Do the Bible Students have a governing body?

Here is the Governing Body of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. 

Although the Bible Students are few in numbers, they are spread all over the world—America, Canada, England, France, Germany, Lithania, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, India, Africa, Brazil, South America, etc.. . . .Generally, when possible, they are gathered together in “ecclesias.” This word “ecclesia” comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is a compound of  “a calling out” and translated “church” in most common versions of the New Testament (Strong’s Concordance #1577).

Does the Bible Students Movement have a governing body? If not, why not?

The Bible Students do not have a governing body.  As far as the Scriptures go, there has only been one governing body: the Apostles. And they were really only set up as a group for the foundation and establishment of the Church.  They were NOT to lord it over the members of the Church, but rather begin the instruction of it as Jesus and God had taught them. “…not as being lords over those entrusted to you, but as being examples to the flock….” 1 Pet. 1:3.  Such lording over the brethren was one of the earliest mistakes in the church and soundly condemned as being of the Nicolaitans in Revelation. (Rev 2:6)

The Apostles never claimed to a monopoly of the teaching nor of the pastoral work.  Paul, in fact, described the many talents among the brethren for which they alone were responsible to exercise in Eph. 4:11-15, and 1 Cor. 12:28, 29.

No one should limit our personal responsibilities to examine the Scriptures and to prove what is truth for ourselves.  To do so would be to disobey many Scriptural injunctions to examine the teachings from others to see if they square with what we already know to be true from the Bible.  The Bereans were commended for such caution and conscience before the Lord (Acts 17:10, 11).

Nowhere in the Bible is there authority given for any outside group of the various local ecclesias (churches / study groups).  There was no apostolic succession authorized and only the original 12 (Judas having been replaced by Paul, appointed directly by the Lord) were ever authorized in such a role.  Mark. 3:14, Rev. 21:12-14; 2:2

In fact, the early Church was given instruction how to handle their own affairs by electing, locally, elders and deacons to serve them, in Timothy and in Titus, with such qualifications outlined that the Church is thus responsible to monitor its leaders spiritual growth and behaviors as would benefit all.  In the case of conflict, our Lord outlines in Matt. 18:15-17, specific actions to take which do not include any outside the local ecclesia.

We realize that the “governing body” of the JWs doesn’t claim apostolic authority, but their actions and ruling, and indeed, the very term “governing” belie the lack of such a claim.  Even our elders and deacons are mere servants of the greater body and are subject to review on a regular basis for their own character’s benefit as well as the Church’s.

As Bible Students, we believe each and every individual is responsible for his or her own doctrinal belief, character development, and support of every other individual.  It isn’t as easy as having some greater [human] power telling us what to think and do, but then, we have great privilege to learn of Jehovah how to conduct our affairs in order to glorify Him.  Jehovah has provided us with the tools needed for our personal Christian growth, including the Bible, Holy Spirit and the prayer relationship with Him and His Son, Jesus Christ.  These tools are also to aid in the support and encouragment of all the body members of the Christ.

contributed by L.L.

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48 comments to Do the Bible Students have a governing body?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Jacqueline. It’s not easy. Just a point the date 1918 mentioned is not referenced in the talk of Frederick Franz with Raymond Franz commentary but is linked in the Way Jehovah’s Witnesses Interpret “How they were appointed”, “Over All Christ’s (Earthly) Belongings” regards Mt 24:45-47. It was based upon the “Food being correct” when inspected. Generally WT merely state “IT WAS” but fail to allow Witnesses to “examine the food back then in 1918.” Jehovah’s Witnesses never either think of this “test of the food” not what’s taught now but what was “taught then is basis.” Hence the claim that this is “Jehovah’s Spirit Appointed Organization today” rests with having been approved “in 1918” when Christ is alleged to have inspected them. Hence this is how the 2nd. Baptism Question is relevant in event can prove Christ would have “Rejected the Food” as incorrect then it does not matter what JW’S teach today they are NOT God’s Spirit Appointed Organization based on “Food in 1918 having been rejected” is simple facts.

    In other words what you effectively do is HOLD THEM TO THEIR TEACHING AND EXAMINE WHAT THEY TAUGHT IN 1918 THUS IF FOUND THOSE TEACHINGS ARE NOT TAUGHT NOW BECAUSE ERRED, THEN IT MEANS THEY WOULD BE ERRED THEN AS WELL AND “CHRIST WOULD HAVE KNOWN IT”, TRUE?

    The above is the “ONE TEST JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES NEVER DO.” “The Finished Mystery” printed in 1917 was their study book containing the “Food” in 1918 when Christ would have inspected them. Have you read this book? Very little in that book would be considered “food” today using WT standards hence Christ would have had to reject it. Hence they cannot be appointed as claimed. Hence the answer to “Baptism question” should be “NO”. That means they were deceived into getting Baptised and to Claim “God’s Organization” is fraudulent based upon what they taught then has since been rejected. The way they interpret the “New Light” does not save them either as the “Food was erred”, not clarified.

    I hope as a JW you should understand what have explained as it seems you have from your comments. In regard to a “Governing Body” that talk really does give supportive information to show there really was not a “Governing Body” in the First Century and how this question was linked to reasons to Disfellowship any whom had doubts of teaching in this area which is grossly wrong to enforce on error.

    The “Church and State” legal ruling also is flawed in part but that’s another complex constitution question like threading a “Camel through the eye of a needle” it’s almost impossible but not quite.

    Is your husband still a JW elder? Any difficulty? Does he sense something is or was not right if still a JW? Does he keep quite so as not to draw attention to self, or affected in a different way? I have some matters to attend to myself. I had trouble finding these comments even though only in last few weeks as you seem to have re-arranged your comments considerably, not having this question as recent question is there a reason for this? Take time to consume what Raymond Franz says on those pages of book which back up the talk in relation to a GB and compare with what have pointed out and application.

    The more you think about it from different angels it becomes more and more clear this is “Crux of JW error’s in their whole Central Teaching” and by removing this then you free up those held CAPTIVE. In the same way JW’S fought “freedom of religion” in the 40’s similar question of law can be asked in relation to the rank and file JW have been “Prohibited from Freedom of Worship” from within by an unscriptural GB and its enforced teaching which leads to disfellowshipping is an abuse. Declarations on the same principle basis are attainable on grounds of religious persecution within.

    One Jehovah’s Witnesses has just asked me upon certain court decisions which have just furnished her along with policy decisions affected. This is in relation to the change in policy as to WHY GB changed from “charging for books to contributions” and what’s behind the change and its ramifications which the average witness knows little in regard.

    Just revise my previous replies on various points and listen to that talk of Frederick Franz’s it’s an eye opener on refuting “Governing Body” erred thinking and putting the account in proper setting.

    An ex-elder wrote a book which also from a legal standpoint supports dismantling the 1918 date of appointment and throughly proves Watchtower Appointment is unsustainable how they teach it and uses the premises “Hold them Accountable” it is not necessary to prove the teaching wright but rather to “Hold them To their Own teaching” regards this appointment in 1918 and once proven Christ could not have appointed them then the above declarations are possible as the Organization and it’s GB are preventing JW’S free exercise of their religion from abuse preventing the Bible being followed as a result by means of internal discrimination violating all the points previously mentioned how congregations according to Russell in “The New Creation” Volume 6 rightly stated how congregations should function under Christ. This is the Anti-Christ the Organization at the TOP and it’s GB is an abuse.

    The book in question is CAPTIVES OF A CONCEPT and can also be purchased for I think less than $10.00 in PDF File Printable format by doing a search on net. It supports the concepts explained above in Concise Form that a Legal Person would grasp easily. It targets the 1918 date and removing Watchtower Authority by using their own material as they Interpret it against them to prove they are NOT GOD’S Organization hence making it easy to seek Declaration to appoint Trustees to Wind them up if pursued with a competent representative thus breaking up the GB and it’s strangle hold on Millions. It does say “Judgement Starts with the House of God”. Bethel Means “House of God”. Prophetic Justice? Christ did say the Anti-Christ must come first true? FOOD FOR THOUGHT???

    Go over the material “time and time again” so you get the sense of it and understand the “stepping stones of relevance”. The more you look at it from different ways it becomes conclusive that it must be right in refuting wrong use of scripture that the scriptures “Do NOT Support the Jehovah’s Witnesses Governing Body”. It follows neither than do they have any authority whatsoever to Direct an Entire World Organization Simply is an Misuse of Religious privilege that Christ did not authorize them to wit.

    Compare Acts 17:11 “examining scriptural account to see what is so” and what do you find out in relation to Luke 12:42-48 “with these contrasting examples”???

    Agape

    • Jacqueline

      Hi Br. Anonymous,
      I have read “Captives of a Concept” as well as all of Raymond’s books. I need to review them often tho.
      Many of the points you state are what many have been saying about taking away our freedom to research and read the Bible for ourselves.

      Hopefully some will get the courage and get this freedom from reading thoughts on this website.
      The BS have made it available so persons can talk freely about deep things in the Bible and get other viewpoints without fear of punishment in any way.
      For this I am personally grateful. This forum allows us to listen to comments like yours and others. God will bless them. They can’t even imagine how grown people have been intimidated. But sheep are that way.
      Thank you so much for your comment and I will listen to Br. Franz talk. I have been a little busy this last weeks.
      Agape and In Christ

  • Anonymous

    Jacqueline a “contributary update”. You say in effect Raymond Franz’s book’s helped you after reading them. In relation to his book “Crisis of Conscience” I don’t know which version you read, I have all 4, however the last version “Fourth Edition” I will quote from. The Question of a “Governing Body” comes up in a unique way in this Edition on pages 90-97 with the “crux” to the question appearing on page 96. In turn the question of “Disfellowshipping” for questioning GB teaching is “linked over this question” whether the “Governing Body” is scriptural and that “any whom question” are to be disfellowshipped and their years of Service “blotted out” all over the “Sanctioned Right of Freedom of Speech” which Jehovah’s Witnesses went to the Supreme Court to establish that right but not for it’s “internal Witnesses that right is taken away” by this “Policy”.

    In Raymond Franz’s book on page 91 in it’s “footnote 8” on bottom of page it states: “A tape recording of this entire talk, with accompanying brief observations, is now available through Commentary Press.” [End of quote] The talk mentioned was a talk given on the 7th September 1975 by then Vice President of the Watchtower Frederick Franz. It was reproduced by Raymond and given editorial comments by himself as to it’s significance, in relation to the two questions a “Governing Body and “Disfellowshipping of any if they dared to question such teaching” as which occurred soon after and ever since to any whom have doubts thereafter.

    The Edited reproduction “hits the nail on the head” in answering both the question and the flow on and is entitled: WAS THERE A 1ST CENTURY “GOVERNING BODY”? Raymond’s uncle Fred Franz re-examined the “Apostolic Example” and referenced scripture pertaining to them “not to use to disprove a governing body” but rather to “attempt to ward off a challenge to the then President Nathan Knorr” by the enlarged version of the Governing Body whom wanted to have a “larger say” and to bring into effect what they were claiming this so called “Governing Body” was a “central group of men of which they were suppose to be that group of men” and they wanted “changes at the TOP for this to take effect” in Practice. Fred Franz strenuously attempted to ward off the Challenge to the President’s authority to make Final Decisions and thus used the information in this way to in effect say “Christ put his man in charge” that being the “President” and “not the rest”. In presenting his arguement he completely distroyed the “Governing Body teaching” and “Raymond Franz” points out that the references used were “completely backed up by scriptures” he quoted which in effect proved there was “NO GOVERNING BODY” but they were used in a different way to attempt to promote the Preseident as having an authority similar to that of Paul whom “did not answer to the Apostles in Jerusalem”, which incidently may help to understand further the points I made in relation to Paul in my other comments above.

    I just checked that Raymond Franz’s site still offer’s this talk but only in “mp3 audio file form” for $4.50 at commentarypress.com hence because it addresses the question “WAS THERE A 1ST CENTURY GOVERNING BODY”? it is perhaps the topic for a THIRD ARTICLE CONTRIBUTION WHICH IF HANDLED SCRIPTURALLY FROM THE CONTEXT GIVEN MAY ANSWER THE FIRST FEW ARTICLES for both “Bible Students and Jehovah’s Witnesses” to give “BOTH” extra grounds to note what the context in the scriptures strongly indicate in this area that in the FIRST CENTURY NEITHER THE APOSTLE PAUL OR BARNABAS THOUGHT THERE WAS A GOVERNING BODY AND IT SEEMS ALSO NEITHER DID CHRIST?

    I personally had come to this conclusion in the mid 90’s by simply studing the Biblical account and asking for “help” to understand God’s Word in those areas by requesting the “helper, his spirit” which draws your attention to the “context and thus real meaning” therein. I had “No influence” from any others especially the Internet or Raymond Franz at that point when God’s Word and his Spirit revealed it but since both Raymond Franz and his uncle Frederick both through this account verify what I had found out. What this proves is from the 7 September 1975 ALL THOSE ON THE GOVERNING BODY WERE PUT ON NOTICE THAT THEIR GOVERNING BODY WAS UNSCRIPTURAL BUT ONLY RAYMOND FRANZ GIVEN TIME STOOD DOWN OVER CONSCIENCE MATTERS AND NO DOUBT THIS TALK.

    If the fact this talk did not “shake them to their senses”, neither would a 10 or 12 page explanation from scripture in the “form of a thesis” sent the “Governing Body” in the late 90’s how so sad???

    That is why I said ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY. The four “Governing Body” appointed in 1999 would be aware of the above and hence are put in the same position as were the entire body in that talk of 1975 of which have referenced above which supports the points made in reviewing Acts 15 account which was the authority used in that thesis!

    For $4.50 going to Raymond’s site commentarypress.com may be well worth it to get your own copy of this “tell tail talk” the society does not want Jehovah’s Witnesses to KNOW about for the reason if they were all allowed to “listen” the “Flood doors may well be opened” hence a carefully guarded secret and NO mention of it in their Sacred Watchtower because repeatatively they base their whole authority that God has a “Governing Body” and “they are it” and “no one has the right to say otherwise” or else theres the “DOOR” IS AT THE HEART.

    Also “Crisis fo Conscience” is also still avaliable at commentarypress.com in download PDF form if any want a copy for $7.95 a small contribution for getting the TRUTH. Pages 74-76 also give a very good example that proves Jehovah’s Witnesses up until 1975 and the change in power behind closed doors after the above talk was given to show there was “NO GOVERNING BODY” in the way the publications were portraying it until after 1975 when it came into effect. The so called “Faithfful and Discreet Slave class” of Mt 24:45-47 as providing the “Spirtual Food” amounted to No MORE than One or Two persons of the annointed class and prior to 1942 amounted to 1.

    This Truth has grave implications to Jehovah’s Witnesses even to this day for the reason they have continually taught that when “Christ inspected all so called Christians in 1918”, “there was a group” of persons forfilling this scripture above and thus Christ saw fit to appoint these “Faithfull and Discreet Slave [Class]” Nothing could be further from the truth 1 or 2 persons cannot constitute a Class in the way they want it to come across as they teach NOW. The historic record simply does not portray these facts and Jehovah’s Witnesses have a right to investigate what the so called “governing body” claims is their foundation, so as to not be mislead. Compare 2 Tim 3:13 The talk above referred to by Frederick Franz with commentary by his Nephew Raymond gets right to the “HEART OF THE QUESTION”!!!

    The facts speak “Christ himself could not have appointed them”, based upon the “way JW’S teach he did”, “that there was a [{group of men} in 1918 dispensing the spirtual food then]” called the “Faithful and Discreet slave [CLASS]” IS SIMPLY NOT SUPPORTED BY THE HIDDEN CONCEALED FACTS. Luke 12:2 It then follow’s that the Watchtower “WAS NOT” appointed as God’s Spirit Appointed ORGANIZATION. Hence a Baptism candidate has to answer “NO” to the second question at Baptism. Therefore all that have been Baptised on this premise have done so on a lie. They all have legal recourse to protect themselves from the fall out from wrongful dismissal “Disfellowshipping” on a “CLASS ACTION” and reverse the “Disfellowshipping” to apply to GB? Hence if that was accomplished in the USA where they reside then worldwide they would be “Set Free” and the “Truth [about them] would have Done it”. John 8:32 The information is provided in “Crisis of Conscience” and also in the talk given above for all.

    • Jacqueline

      Anonymous. WOW!
      You make it so clear and understandable. Thank you for your contribution. I will get that talk immediately.
      Raymond confirmed so many things that I suspected. It was at that point, I realized I had Holy Spirit. How could I know so much of what Raymond Franz was saying, before I knew his books existed. It was as if my eyes were now being opened, like scales just started falling off.
      I had his first edition and didn’t know it. A relative, an elder, who is almost 100 yrs old gave it to me in the 90’s but I never opened it. He gave me many books, he was passing them on because he knows I am a read-aholic and would preserve and pass them on. This book came up as I was categorizing my old books.
      Raymond’s Book in search of Christian freedom helped me to see I was on the right path to get free, it was difficult, with your whole immediate and extended family still witnesses. But when Jesus calls you can’t not respond. It was like a fire inside of me to gain the truth about Jesus’ and God’s Divine plan.
      I also had an overwhelming desire to help others, who ware struggling for freedom. I wrote several letters to the society telling them I had to go back to a simpler time. I feel I had God’s protection and he landed me in a fear-free place. I am content and calm now.
      Thank you so much for your contribution.
      Would you please check the comments to Mrs Researcher by me on Ask Jacqueline, are all of the info up to date? Would you add to it or clarify some points that might not be current JW thinking. Also Rachel on does the bible support a JW governing body. The handling of the subjects discussed are crucial to their spiritual health. They are women and have to be careful or they will be DF. Again thank you for your excellent contributions. Your comments answers a lot of how did it get started and why’s for everyone trying to reply to questions.
      On the issue of Baptism, I informed my immediate family that I never answered those questions that are now asked. I attended the BS General convention and heard the questions that I answered yes to.
      I said they can’t DF me because I didn’t agree to those questions.
      May you and some older ones will remember when they asked you to get re-baptized in the 1970’s? They tricked a lot of people into coming under the new questions. My Elder husband did so. Now he regrets it, but they were smooth, slick and sly.. They wanted to avoid legal issues in the future, but there is still some of us alive under the old questions. They have made at least 2 changes since 1960. I have made this argument for some time, now I can reference it.
      I will open the discussion on the phone hook-up about “Wrongful Dismissal” That is a legal term and the courts will deal with it. This is what we were discussing Sat. night on a large phone hook-up. You must not go on a doctrinal basis when dealing with the society, it has to be civil in nature. The courts will keep Church and State separate. They don’t care about doctrine, they have to assign guilt, innocence violation of human rights and violation of Law. This info would have been invaluable. I will ask them to come and read this on this site. Again thanks and peace.

  • Anonymous

    Jacqueline just some “other” information on the “governing body” of Jehovah’s Witnesses seems as your topic wrote with them in mind and your comments of the 4th Dec 2010 near end said “And not to fear and worship nine men”, and the picture gave a photo of the nine men.

    I advise that the “two men” seated in picture on right and far right may no longer be alive. In event you do a search on WIKIPEDIA both Theodore Jaracz and John E. Barr passed away this year without giving exact dates when this occurred. I have it from a reliable source that John Barr passed away on the 4th December 2010 (the day you wrote your comment). So strictly speaking if you wrote your comment just before his death you were only out by one, but if not out by two. It’s sad when anyone dies but particulary for these two men because unlike Raymond Franz they lived the majority of their adult life captivated by their own misleadings.

    It’s of note that these three men (including Raymond) probably were the sole surviving men that were on the “governing body” still alive going into 2010 that were of the 144,000 class baptised before the so called alleged “door shut” in 1935 a teaching that only in 2007 they adjusted (because they realised that there was only a few left and they could pass away any day and in effect leave them in an untenuable position of having that “Generation Pass Away” and have None of this Class on the “governing body” effectively leaving them as proven wrong and therefore “False Prophets” according to how they teach Deut 18:20-22 Lu 6:26 page 1650 NWT “Rule to Determine False Prophet.”

    Hence out of necessity they had to make the change in Doctrine because “TIME RAN OUT” they had to put in place a reasoning so they could continue after the last few “passed away”, how tragic that they died having lived their life “liking the lie”? Rev 22:14-15 and as such it appears may have lost the reward of the Kingdom of God as heirs???

    Raymond Franz indicated before they made the changes in the “Generation teaching” as much years ago. It was pointed out to John Barr years ago after he appeared on the Video “Warning Examples” that they misquoted the Bible and quoted it out of context but it was to “No Avail” they were unable to disist from sin and give up the “comfort of their exclusion led life”. It appears the temptation was too great, how sad. Anyway they are now down to 7 on the so called “governing body” ALL BAPTISED AFTER 1935 WHEN THE SO CALLED DOOR WAS SHUT TO HEAVENLY CLASS. They in reality are now a leaderless Religion from the TOP since they INSIST on a “governing body” the topic of this question. Just thought you may want to be informed on the latest makup and that none on the “governing body” were Baptised before 1935 that now remain on that rudderless body heading no where.

    Greetings

    • Jacqueline

      Thanks for the update and additional information.
      We offered our condolences at both of these deaths.
      They are in the hands of God now as we all shall be one day.
      The GB can’t give up the lifestye and adoration, it’s a shame to let money have such an influence. Sometimes it best not to have to much
      But according to a person writing a book who lived there and spoke with GB on a daily basis it was about money. I have friends and relatives there and have in the past. I have gone to annual meetings etc. All of this and the reading of all of Bro. Franz writings convinced me that this is something I had to flee from.
      Appreciate your research, keep us updated. Thanks.
      Sincerely

  • Anonymous

    Thankyou Peter and Jacqueline. The scriptures don’t actually seem to answer the question outright in relation to Paul in the way you present him, as chosen as a replacement for Judas to “set aside the Apostles replacement”, in Acts 1. I take your point and also that Paul’s actions and whereby he was used for a large part of the Christian Greek Scriptures.

    In relation to Paul however a “few things stand out as additional” to perhaps consider. In Acts 9 verse 15 Jesus states Paul’s Selection and Purpose. “He is a chosen vessel” for what purpose “to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel”. DO you note Paul was chosen by Jesus for a purpose that “went beyond just Israel”. In contrast when the 11 apostles selected a replacement it was based upon what was reasoned in Acts 1:20-22 “therefore of the men that assembled with us during all the time in which the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, starting with his baptism by John until the day he was received up from us, one of these men should become a witness with us”. Obviously Paul could not be one of these. Paul himself “never objected to this position” in any of his writings later when he himself was selected for special duties by Christ. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 makes the Claim “ALL scripture is inspired of God” hence it seems “unlikely because Paul himself did not raise issue whilst alive and Reprove such later” if his appointment was to replace Judas, one would expect “he would have made mention of it” and “he did not”, in all his own writings. It was Paul’s way that if something was in error to “sort it out” just look at the Acts 15 account for proof, “he led a delegation to Jerusalem” to see about the matter having noted the “so called Trouble makers” came from “Judea” the area with “oversight from Jerusalem” where it just so happened the Apostles dwelt. It was therefore prudent for the matter to be sorted out “where the trouble makers came from” as this was the source of error it needed to be corrected from it’s source. In fact he avoided Jerusalem most of the times and acted leaving Jerusalem as a separate identity to himself under Christ. The word “Apostle” references claim has a meaning of “Sent out” which Paul was hence the name. This does not detract from the other twelve it seems if keep in this context, both can function in harmony, both under Christ as their head, true? 1 Cor 11:3 Remember “Paul’s main purpose was to go to the Gentiles or nations”, hence his missionary journeys. If Paul was a replacement for Judas the “scriptures being inspired of God should have or would have revealed it” one would think, yet on this point the “scriptures are completely silent”. What would have Russel said in this instance, given his claim that if the scripture does not give authority within the congregation in principle then the so called elders should “not lord it over” in his book “The New Creation”. Hence I tend to agree, “lacking the evidence” within scripture of a “direct reference” that “clearly states Paul as one of the twelve” it seems more prudent to “note how and why” Jesus “choose him and for what purpose” and focus on that. Jesus in selecting Paul as an Apostle “failed to state this was in replacement of Judas”, which seems conclusive, but it’s noteworthy the 11 Apostles “DID STATE” the “lot fell upon Matthias” in Acts 1:26 Also to back this up the Apostles guided by “Holy Spirit referred to the Psalms in verse 20” as being “required to be carried out” in which they as appointed “First by Jesus in the Congregation” were now carrying this into effect. It uses the words “let someone else take” indicating the form of which appointment would be made. The 11 Apostles were in an “authorised position to select a replacement” and they Prayed for God “to designate which one”. Hence I beg to differ on this point for the above reasons but agree that Pauls example and words are inspired from God and beneficial for teaching and reproving and for every good work just like 2 Timothy 3:16-17 outlines.

    I am guided by my “Conscience toward God’s Word” and “read not more into it than what has been revealed”, having no difficultly. The scriptures do identify Paul was chosen for a “special purpose”, that’s the “important thing” because he left much of the Christian teachings by his word and deed pointing to Christ is the “legacy of his selection” by Jesus for those whom exercise faith. It’s for each to be guided by their Consciences for myself what the Bible states is sufficent, unless someone can show me otherwise from scripture. I find the scriptures “make no clear declaration”, hence must be guided by that in my conscience. If others feel different then they no doubt will be guided in those areas, let the “two have room” each one to his own Conscience! Thanks Peter I do appreciate your contributions as (admin). You may give details as indicated regards Australia and it seems New Zealand.

    Agape

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Thanks Friend. You have given us a lot to think about. You have clearly given this topic a lot of thought yourself. I will send you contact information for Bible Students in Australia and New Zealand.

  • Anonymous

    Jacqueline, I find your comments interesting in answer to Miss Doubtful. Hopefully they may have made a little sense why discretion needs to be applied. The Article “Do the Bible Students have a governing body?” : states that the apostle Paul seemingly replaced Judas. Is that strictly correct? You will find in Acts that his replacement was not Paul. However it is true that Paul was selected and it is true that the Acts 15 account had Paul present, this being the portion that Jehovah’s Witness governing body use to claim their was a governing body in the first century, however the context in this Acts 15 account clearly does not support this conclusion in the NWT and keeping the first century setting in place to make a mental picture how this discussion took place helps to see this. A detailed explanation was sent to the governing body some years back discreetly of course. But rather than go into that I’m interested in these Bible Students as claimed although few they maybe.

    Do they have any in places in the Pacific Region like New Zealand or Australia if so any details?

    Does your e-mail (optional) if included be recorded by posting on site? I find Russell’s last book “The New Creation” teaches “completely the opposite” of a governing body or behind closed doors modern Jehovah’s Witness approach and it is of note it was his Last Volume of his Studies in the Scriptures and was printed as the way the so called brethren were to deal with each other in the congregations and the elders were not to lord it over those as specific instructions as the scriptures gave them no such authority the way it is done now within JW’S is erred. The GB must know this but seem to love the glory of men more than God like the Pharisee’s (Power Corrupts; Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely). Agape

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Friend – I am sure that Jacqueline will reply, but I will comment too. When you enter your email address, the public cannot see it, only the website administrators. If you can provide your email, I can provide you with email addresses of Bible Students in Australia. They would know who is in New Zealand. I am really glad you enjoyed volume 6 of Studies in the Scriptures, called “The New Creation.” It is a must for JWs pursuing a closer relationship with Jesus. Regarding Paul, let me suggest that just as Jesus selected the original twelve, he selected Paul as a replacement. The other Apostles were well meaning, but premature in selecting the replacement Apostle themselves. Revelation talks about the twelve stars on the head of the women and the twelve foundations of the city being the twelve Apostles. It is hard to imagine that for the position of the twelfth Apostle, that Jesus’ choice would not be it. However, I am not really sure whether a difference of opinion on this matters all that much, as long as Paul’s writings are not diminished. God bless you and we hope you continue to visit with us here in our fear free zone.

      • Jacqueline

        Anonymous,
        I trust Br. Peter answered your questions. Thanks so much for your comments. We appreciate hearing from all of the friends. Peace

  • Jacqueline

    Hello Miss doubtful, welcome,
    I can understand to a certain degree where you are coming from. If I was a witness and this was a society website, I would have to accept and do everything said on this website. I would not be able to question or disagree in thought or deed. Honest witnesses, know I am telling the truth and the governing body will agree that this is their policy. You are accustomed to being forced to agree or at least keep quiet. But this is not a watchtower site it is a Bible Student site. You can ask questions without being labeled as having independent thinking. You don’t have to agree with everything on this site but at least you see someone else’s viewpoint.
    These are the original Bible Students from Br. Russell not Witnesses under Rutherford. these are the “walking dead”. The society says they are all dead. But the truth of the matter is they kept functioning even when Rutherford and others were put in prison. They (the society) have supplied the Greek interlinear translation to Dawn Association in the past, so they knew all along that they existed. They are our brothers in Christ. They are not evil. They may err more on being too loving and accommodating. You see they believe in character development. As a witness I was taught to get over at the door and dismiss anyone that didn’t agree with GB dogma.
    No one is manipulated, you may chose not to stay on this site there is no penalty, no shunning if we meet you on the street.
    On meeting attendance. There is Freedom in Christ. A person should be able to go to the KH and anywhere else they want to and search for Christ. If they share anything that they felt was in the bible but different than what the GB teaches they would be disfellowshipped for apostasy. Why deliberately put their heads on the chopping block. Mt.10:16 applies to be cautious, although these are supposed to be brothers. They will disfellowship for apostasy if you question the GB. Some disfellowshipped ones in Italy are going to court over the discriminating shunning practices and ruining of their good names because they chose to change religions like Mary the mother of Jesus when she saw God was not longer with the Jewish Sanhedrin ruler-ship or in modern day the ” governing body”.
    Persons that have chosen to compare others thoughts on scripture with what the GB teaches, so as to keep balanced, have the right to do so and go wherever they want. There is freedom in Christ. Nov. 2008 Kingdom Ministry says this is not encouraged by the governing body.
    Most Brothers and Sisters at the kingdom hall are good people searching for truth and God and Jesus’ approval. They are not lying as you say. Remember the famous “theocratic strategy”. Everyone at the kingdom hall are not entitled to know everything about each other’s business. “Theocratic strategy” works both ways. This monster has come back to bite the GB. They taught us well in this regards.
    A person would have to have a frontal lobotomy to put their identity on the web if they are still a witness. That is martyrdom. The body of elders would humiliate them and all because they wanted to learn about Jehovah.
    When everyone thinks alike, it is generally because only one person is thinking.
    Please check other sites like “http://www.jwstruggle.com/” and others. All over the world the same story is being told by those that choose to leave the witnesses, the GB has put themselves in the place of Jesus. They say you cannot get to Jehovah unless you accept them.
    1Tim. 2:5 disagrees “For there is only one GOD, and there is only one mediator between GOD and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus, who sacrificed himself as a ransom for them all.'” NJB
    This website is for those who want to associate with others that have their same basic beliefs. For those who have chosen to leave the watchtower society, but not Christ. They have chosen to exercise their freedom, that Jehovah provided through Christ. And not to fear or worship nine men.
    These are the original Bible Students, our long forgotten brothers. There are conventions to meet them face to face if any care to. You will see they are not “Evil” as presented. Peace.
    In Christian Love,
    Jacqueline

  • Miss doubtful

    I dont actually understand this website clearly if people seek to learn and study the bible without listening to ‘man’ and following jehovah yet they take the word of the people running this site who in my view are self appointing elders giving advice and slyly manipulating people to do things the way you view them as correct yet some people still attend meetings just to go back home to log on to this site with anonymous identitys and complain about meetings yet smile and chat to the brothers the next meeting. If you’re not being honest of your views and beliefs in the congregation then you’re a liar, something I’m sure jehovah would be proud of and bless your efforts of deception. I can’t understand in how your efforts to serve jehovah lying proves beneficial or maybe its just me with a warped understanding

  • JAman

    Thank you both…I have spent 40 years being a whipping post for Watchtower elders to demonstrate their “Glorious” skills on. I have been lied to, cheated, reproved without cause, but most of all, defrauded by imposters of Christ. I am a follower of Jesus, not men, therefore I have been struggling with the wills of vain-glorious men and an unyielding organisation. I am submitting my disassociation letter this week. My wife is in full support, but is waiting a bit so she can try to explain to her baptised son why she also must leave. I have read “Crisis” and similar renderings of public testimony, and I am convinced that there are loving people to share our Christian lives with. Thank you for any direction you can share with us. In Christ’s Love, JAman

    • Jacqueline

      JAman,
      Please come on the webcast tonite Friday 7pm CST see instructions to the top right, before you submit your letter. To talk to many that have left Saturday at 6pm CST we want to talk to you on the phone before you submit the letter. Let other former elders and CO help you with that decision. That is not the only way to do it. You want your son to be able to talk to you.

  • Claudia

    Hi Jaman – Welcome! 🙂

    Here are some things I would look for when considering a group of Christians to meet with:
    – freedom to express different opinions as long as they are supported with scriptures
    – intent on their part to help me get closer to God and Jesus and not place themselves between me and God or Jesus
    – no rules imposed other than the ones in the Bible, or that align in principle with the Bible
    – belief that we must try to harmonize all the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation
    – belief that Jesus died for all and therefore ALL must have an opportunity to a complete understanding of what that means and an ability to choose the right way
    Of course there are more, but these are a few that came to mind now.

    Lord bless!
    Claudia

  • JAman

    One other thing….when Jesus asked Peter “Do you want to leave also?” Peter’s reply was very interesting…it was not to “where”, but to “whom” would we go….I want to go where Jesus teachings are, not to another “organisation”…Please assist us. Thanks again. J&M

    • Jacqueline

      JAman, you are going to see how Holy Spirit can unite God’s people. The Witnesses depend on the organization to help then function in unison. The Bible Students have no such organization, but depend on Holy Spirit.
      I had to go to their conventions to see for myself. I knew my local friends in the Chicagoland area were terrific in love and concern for me. (Col3:14) I was beaten up when I found them. You see I tried to reason with the society.(I plead temporary insanity on that one), but I respected them. I wrote a 6 page, single spaced, #12 size letter to them, pouring out my heart explaining I needed to get to something smaller, that the organization had got to be to much for me. In addition to the Bible, which is not burdensome, they imposed all these other rules and constraint. It reminds me of a post I read from a CO. I will find it on the web and post it.
      JAman, I had to go to the General Convention (6 blessed days) to see if it was just Chicago or is this the tone. You have to visit, I can’t explain the difference here. I will go look for the CO post now.
      In Christ,
      Jacqueline

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