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Who are the Bible Students?"
The association of International Bible Students has existed continuously since the days of Pastor Charles Taze Russell to the present. In Brother Russell's day, the IBSA was a cooperative association of Bible Student congregations worldwide, all united by the common beliefs taught in Brother Russell's Studies in the Scriptures series. The Watchtower was merely a publishing house and lecture service, with NO central control over these thousands of associated, but independent congregations.
After the death of Brother Russell in 1916, J.F. Rutherford took control of the IBSA, acting in violation of Brother Russell's Will and the Watchtower Bylaws. By 1931 J.F. Rutherford had radically changed and reorganized the Watchtower into a different organization. He named his new organization "Jehovah's Witnesses," in order to distinguish it from the various groups formed by the 75% of original Bible Students no longer connected. Hundreds of these Bible Student congregations worldwide have continued to the present, thus constituting a continuation of the original IBSA. These Bible Students remain united in the original early Watchtower beliefs taught by Brother Russell.
The International Bible Student's beliefs remain unchanged since the days of Brother Russell. We continue to treasure the Studies in the Scriptures, early Watchtowers and other writings of Brother Russell. We continue to believe the following:
Both the Old and New Testament are Jehovah's inspired words; the primary source of all Truth.
Man did not evolve but was created.
Jehovah created his only-begotten Son, Jesus. Jesus created all other things.
Jesus descended from heaven to earth and was born of Mary as a perfect human man, not as God in flesh.
God raised Jesus from death in a Spirit body, not in a physical body of flesh.
The Holy Spirit is Jehovah's active power and force, not a person.
The Trinity is no where found or taught in the Bible.
Man is mortal and does not possess an immortal soul. The soul ceases to exist after death.
There is no hell of fire where the wicked are punished. "Hell" is from the same Greek and Hebrew words for "grave," describing the sleep of death, not eternal torment.
We are now living in the "time of the end".
Jesus returned and has been invisibly present on earth since the early days of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.
The 144,000 of Revelation 7 are the anointed Bride of Christ in heaven.
Earth will never be literally destroyed or completely depopulated.
In the Kingdom, Christ will rule the earth in righteousness and peace.
By their faithfulness to God, the obedient of mankind will be granted what our original parents lost-everlasting life in human perfection on a paradise earth.
Since its humble beginnings, over 130 years ago, Bible Students all over the World have followed closely the Scriptural concept of Congregational Rule. This recognition of the local congregation as the highest earthly authority (Matt. 18:20) continues to be a significant difference between Bible Students and other Christian groups.
Bible Students hold a common belief in the doctrines mentioned above. However, because we have complete "liberty in Christ", and no central organization, there are some differences in understanding on more detailed views. The careful reader will notice both the similarities and subtle differences in the websites referenced here.
The presence of links to websites and other materials is not to be considered an endorsement of all their contents. It is the responsibility of every Christian to "prove all things" and to make the Truth their own.
This website is intended to be a resource to many, but not all, Bible Student websites, activities, contacts, etc. Those with questions, or desiring further information, are invited to send an e-mail to the webmaster.