dictitorial Power

Click here for this amazing historical book from 1930 – Desolations of the Sanctuary 1929

This book chronicles the doctrinal and prophetic changes Rutherford made and explains how these changes were all for the purpose of transferring influence from Russell to Rutherford and for consolidating dictatorial power around the new movement, later Read more…

Can you help us to find a copy of the Will of Charles Taze Russell?

In 1907, Pastor Russell had executed his Last Will and Testament, which was amended slightly the following year, again in 1910 and once more in 1911. Copies of these Will’s have ever been made available to the public or the brethren. Yes, the 1907 Will was published in a 1916 Watchtower, however, we don’t have Read more…

Everything about Prayer

Click here to read the Herald Magazine issue, dedicated to the topic, PRAYER.

Prayer has been defined as the soul’s sincerest desire, either uttered or unexpressed. It is one of the most important blessings and privileges enjoyed by the Christian. It is one of the most powerful tools available to the follower Read more…

Shame

Shame is such a weird emotion. If I’m alone and make a mistake, I might feel aggravated with myself. If the mistake is a sin, I will feel guilty. But if I make the same mistake when I am with others, I will feel embarrassment and shame. The feeling of shame results as a response Read more…

Mobile Apps – Text & Audio – Bible, Talks, Studies in the Scriptues and more

Many mobile apps are available in different formats. Find them in the Right Panel of this website under the heading “Mobile Aps.”

For example, click here for a Mobile App called “Christian Resources.“

May 18 – “After Armaggedon” – Who will Survive? Who will be Destroyed?

LISTEN TO RECORDING BY CLICKING HERE:

On Saturday evening, May 18, Bible Student Elder, David Stein will lead a round table discussion on this topic. Joining him will be other Bible Students Jim Parkinson, Ric Cunningham and Jeff Mezera.

Read ” AFTER ARMAGEDDON ” to discover a brighter result of this Read more…

ANGELS & DEMONS IN THE WORLD TODAY

Bible Student Elder, Ric Cunningham talks about Angels and Demons in the World today. What are the Demons doing today? Who are they, fallen angels or the ghosts of dead people? Where do Demons come from? Do the demons have anything to do with influences in our culture, like UFOs, Wicca (white witches), music, movies, Read more…

What Happens on Judgment Day?

Judgment Day! The very sound of the phrase previews an ominous picture in the minds of most. Judgment day: a day of great regret, great wrath, great sorrow and great reward, both for the righteous and the unrighteous. All will receive what is coming to them on Judgment Day – the question is – Read more…

April 20 – Early Watchtower History – Russell, Rutherford, Bible Students – Old Light vs. New Light

LISTEN TO THE RECORDING BY CLICKING HERE:

On Saturday evening, April 20, Bible Student Elder, David Stein will lead a round table discussion on this topic. Joining him will be the three Early Watchtower Historians below:

Jim Parkinson: Bible Scholar, Translator and early Watchtower Historian

Eric Patterson: Since first going online in 1996, Eric Read more…

THE ORIGINAL INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION… STILL ALIVE AND WELL

Mark Twain once said, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” The same can be said of the association of International Bible Students. It has often been reported that we died off back in the days of J.F. Rutherford. Actually, we have existed continuously since the days of Brother Charles Taze Russell to the Read more…

Audio – Early Watchtower Brothers Speak. These Elders Knew Charles Taze Russell

Talks of Elders who were friends of and knew Charles Taze Russell are available to listen to. CLICK HERE TO SELECT. We want to encourage the friends, by sharing these discourses from faithful brethren of the past who were filled with the Lord’s spirit.

A number of the older recordings have some technical issues which Read more…

Topical Scripture Study Aid

Click here for this topical Bible Study Aid

Also click here for another aid.

Thy Word is Truth A Reference for Bible Students A classified collection of Scriptures and references on various subjects and helpful charts for handy reference.

Read more…

Jesus is Risen! (listen now)

Listen to JESUS IS RISEN by clicking here:

There have been many world changing events in human history. The printing press made knowledge accessible to the masses. The light bulb literally illuminated man’s course and fed an industrial revolution which brought previously unthinkable invention and convenience to many. Penicillin protected life in a new way. Read more…

Listen to: What is so Special about Palm Sunday?

Matthew 21:5: (NASB) “Say to the daughter of Zion, Behold your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.“ The events of the Sunday before Jesus’ crucifixion were monumental. They not only began the culminating process for the greatest human Read more…

Do it yourself Memorial Script – How to celebrate with a group or by yourself

Find more about the Memorial by clicking here:

Here is a script of a Memorial service that you can use for your Congregation orlittle group or even just yourself.

First ask everyone to “Please make sure that all cell phones are silent or turned off.”

Here is the text of the service and the Read more…

Jesus Last Days and His Foremost Concerns

“Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, Read more…

Does the Greek Word “Theos” and the Hebrew Word “Elohim” Prove the Trinity? Is Jesus the Great “I AM?”

There is no scripture in the Bible that says that God is composed of three persons. We know that Jehovah/Yahweh is the one true God and this was clearly taught in the Old Testament to distinguish the True God from false gods. This does not mean that Yahweh is the only “elohim” or “theos” (Hebrew Read more…

How Do We Manage Guilt?

We have all made mistakes in our lives and we have all had the experience of carrying those mistakes with us often unnecessarily in the form of guilt. Left unattended, guilt like this can turn to shame which can bring darkness. How does a Christian overcome deep and debilitating guilt and shame over past mistakes? Read more…

Crossing the Bridge From Daniel’s Time to the Time of the End (Daniel 11 verse by verse)

Read an explanation of Daniel 11 (World History) by clicking here:Daniel_11_JUNE_2005

The prophecy of Daniel 11 is a bridge between ancient Israel and End Times. End time prophecy has three principal sources: the Book of Daniel, our Lord Jesus’ Great Prophecy in Matthew 24 and the Book of Revelation. There are also many Read more…

Why I am a Bible Student

Click here to check out this link for a very interesting article written by Daniel Torluemke, a Bible Student, in response to Robert C. Hill, ThB’S article “Why I Am Not A Bible Student”

Bible Students are not a sectarian organization. We are organized like the Early Church and the Bible Students at the Read more…

The Future Battle for Jerusalem

Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.–Jeremiah 46:28

Read more…

The Great Crowd – Who Are They?

Bible Student Elder, David Stein, discusses the doctrine of the Great Crowd (Great Company). Who are they? What does the Bible say about the Great Crowd? Where are they mentioned in the Bible besides Revelation 7. What do the other scriptures in the Bible have to say about this group and how does this help Read more…

Did Jesus Die on A Cross or A Stake?

Though the Bible does not specifically describe the instrument that Jesus died upon, tradition has it that he was put to death on a cross consisting of a stake and a crossbeam. The Greek stauros is sometimes used to describe a simple stake, and other times a more complex form such as the cross. To Read more…

Does God Forgive Suicide?

Listen to “Does God Forgive Suicide?” by clicking here:

Psalms 38:4: (NASB) For my iniquities are gone over my head; As a heavy burden they weigh too much for me. Life is difficult – it is full of trials, tragedies and trauma. Sometimes it overflows with grief and pain. For most of us, there is Read more…

Is the Great Pyramid the Bible in Stone or part of Satanic Worship?

LISTEN TO THE RECORDING BY CLICKING HERE:

On Saturday evening, February 9, former JW and Bethelite, and now a Bible Student Elder, David Stein will lead a round table discussion on this topic. Joining him will be Bible Student Elders Russ Shallieu and Todd Alexander. Todd was part of a research group that spent Read more…

What Rights and Privacy should Children Have?

Proverbs 13:24: (NASB) He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.

 

Children are people too! Yes they are, but what does that really mean in terms of raising them? After all, they are children, and the object is for them to become adults – real, Read more…

Depressed but Not Forsaken

You’re exhausted. The day has just started, and already you’re tired. Everything feels like a burden. Nothing really interests you or makes you happy. Sometimes you eat too much, sometimes too little. Prayer is hard. You really can’t focus on studying. Talking to the brethren is tough because you have nothing much to say. Nobody Read more…

Without fanfare, Jehovah’s Witnesses quietly soften position on blood transfusions

Tom Blackwell, National Post Staff | Dec 20, 2012 9:59 PM ET

For years, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ fiercely held belief that blood transfusions are contrary to God’s will led to emotional and very public disputes, hospitals clashing with parents over whether to infuse sick children.

That long history of messy legal confrontations appears to be Read more…

Bethel Sister Reveals Truth about Russell, Rutherford and Bible Students

Listen to a recording of Sister Cora Sumdbom telling her story of experiences at the Bethel in the days of Pastor Charles T Russell and the early days of the Watchtower Society. She talks about the brethren’s meals, discussions, studies, work and interactions with each other and with a kind, gentle, funny, engaging, warm and Read more…

Unto Us a Child Is Born – The Story of Jesus’ Birth

For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder.—Isaiah 9:6

One day, in the tiny village of Bethlehem, not far from the old site of the Garden of Eden, a descendant of mother Eve, a young woman named Mary, bears her firstborn son. Read more…

Sunday December 23 – Live Talk about “Jesus’ Birth and Why He Died”

LISTEN TO THE RECORDING BY CLICKING HERE:

On Sunday morning, December 23, the Chicago Bible Students would like to invite you to a live Internet PowerPoint Talk entitled “The Story and Purpose of Jesus Birth.” This heartwarming story has touched all of our hearts like no other story. On different occasions, angels had Read more…

Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre – Why does God Permit Human Suffering?

Thus says the LORD: “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.” Jeremiah 31:15

The grief of parents in the Newtown area is beyond words. There is no real comfort at the moment, just Read more…

If Mary and Joseph used Facebook

Click this link and enjoy

 

Find more information about Christmas here:

January 30 Wednesday night Study – THE DAY OF JEHOVAH

Call Phone # 213-226-0400. After connecting dial pin#: 991337

Prepare for the lesson by reading chapter 14 by clicking here or by hearing the audio chapter 14 by clicking here:

The study begins promptly at 7:00 pm Central time (8:00 pm Eastern & 5:00 pm West Coast). It is best to call in 5 Read more…

Is Israel Fulfilling Bible Prophecy Today???

Consider this question: If Jehovah has rejected the Jews (natural Israel) and has cast them out of their land forever, how then, in these end times, have they defied Jehovah and returned to their land establishing a nation, against His will? Is that a reasonable conclusion? No. Had Jehovah been against the Jews, Read more…

Did the Apostle Paul believe that the Jews (natural Israel) were Rejected by Jehovah Forever?

Romans 11:1 (New World Translation)

“I ask, then, God did not reject his people, did he? Never may that happen!”

Let us see how Paul continues to answer this questions in Romans 11.

* In Rom 11:7, 8 shows that the nation of Israel did not obtain what it sought. Paul goes on in Read more…

Liberty & Justice for All

“… the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings… to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound…” — Isaiah 61:1

No matter what noble struggles the nations have made toward freedom, as long as there is sin and death, we have no real and lasting Read more…

Watch Video – Israel’s Tabernacle, Its Symbols and Meaning – also Read Book and Listen to Conference Call

Now available, the video, by clicking here:

Read all about Israel’s tabernacle by clicking on the electronic book here: Tabernacle Book_7-19-12

This book is a guide to understanding the message behind the mystery.

Read more in Brother Russell’s book Tabernacle Shadows by clicking here:

 

 

 

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO RECORDING Read more…

Many Chinese People are now Learning the Divine Plan of the Ages

Due to several amazing overruling providences, Brothers Todd Alexander and Benjamin Stein were able to distribute 1,512 Chinese Illustrated First Volumes (Divine Plan of the Ages) in Taipei Taiwan during a ten-day period that ended Sunday October 28th. The Volumes are very attractive and the illustrations ensured an unusually high acceptance rate among Chinese Christians Read more…

Was Charles Taze Russell associated with the Occult and Pyramidology?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An Occultic Pyramidologist?

This is an accusation that is not infrequently heard: Pastor Russell, by incorporating the measurements and lay out of the Great Pyramid in his teachings, was thereby guilty of occultic practices. Randall Watters asserts:

“Among the most obvious of Read more…

Richard Rawe, Our Dear Brother and Friend, Passed Away

Death of Richard Raw from Barbara Anderson post:

Richard and his wife Frances were very dear friends. Richard had a significant stroke last week and died in his sleep at home last Friday night. He will be sorely missed by his family and hundreds of friends. We know we’ll miss his phone calls. He had Read more…

IS THE GOVERNING BODY THE FAITHFUL AND DISCREET SLAVE?

Find more discussion about the Governing Body by clicking here:

Recently, the Governing Body has modified the definition of the Faithful and Discreet Slave to exclusively apply to themselves and to not include the thousands of other anointed.

In the past, Jehovah’s Witnesses have believed that The Faithful and Discreet Slave is the collective Read more…

Was Charles Taze Russell a Mason / Freemason?

Bedfellows with Freemasons?

The charge has been advanced that Pastor Russell and the Bible Students are connected With the Free masons and that both groups are to be condemned because they are occult in nature. The occult reference is used to describe both the secrecy aspect of their respective beliefs as well as the Read more…

Will Israel Survive the End Times?

Table of Contents Will Israel Survive the End Times? Replacement Theology vs. God’s Promises Will Only 1/3 of Living Jews be Saved? Anti-Semitism–and the New Anti-Semitism Is there any Hope for Israel? Living in Messianic Times Promise to Abraham to Bless All A Chosen People–with Responsibility A New Covenant with Judah and Israel Read more…