schisms

KingdomLeast

Well-known member
Anyone who is familiar with Watchtower history knows that there have been quite a few schisms. In fact the Society itself was formed as a result of a schism with Adventist/Millerite Nelson H. Barbour. Some of the early Watchtower editors (J. Paton, A.P. Adams, etc.) left and formed their own groups. Paton's group died out eventually. Ironically, Adam's group is still active, at least his ideas are and his writings continue to be republished in book form. In 1909 there was a schism, those groups are still active under various names, but are so far removed from the Society that one would not make the connection, since they do not mention the Society or Russell in their ministry. And of course, the largest schisms happened after Russell died, several Bible Student groups were formed. Although in Russell's day, the Society was just a publishing house, and the congregations were autonomous, they didn't answer to the Society, that didn't happen till the Judge took over. There have been those who left the Society during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. These were either pioneers, traveling overseers, etc. They either joined a splinter group or formed one of their own, usually publishing a journal of some kind. Once they died, the ministry died with them, and they all became footnotes in the history of the Watchtower Society.

In the last 20/30 years there have been a few schisms among the Jehovah's Witnesses. But these were simply disgruntled members who left or were kicked out, Ray Franz, Tom Cabeen, David Reed, Duane Magnani, Randall Watters, James Penton, etc. who published journals and books, but didn't form a following. Others who meet on forums like this one, sharing their thoughts, but nothing concrete. By that I mean there is no Watchman Church, or Church of the Great Company. Just individuals doing their best to serve Jehovah. In recent years, we've had Christian Witnesses of Jah, which was formed by Greg Stafford, but as far as I know, it's just a name and he's the only member.

When Joseph Smith was alive, he formed the Church of Jesus Christ, after he died it morphed into the Latter-Day Saints. There are still independent Churches of Christ who follow Jospeh Smith independent of the Mormon Church. In 1860 the Reorganized Church of Latter-Day Saints were formed. It exists today and one would not differentiate it from the LDS church.

In 1918 the Seventh-Day Adventist Reform Church (a name they officially adopted in 1925) was formed, they exist today.

What I would like to know is, do you see the possibility of a huge schism within the Jehovah's Witnesses, like there was in 1917 with the Bible Students? A separate faction of Jehovah's Witnesses, organized, publishing, witnessing. Perhaps a split within the Governing Body between the old guard and the new progressive guard? Yes, I am aware of the Jehovah's Witnesses from Romania, but to my knowledge, they were absorbed back into the main body.
 
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a watcher

Well-known member
I doubt the GB will split. They'll just 'get rid' of any dissenting member(s), like they did Morris. 'Schisms' might occur if/when the WT collapses and/or when Mark 13:12 is fulfilled---...brother will deliver brother over to death, and a father a child, and children will rise up against parents...
 

Cristo

Well-known member
Only until the man of lawlessness is exposed do I see an observable schism. The amount of control by the GB, and the lack of awareness by the rank and file along with the fact that very few of them actually think for themselves anymore suggests as much.

2 The 2:7-8“True, the mystery of this lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who is right now acting as a restraint is out of the way. 8 Then, indeed, the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will do away with by the spirit of his mouth and bring to nothing by the manifestation of his presence.”
 

kirmmy

Well-known member
By that I mean there is no Watchman Church, or Church of the Great Company. Just individuals doing their best to serve Jehovah. In recent years, we've had Christian Witnesses of Jah, which was formed by Greg Stafford, but as far as I know, it's just a name and he's the only member.
What was the 1st century example? Groups of people meeting in their homes, studying and applying the scriptures and preaching. There were overseers but they were better know as caretakers to the congregation. Not the WBTS abominations we see today. The traveling apostles kept an eye on things, taught and advised. The "governing body" (Where did they get that term?!) were caretakers for the congregations, teaching and making sure that widows and orphans were provided for through common funds.

Contrast what Paul said at 1 Cor 1:24: "Not that we’re the masters of your faith – rather, we’re [just] your cheerful helpers[Syr]. Indeed, you stand upon [your own] faith."

Imagine the GB saying anything like that today?! They are masters! And of more than just the R&F's faith.

The modern WBTS is a perversion of this example...as much as they think it's Biblical.

I don't look to men as masters and I don't look to RK that way either, but I can say that he fits 1 Cor 1:24 way, way better than the superfine apostles of the WBTS. He teaches, advises, but doesn't try to maintain iron-fisted control. There are many convos on here about the most bizarre stuff and he will put in his two cents sometimes but won't try and shut down a convo just because he doesn't agree with it. This is the height of maturity and shows patience and humility. Of course there are limits to that and he's pretty good at drawing the line when it's appropriate, IMO. Of course everything I've said is IMO...

Saying all this, what fits the 1st century example better? The WBTS or our little group here?

P.S. Who knows how many more groups there are around the world like this, whether it's meeting in person or digitally? Jah may actually keep it this way right through the end. It may be better that way to protect his sheep. Who knows?
 

KingdomLeast

Well-known member
Speaking of Schisms, I discovered Greg Stafford's youtube channel. Listened to a few episodes. He's really gone the deep end with some of his interpretations. In his latest one, he partakes of the bread and wine regularly. Says nothing in the Bible limits it to a yearly observance.
 

Melinda

Well-known member
What was the 1st century example? Groups of people meeting in their homes, studying and applying the scriptures and preaching. There were overseers but they were better know as caretakers to the congregation. Not the WBTS abominations we see today. The traveling apostles kept an eye on things, taught and advised. The "governing body" (Where did they get that term?!) were caretakers for the congregations, teaching and making sure that widows and orphans were provided for through common funds.

Contrast what Paul said at 1 Cor 1:24: "Not that we’re the masters of your faith – rather, we’re [just] your cheerful helpers[Syr]. Indeed, you stand upon [your own] faith."

Imagine the GB saying anything like that today?! They are masters! And of more than just the R&F's faith.

The modern WBTS is a perversion of this example...as much as they think it's Biblical.

I don't look to men as masters and I don't look to RK that way either, but I can say that he fits 1 Cor 1:24 way, way better than the superfine apostles of the WBTS. He teaches, advises, but doesn't try to maintain iron-fisted control. There are many convos on here about the most bizarre stuff and he will put in his two cents sometimes but won't try and shut down a convo just because he doesn't agree with it. This is the height of maturity and shows patience and humility. Of course there are limits to that and he's pretty good at drawing the line when it's appropriate, IMO. Of course everything I've said is IMO...

Saying all this, what fits the 1st century example better? The WBTS or our little group here?

P.S. Who knows how many more groups there are around the world like this, whether it's meeting in person or digitally? Jah may actually keep it this way right through the end. It may be better that way to protect his sheep. Who knows?
I have also wondered if there are other groups like us around the world. I believe there are.
 

a watcher

Well-known member
What was the 1st century example? Groups of people meeting in their homes, studying and applying the scriptures and preaching. There were overseers but they were better know as caretakers to the congregation. Not the WBTS abominations we see today. The traveling apostles kept an eye on things, taught and advised. The "governing body" (Where did they get that term?!) were caretakers for the congregations, teaching and making sure that widows and orphans were provided for through common funds.

Contrast what Paul said at 1 Cor 1:24: "Not that we’re the masters of your faith – rather, we’re [just] your cheerful helpers[Syr]. Indeed, you stand upon [your own] faith."

Imagine the GB saying anything like that today?! They are masters! And of more than just the R&F's faith.

The modern WBTS is a perversion of this example...as much as they think it's Biblical.

I don't look to men as masters and I don't look to RK that way either, but I can say that he fits 1 Cor 1:24 way, way better than the superfine apostles of the WBTS. He teaches, advises, but doesn't try to maintain iron-fisted control. There are many convos on here about the most bizarre stuff and he will put in his two cents sometimes but won't try and shut down a convo just because he doesn't agree with it. This is the height of maturity and shows patience and humility. Of course there are limits to that and he's pretty good at drawing the line when it's appropriate, IMO. Of course everything I've said is IMO...

Saying all this, what fits the 1st century example better? The WBTS or our little group here?

P.S. Who knows how many more groups there are around the world like this, whether it's meeting in person or digitally? Jah may actually keep it this way right through the end. It may be better that way to protect his sheep. Who knows?
As flawed as the WT is, it's accomplishing Jehovah's purpose in a way that "groups of people meeting in their homes" could never do: extensive WORLDWIDE preaching and gathering the 2 sheepfolds.
 

Medi-tator

Well-known member
As flawed as the WT is, it's accomplishing Jehovah's purpose in a way that "groups of people meeting in their homes" could never do: extensive WORLDWIDE preaching and gathering the 2 sheepfolds.
It will be fascinating to see how the Two Witnesses pull it off in the near future. Of course Jehovah and Jesus will be the ones to pull it off, but it is nonetheless interesting to consider. Will the Two Witnesses be given the keys to the JW Broadcasting studios LOL?
 

KingdomLeast

Well-known member
What was the 1st century example? Groups of people meeting in their homes, studying and applying the scriptures and preaching.
That's how it was in the very beginning. I have fond memories of the old Book Study days. When we broke up into different groups and met at the homes of brothers and sisters. I had such a group in my home. I found those meetings very personable and enlightening.

The early Bible Students met in individual homes during the week. They spent Sunday mornings handing out tracts outside the churches inviting people to hear a free lecture that afternoon.

I currently meet in a house church with a few friends, where we study the Bible and have topical studies. A real blessing.
 

Medi-tator

Well-known member
I have fond memories of the old Book Study days. When we broke up into different groups and met at the homes of brothers and sisters. I had such a group in my home. I found those meetings very personable and enlightening.
Yeah me too. I commented up a storm during the Book Study meetings but hardly ever during the WT Study at the hall. The home setting felt so much more real to me. Not that the WT Study was not real, it just felt forced to make a comment for some reason for me. My loss I suppose. All those meetings were great until they weren't anymore.
I currently meet in a house church with a few friends, where we study the Bible and have topical studies. A real blessing.
That's awesome!!
 

Watchman

Moderator
Staff member
What I would like to know is, do you see the possibility of a huge schism within the Jehovah's Witnesses, like there was in 1917 with the Bible Students? A separate faction of Jehovah's Witnesses, organized, publishing, witnessing. Perhaps a split within the Governing Body between the old guard and the new progressive guard? Yes, I am aware of the Jehovah's Witnesses from Romania, but to my knowledge, they were absorbed back into the main body.
No. I do not see a huge schism. What Jehovah has foretold is not the mere splintering and fracturing, but the complete and utter desolation of the organization and the scattering to the four winds of all his people, from where there is to be a regathering.
 

a watcher

Well-known member
That's how it was in the very beginning. I have fond memories of the old Book Study days. When we broke up into different groups and met at the homes of brothers and sisters. I had such a group in my home. I found those meetings very personable and enlightening.

I currently meet in a house church with a few friends, where we study the Bible and have topical studies. A real blessing.
I found a house church meeting in my door-to-door work, and they invited me in. If I hadn't been with other Witnesses, I might have joined their meeting. It might have been an interesting preaching opportunity.
 

Watchman

Moderator
Staff member
Will the 2 witnesses be involved in the regathering?
Yes. I would expect so, at least in terms of the great crowd. The rallying point will be the revealing of the sons of God. Elijah was considered the greatest Hebrew prophet and yet he didn't write one word of prophecy. What he did though was bring the Israelites out from under the influence of Satan, in the form of Baal at that time, when he called fire down from heaven to prove Jehovah was the true God. Then in a windstorm, he was whisked off in a fiery chariot. And Lo! He appears centuries later in the Transfiguration having a face-to-face chat with the glorified Christ. For the unfamiliar Moses and Elijah are the two symbolic witnesses and both of them saw Jehovah God, at least to the extent that creatures made of mud can.
 

Cristo

Well-known member
No. I do not see a huge schism. What Jehovah has foretold is not the mere splintering and fracturing, but the complete and utter desolation of the organization and the scattering to the four winds of all his people, from where there is to be a regathering.

So, you do, or you don't think there will be a schism?

"In the event of another viral release and a mandatory vaccination program, it is not inconceivable that a schism could take place among Jehovah’s Witnesses and set the stage for many being stumbled and brothers hating and betraying one another."

"But when it begins Christ will create a schism, a decisive division between the faithful slaves and the wicked slaves —ultimately, dividing the sheep from the goats, the good fishes from the unsuitable."
 

Watchman

Moderator
Staff member
So, you do, or you don't think there will be a schism?

"In the event of another viral release and a mandatory vaccination program, it is not inconceivable that a schism could take place among Jehovah’s Witnesses and set the stage for many being stumbled and brothers hating and betraying one another."

"But when it begins Christ will create a schism, a decisive division between the faithful slaves and the wicked slaves —ultimately, dividing the sheep from the goats, the good fishes from the unsuitable."
Depends on how you define a "schism." Kingdom Least cited various factions and sects that have developed over the years. When I used the word "schism" in older articles I was referring to the utter breakup of the organization, not like anything that has occurred before. There is to be a division. No doubt about that. Jesus said he came to cause a division. Faithful slaves/wicked slaves. Wise virgins/foolish virgins. Sheep and goats. We can call it a schism. We can call it a break-up and fracturing. Jesus referred to it as the desolation.
 

Frank D

Well-known member
What Jehovah has foretold is not the mere splintering and fracturing, but the complete and utter desolation of the organization and the scattering to the four winds of all his people, from where there is to be a regathering.

What will cause this complete and utter desolation?
Will it affect only WT/JWs or all religions/peoples?
When the regathering occurs (Note that it is after the 42 months and that is when Jesus comes), will those that are regathered (the GC) be JWs only or will they be all peoples that went through the 42 months that refused the 8th king?

[8... And authority was given them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with a long sword and with food shortage and with deadly plague and by the wild beasts of the earth.] Matt 24:7,8

Matt 24:9
[5 It was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and it was given authority to act for 42 months. 7 It was permitted to wage war with the holy ones and conquer them, and it was given authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation. 10 If anyone is meant for captivity, he will go into captivity. If anyone will kill with the sword, he must be killed with the sword. This is where it calls for endurance and faith on the part of the holy ones.]
2 But as for the courtyard that is outside the temple sanctuary, leave it out and do not measure it, because it has been given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city underfoot for 42 months.
[17 Between the porch and the altar Let the priests, the ministers of Jehovah, weep and say: ‘Do feel pity, O Jehovah, for your people; Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, Letting the nations rule over them. Why should the peoples say, “Where is their God?”]


[24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling out of heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then he will send out the angels and will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from earth’s extremity to heaven’s extremity.]
[3 “For look! in those days and in that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will also gather together all the nations And bring them down to the Valley of Je·hoshʹa·phat. I will enter into judgment with them there In behalf of my people and my inheritance Israel, For they scattered them among the nations, And they divided up my land among themselves.]
[9 look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands.13 In response one of the elders said to me: “These who are dressed in the white robes, who are they and where did they come from?” 14 So right away I said to him: “My lord, you are the one who knows.” And he said to me: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.]
 
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