South

West

Oregon

Bible

Students

What We Believe

 I.  We affirm the humanity of Jesus and the deity of Christ.

II.  We acknowledge the Holy Spirit is personally of the Father and the Son; that the holy spirit proceeds from both, and in turn is reflected in all who are begotten by the holy spirit, the divine influence.

III.  We affirm the resurrection of Christ--that He was put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the Spirit.  We deny that He was raised in the flesh, and challenge any statement to that effect as being unscriptural and contrary to God's own purpose (1Pet. 3:18, Eph. 1:9-11).

IV.  We affirm, with the Scriptures, that God alone possessed immortality, "dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto" (1Tim. 6:16). We affirm that this Divine nature has already been granted to the Lord Jesus and is the portion promised to the elect Bride, the "Body of Christ."  We affirm the Divine provision for mankind and for angels to be everlasting life for the obedient.  This, by many, is mis-termed  immortality.  We follow the Scriptures firmly and expressly.

V.  We hold that the entire race lost continual life by Father Adam, as a result of his failure in Eden; and that Christ died to secure a resurrection for Adam and for all of his race, having lost life and inherited death when Adam sinned. "As all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive." (I Cor. 15:21,22.) A comparative few have had their eyes of faith and ears of understanding opened in this present life to a new trial for eternal, spiritual life. Adam and the great mass of his posterity will get a favorable trial for continual life after being awakened from the tomb during Christ's resurrection reign. Should any fail, there will be NO FURTHER TRIAL FOR LIFE!

VI.  We believe that the soul was condemned to death.  "The soul that sinneth it shall die."   (Eze 18:4, 20)  We believe that this death would have been eternal, everlasting destruction, had it not been for God's mercy in and through our Lord's redemptive work.  By reason of Jesus' sacrificial death, our souls do not die in this full sense of the word, but are Scripturally said to "fall asleep," "asleep in Jesus."  The awakening will be in the resurrection reign; and the interim will be a period of unconsciousness, beautifully symbolized by a restful sleep.

VII.  We believe in the "hell" of the Bible, sheol.  This, the only word used for hell for four thousand years, is translated more than half the time "grave" in our Common Version, and should always be thus translated.  Likewise, in the New Testament, "Hades" should be translated "grave." "Gehenna fire," of the New Testament, is a symbolical picture declared to signify the Second Death.

VIII.  We believe that God is able to destroy "both soul and body" in Gehenna--the Second Death.  We believe it is more Scripturally sound than to believe that in creating man God could not undo his work that he had created.  It is much more reasonable than to believe he prefers to have the incorrigible suffer eternally, when their sufferings could do neither themselves nor others any good.  The teaching of "Hellfire" demonizes the God of Love, and scares many to belief by force, rather than by choice.

IX.  We believe that, like the Father and the holy angels, our Lord is a spirit being.  We are convinced that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." ( 1 Cor. 15:50)  We do not believe that our Lord has a 'flesh and blood' body, a "little lower than the angels," and has thus been out of harmony with His heavenly environment for nearly two thousand years.  We believe the Apostle's statement, "Now the Lord is that Spirit."  (2 Cor. 3:17)  This is the Jesus who will "so come, in like manner" (Acts 1:11), quietly and unknown to the world, as He went away (Lk. 24:50-53; Acts 1:6-11).  We believe that He returned in AD1874, that to us it is the evident teaching of the Scriptures. Our Lord warned us not to expect Him in the flesh; that men might say "Lo, here" or "Lo, there."  The Harvest work is in the Laodicean seventh period of the Church, and is well corroborated by the witness activity since 1874, and our expectations of what His work will be, as outlined in His parables, etc.  Further corroboration is by the return of Jewish people to their homeland since AD1878 becoming a nation again in AD1948, and by the AD1914 ending of the 2520 year "times of the Gentiles" (Lk. 21:24) and the destruction of the divine right of kings, beginning the “Time of Trouble” with the first World War, and others reserved  for this latter day/times; and that at the end of the 2520 years, "he whose right it is" (Eze. 21:27) was given to rule over the nations, beginning the fifth universal empire, to fulfill Dan.2:44, 45, and this is the unstoppable Will of God..

X. We believe the Bible teaches a Divine Plan of the Ages fore-known and set by God from before the foundation of the world, that for all eternity will prove God's love and appreciation of his human creation (John 3:16, Eph. 1:10).

 

 

The foregoing was published by Pastor Russell in the January 15, 1912  "Zion's Watch Tower" and edited to reflect our current understanding and views as a class. 

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