Christian Millennial Fellowship's
New Creation Magazine
A Herald of Christ's Kingdom
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Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the Free Bible Students and what is their history?

This is not a complete history of all the off-shoots of Bible Students, but merely an attempt to show where CMF began its history in the string of "The Adventist Family."

Charles Taze Russell began publishing the Watch Tower in 1879. He was assisted by a group of followers called "Millennial Dawn Bible Students."

In 1881, the Zion’s Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society was set up.

In 1907, after teaching for approximately 25 years that the Church was being developed under the New Covenant, Russell changed his views and declared that the New Covenant was future and that God would make this covenant with the house of Judah and the house of Israel. This change in teaching did not set well with some and there were those who left the Society at this time. In addition to the New Covenant change, he was also challenged by some brethren on his teaching that the Church shared with Jesus in the Sin Offering. He based this teaching on the types in Leviticus 8, 9 and 16. Many of his followers had come to accept and recognize him as that "wise and faithful servant" in the Parable which Jesus spoke, who was "serving meat" when the Lord returned invisibly (as they believed) in 1874. These and other teachings were challenged by those who separated in 1909.

Those who left at that time were called "New Covenant Bible Students" by some; others called themselves "Free Bible Students," inferring that they were no longer under the control of a man or organization.

Conferences of the "Free Bible Students" began to be held in the New England area in 1909. These are known as the Christian Believers Conferences and are still held yearly in August. There is a week-long conference held every July that began about 50 years ago by a "Free Bible Student" mid-west group that is held in western PA. These are called the Berean Christian Conferences. A Western Christian Believers Conference is being held in January 1998 for the first time in southern CA. In England there is a "Free Bible Student Conference" also held every August. In addition there are some other conferences or conventions held around the country and in England by individual Free Bible Student groups throughout the year.

What is the History of CMF ?

A group of separated brethren in the Hartford, Connecticut area formed a congregation and were known as the New Creation Bible Students. Gaetano Boccaccio was one of their elders and in 1940, he began to publish The New Creation magazine. This ministry expanded to publishing tracts and booklets as well as the magazine, which is now distributed world-wide. This ministry was given the name of Christian Millennial Fellowship (CMF). This CMF ministry is still active today and since the death of its founder in 1996, its headquarters are now in Port Murray, NJ under the direction of Elmer Weeks. There are many independent CMF groups in foreign countries that have embraced its message and are actively spreading the good news. CMF cooperates freely with all the independent Free Bible Students groups. CMF is supported by the generosity of donors from around the country. All of its publications are offered free of charge and the CMF staff members are volunteers who donate their time and energy as unto the Lord.

What are some of the Beliefs of the Free Bible Students?

Most "Free Bible Students" would be in agreement on these important points:

  • That Jesus had a pre-human existence as the Logos, God’s Only Begotten Son, not an angel.
  • That Jesus was raised from the grave, at which time the Father endued him with all power and authority in heaven and earth.
  • That Jesus paid the price for all men and will bring back all to a resurrection of judgment in the future Millennial age.
  • That this Judgment day is one of "learning righteousness."
  • That Jesus is the only way, the truth and the life and there is no other name by which man can be saved.
  • That salvation is by grace and not by works.
  • That God is presently selecting a Bride for His Son who will be raised in the "first resurrection."
  • That these will be joint-heirs with Christ to rule in his future earthly millennial Kingdom.
  • That the Bible is the inspired Word of God and should be studied contextually as well as topically. The Bible is the final authority for Christians.
  • That it is the Holy Spirit of God that leads us into all truth and not a man or an organization.
  • That religious organizations have no authority from God to rule over individual Church groups.
  • That individual congregations make their own decisions as led by the Holy Spirit.
  • That the Church is presently being developed under the New Covenant.
  • That the door to the "high calling" is still open.
  • That the parable of the "Faithful and Wise Servant" is not representative of any particular individual but teaches faithful watchfulness of all who are fully devoted to the Lord and awaiting His return.
  • That Jesus alone is pictured in the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament types.
  • That contextual Bible study is essential to properly understanding and interpreting Scripture.
  • That the Millennial reign of Christ and his Church is still future.
  • Though water baptism is a scriptural requirement, it does not have to precede one's becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. Baptism is not necessarily a prerequisite to one receiving the Holy Spirit. An example of this is found at Acts 10: 45-48. Being baptized is required to show one's public declaration of their acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior; and that they have made a firm decision to follow Him.

Does CMF make decisions or influence Free Bible Student Congregations?

CMF is a publishing house only. It exercises no authority over any congregation and has no interest in becoming a religious headquarters of any kind.

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  Last Updated: Sept 20 2008
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