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So, I am reading in Matthew about how many generations there we're from the deportation from Babylon until the Christ, 14 generations. The way I do math 607 divided by 14 equals 43.3 years. This is how Scripture measures a generation.The way I see it since 1914 we have had 2 complete generations and are now working on a 3rd. According to Jesus shouldn't the end have come by now?

 

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Also: *** ka chap. 16 p. 296 par. 7 Completion of the Foretold “Sign” Nears *** "Counted from the year of Jesus’ prophecy on the subject, the Jewish system of things had thirty-seven years yet to go, less than a generation with a life-span of forty years."    *** it-1 p. 540 Wilderness Wanderings of Israel *** "This brought Jehovah’s swift judgment: Forty years would pass before the nation would enter the Promised Land. By then, the faithless members of that generatio

Ann, That's a very powerful combination of points. I remember when Brother Schroeder at Bethel was getting himself involved in the "generation" debate. He needed to look at all uses of "generation" in contexts that implied a time-frame. He was willing to go to Josephus, Philo, the Pseudepigrapha. He was not really satisfied with any of the solutions that went beyond 40 years. He was willing to go with either the solution that it meant the "wicked" generation or the "anointed" generation but

Yes, al this discussion is great. Much information, yet done conclusive to make a valid point but one, we still have to wait! No one knows but the Father. That is the only true fact we have. Only the one alive will see any of this occur.,another true fact. The ones alive, 'that generation' saw the promised land, right? Not the ones who had died. So it is true right now. Whoever is alive will see all that will happen as the Bible proposes it to happen. Jesus told us to be awake to see it, stay al

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Also:

*** ka chap. 16 p. 296 par. 7 Completion of the Foretold “Sign” Nears ***


"Counted from the year of Jesus’ prophecy on the subject, the Jewish system of things had thirty-seven years yet to go, less than a generation with a life-span of forty years.
 

*** it-1 p. 540 Wilderness Wanderings of Israel ***


"This brought Jehovah’s swift judgment: Forty years would pass before the nation would enter the Promised Land. By then, the faithless members of that generation would have died off."

So the questions are, 

  • Could there be a flaw in the Org's eschatology?
  • If so, what is it?
  • Could there be more than one flaw?

This would be a fruitful research project for you, Sarah:)

 

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It is my humble opinion that the generation scenario that started from Millerites, is completely wrong because takes as given that the prophecy of Jesus about the distraction of Jerusalem will have a second fulfillment. No! we do not know if there will be a generation from 1914 (or whatever date) until the end. This is not scriptural, no one knows except the Father. If someone gives dates is a false prophet. if someone says the light will be brighter ... in order to prophecy is a dangerous person. We Christians of the last days ... we are no Prophets! We must have love ... this is our characteristic.

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Ann,

That's a very powerful combination of points. I remember when Brother Schroeder at Bethel was getting himself involved in the "generation" debate. He needed to look at all uses of "generation" in contexts that implied a time-frame. He was willing to go to Josephus, Philo, the Pseudepigrapha. He was not really satisfied with any of the solutions that went beyond 40 years. He was willing to go with either the solution that it meant the "wicked" generation or the "anointed" generation but, either way,he still wanted it to be within 40 years. 

So it shouldn't have been surprising that he came up with the idea that, because of Sputnik, October 4, 1957 was the new, updated start of the generation that saw the full sign, because it had to include the "signs in the 'heavens'" including the idea that men would become 'faint out of fear.' It's also interesting that even though we have never claimed that Jerusalem fell in October, or that Zedekiah was removed from his throne in October, we still love the idea of October as the start of the Gentile Times. Not just October, but October 4th. 

*** w79 9/15 p. 24 par. 11 The “Cup” That All Nations Must Drink at God’s Hand *** [1979]
But the reason simply is that about October 4/5, 1914, or 2,520 years from the desolating of Judah and Jerusalem after the Babylonian conquest, the Gentile Times of uninterrupted world domination ended.

Note the wording of the very first line on

    Hello guest!

"History changed on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I.".

1957 + 40 = 1997, and he was also sure that the end would come before the end of the 20th century. The proposal was in 1980, and therefore he was sure that we had less than 17 years left in this old system.

*** w80 7/1 p. 3 Keep Watching! *** [1980]
Truly, the possibility that the “unthinkable” could happen provides good reason for thinking about the world situation. And many people are thinking. A special report in the February 11, 1980, issue of U.S. News & World Report analyzed the military might of the leading nations on earth, with these opening words: “To a fearfully watching world, the Soviet Union today looks like a military juggernaut, driving relentlessly toward global domination.” This is indeed a fearfully watching world, for the kind of holocaust that would accompany a nuclear war simply beggars the imagination. And there is no question that global domination has in fact become a major issue of our times.
Is there any solution to this doomsday situation? Many persons watch in despair. They see the nations ‘beefing it up’ in terms of rockets, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, long-range bombers, nuclear warheads and the like. As they watch, they become painfully aware that fearful dangers now threaten from the heavens and the sea, even as the Master, Jesus, foretold for the final days of the wicked system of things on this earth. Jesus said:


“There will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs. Also, there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth anguish of nations, not knowing the way out because of the roaring of the sea and its agitation, while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”—Luke 21:11, 25, 26.

In this context, it's easier to understand why Brother Schroeder was able to propose the following, with the approval of two other members of the Governing Body and propose it to the entire Governing Body.on March 5 of the same year, 1980:

DfIbI9d.gif

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

Also:

*** ka chap. 16 p. 296 par. 7 Completion of the Foretold “Sign” Nears ***


"Counted from the year of Jesus’ prophecy on the subject, the Jewish system of things had thirty-seven years yet to go, less than a generation with a life-span of forty years.
 

*** it-1 p. 540 Wilderness Wanderings of Israel ***


"This brought Jehovah’s swift judgment: Forty years would pass before the nation would enter the Promised Land. By then, the faithless members of that generation would have died off."

So the questions are, 

  • Could there be a flaw in the Org's eschatology?
  • If so, what is it?
  • Could there be more than one flaw?

This would be a fruitful research project for you, Sarah:)

 

Thank you for your input. I appreciate your use of Scripture to interpret Scripture. It seems a generation is not as long as some think.

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18 minutes ago, gfnslave said:

Thank you for your input. I appreciate your use of Scripture to interpret Scripture. It seems a generation is not as long as some think.

What do you make of the current idea about 2 groups of anointed overlapping with one another which comprises one generation?

Oh and when I said,

This would be a fruitful research project for you, Sarah:)

I meant to put your name as you were the OP. Should worn my reading glasses. 9_9

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On 3/13/2016 at 13:32, gfnslave said:

So, I am reading in Matthew about how many generations there we're from the deportation from Babylon until the Christ, 14 generations. The way I do math 607 divided by 14 equals 43.3 years. This is how Scripture measures a generation.The way I see it since 1914 we have had 2 complete generations and are now working on a 3rd. According to Jesus shouldn't the end have come by now?

 

What would be the length of a generation as mentioned in Gen 15:16?

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Yes, al this discussion is great. Much information, yet done conclusive to make a valid point but one, we still have to wait! No one knows but the Father. That is the only true fact we have. Only the one alive will see any of this occur.,another true fact. The ones alive, 'that generation' saw the promised land, right? Not the ones who had died. So it is true right now. Whoever is alive will see all that will happen as the Bible proposes it to happen. Jesus told us to be awake to see it, stay alert; so whenever it does happen we will not be caught off guard. Not trying to know the day or the hour, that information is for cowards, who want to skate and slide in at the last hour. No, salvation is not for you. I said that, I approve of what I just said, for it is the truth. That is why not even Jesus knows, but only Jehovah knows. He has the final say when all this takes place. No leaks will help any of us. We will either be ready or asleep at the wheel. It will come even if it seems as if it is delayed, but it will not be late.

So we should not be impatient like Sarah and begin trying other things to speed it up or even circumventing it. It will come in its due time as Jehovah sees fit, my friends. So a generation, will be alive when all things take place however long or short that is. That math, our math is irrelevant. Only Jehovah's is. His counts. Agape.

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On 3/15/2016 at 10:37 AM, John Houston said:

Yes, al this discussion is great. Much information, yet done conclusive to make a valid point but one, we still have to wait! No one knows but the Father. That is the only true fact we have. Only the one alive will see any of this occur.,another true fact. The ones alive, 'that generation' saw the promised land, right? Not the ones who had died. So it is true right now. Whoever is alive will see all that will happen as the Bible proposes it to happen. Jesus told us to be awake to see it, stay alert; so whenever it does happen we will not be caught off guard. Not trying to know the day or the hour, that information is for cowards, who want to skate and slide in at the last hour. No, salvation is not for you. I said that, I approve of what I just said, for it is the truth. That is why not even Jesus knows, but only Jehovah knows. He has the final say when all this takes place. No leaks will help any of us. We will either be ready or asleep at the wheel. It will come even if it seems as if it is delayed, but it will not be late.

So we should not be impatient like Sarah and begin trying other things to speed it up or even circumventing it. It will come in its due time as Jehovah sees fit, my friends. So a generation, will be alive when all things take place however long or short that is. That math, our math is irrelevant. Only Jehovah's is. His counts. Agape.

Do you really think that at this late date Jesus still doesn't know the day or the hour? Of course I know I really shouldn't speculate but somehow I can't help but think he has earned the right to know.

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    • By Anna
      Something I thought might be relevant since we are studying the God's Kingdom book. Not long ago, in a WT article, it was mentioned in reference to the "Kingdom being preached in all the inhabited earth" that this will not mean that literally everyone on Earth would have heard about the Kingdom before Armageddon starts.
      When one does a bit of mathematics (not my forte) and calculates the percentage of current Jehovah's Witnesses in comparison to the World's population we arrive at 0.1%. This is a very small percentage indeed. (8 million JW to 8 billion population)
      If we were to assume some averages, and use the United States as a fair example, then we can assume the ratio of 1 publisher to roughly around 400. This seems a fair number since "only a few are the ones finding the road to life". However, as we know, there is practically a non existent ratio when it comes to India and China, two of the world's countries with a population of over 1billion each (the majority of whom have never heard of the Bible, never mind Jehovah's Witnesses).  If we would assume the same ratio of 1:400, then this would immediately create over 3 million Witnesses in each of the two countries, i.e. over 6 million in India and China alone, bringing the total of JWs to over 14 million. If we were to also add 650 thousand in Indonesia, 485 thousand from Pakistan, and 402 thousand from Bangladesh that adds another 1.5 million bringing the total to over 15 million, almost doubling the Witnesses today.
      If we go by the fact that all people are equal in Jehovah's eyes, and that no nation is above another when it comes to salvation, and that all people are basically the same, then we have to assume that there are people in those countries who, if given the chance, would embrace the truth and put themselves on Jehovah's side and create that ratio of 1:400.
      With that in mind, it is evident that either there is going to have to be a lot of preaching done, verging on the miraculous, in order to bring in over 7 million new Witnesses within the allotted time of the "Generation", or, Jehovah will judge their hearts and allow nearly HALF of the people, (agnostics or believers in false Gods) entry into the new world without them even needing to know him.
      Or, is "this Generation" a lot longer than we think.....
      Any scriptural thoughts?
       
    • By JW Insider
      Even before C.T.Russell was born, commentaries on Bible prophecy included  dozens of potential dates. Nearly 200 years ago, a couple of them even included 1914 as potentially significant time period. The "1914 presence" doctrine, however, is only about 75 years old.
      All the ideas behind the Watch Tower's version of the 1914 doctrine have already been discussed for decades now, and all of them, so far, have been shown to be problematic from a Scriptural point of view. Since the time that the doctrine generally took its current shape in 1943, the meanings and applications of various portions of Matthew 24 and 25 have already been changed, and the timing of various prophesied events and illustrations have changed. Most recently, the meaning and identification of the "faithful and discreet slave" has changed. And the definition of "generation" has changed about half-a-dozen times. This doesn't mean that the current understandings are impossible, of course, only that it has become less likely from the point of view of reason and reasonableness.
      Besides, for most of the years of teaching this doctrine, we have had the flexibility of extending the "1914 generation" from a possible 40 years, up to 70, then 75, then 80 years. And this has been applied to teenagers who saw 1914, 10-year-olds who saw 1914, then even newborns who saw 1914. With every one of these options already tried and stretched to their limits, we finally were forced to convert the meaning of generation from its most common meanings and give it a new "strained" meaning that has no other Biblical parallel. (See Exodus 1:6; Matthew 1:17; 16:4; 23:36; Luke 11:50)
      But that flexibility is still seen as the last reason for hope that the Watch Tower Society might have still been correct in hanging on to 1914. Since the Bible says that a lifespan is 70 or 80 years and 1914 + 80 = 1994, the "generation" doctrine in its original form (1943) could remain stable until about 1994. Of course, a lifespan could technically reach to 120 years or more, and Gen 6:3 even gives vague support to the idea that the "1914 generation" could last 120 years, until 2034.
      The current alternative solution is to make the generation out of the length of two lifespans, which technically could be double 120 years, or nearly 240 years from 1914. That would have had the potential to reach to the year 2154 (1914+240) except for the caveat that it can, by its new definition, only refer to anointed persons who discerned the sign in 1914 and whose lives overlapped (technically, by as little as one second) with the lifespan of another anointed person representing the second group. If persons from each group don't really discern their own "anointing" until age 20, for example, this would effectively remove 40 years from the overall maximum. 1914+120-20+120-20 = 2114. We could also assume a possible lifespan of more than 120 years, but otherwise, the new two-lifespan generation could potentially make the generation last 200 years. This "technical maximum" is not promoted currently, because for now we look at examples like Fred Franz who was part of that original generation already anointed and who saw the sign, and the typical example of an anointed brother who was apparently "anointed" prior to Franz' death in 1992 would be someone like Governing Body member, Brother Sanderson, who was born in 1965, baptized in 1975, and was already a "special pioneer" in 1991. His is currently 52.
      However, the generation problem is just one more problem now which we can add onto the list of all the other points that make up the 1914 doctrine. Here are several points related to 1914 that appear problematic from a Scriptural point of view:
      All evidence shows the 1914 date is wrong when trying to base it on the destruction of Jerusalem. (Daniel 1:1; 2 Chron 36:1-22; Jer 25:8-12; Zech 1:12, 7:4; Ezra 3:10-13) Paul said that Jesus sat at God's right hand in the first century and that he already began ruling as king at that time. (1 Cor 15:25) Jesus said not to be fooled by the idea that wars and rumors of wars would be the start of a "sign" (Matt 24:4,5) Jesus said that the "parousia" would be as visible as lightning (Matt 24:27). He spoke against people who might say he had returned but was currently not visible. (Matt 24:23-26) Jesus said that his "parousia" would come as a surprise to the faithful, not that they would discern the time of the parousia decades in advance. (Matt 24:36-42) Jesus said that the kingdom would not be indicated by "signs" (Luke 17:20, almost any translation except NWT in this case) The "synteleia" (end of all things together) refers to a concluding event, not an extended period of time (Matt 28:20) Jesus was already called ruler, King and even "King of Kings" in the first century. (1 Tim 6:15, Heb 7:2,17; Rev 1:5; 17:14) Wicked, beastly King Nebuchadnezzar's insanity and humiliation does not represent Jesus as the "lowliest one of mankind." (Heb 1:5,6; 2:10,11; Daniel 4:23-25; cf. Heb 2:7; 1 Pet 3:17,18) The demise of a Gentile kingdom cannot rightly represent the time of the rise of the Gentile kingdoms (Daniel 4:26,27) The Gentile kings did not meet their demise in 1914. (Rev 2:25,26) The time assigned to the Gentile Times that Jesus spoke about in Luke 21:24 is already given as 3.5 times, not 7 times (Revelation 11:2,3) The Devil was already brought down from "heaven" in the first century. (1 John 2:14,15; 1 Pet 5:8; Luke 10:18; Heb 2:14) The Bible says that the "last days" began in the first century. (Acts 2:14-20; 2 Tim 3:1-17; 1 Peter 3:3-5; Heb 1:2, almost any translation except NWT in this case.)
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      After much prayerful reflection on the Scriptures, I have come to the realisation that the true identity of the “generation” Jesus spoke of at Matthew
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. may soon be revealed. There Jesus said, “This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.” I think the understanding Jehovah’s Witnesses currently hold on this scripture is incorrect. I believe that Joel chapter 2 will have a second fulfillment in the last days of this complete world system, just as it had a primary fulfillment in the last days of the Jewish system at Pentecost 33 CE. At that time true Christians were sealed with Holy Spirit. I believe that there will be yet another true spirit anointing or sealing in the near future. This is what John was referring to when he spoke of the sealing of the 144,000 in revelation chapter 7. The spiritual Israelite nation must be reborn. (Isaiah 66:8). The great crowd mentioned in the same chapter belong to the same group but are seen standing before the throne after Armageddon coming out of all nations. This sealing will result in a true restoration of pure worship as indicated by Ezekiel’s prophecy of the valley of dry bones. (Ezekiel 37). Jehovah blows his spirit into the bones and they live. The preaching work up to now could be compared to the work of John the Baptist. It is a baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins. By their actions Jehovah’s Witnesses prove themselves to be true Christians having repented of their sins. Yet they are not spirit anointed. I believe Jehovah is preparing them for a true spirit anointing. Their understanding of scripture will be refined. (See Malachi 3:1) The great worldwide preaching work, in fulfillment of the the “angel flying in mid heaven with everlasting good news to declare” is yet future. (Revelation 14) The fulfillment of the prophecies in Matthew 24, and other related prophecies concerning the last days find their real fulfillment in the future. The last days have not yet begun. Jesus told his followers to “Learn from the fig tree when it’s branch grows tender and puts forth leaves.” (Matthew Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. -34). The fig tree represents Israel. I believe that this illustration could be a referring to the spiritual Israelite nation blossoming forth beginning with an outpouring of Holy Spirit. At least some of the generation of Christians that witness the birth of this new spiritual nation will be still alive on earth to witness the end of the age. This outpouring of Holy Spirit may occur in the very near future.  
       
       
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      By Guest Kurt
      Why did Jack cry? Maybe it was because he realized the old will get young again....JWs do have the Truth...and soon everyone will see that.....
    • By PeterR
      So if this is the basis for your belief, then probably what you'll want to do is first of all find out which bible book your foundational scripture is in. (It's Exodus by the way.)
       
      Ex 1:6 - Eventually Joseph died, and also all his brothers and all that generation.
       
      It's not a complicated scripture.
      Let me ask you this. If you die in 2017 and all your brothers and all your generation also die at some point, what does "generation" mean if you don't impose any weirdness on the text? Do your precise birth and death times change the fundamental meaning of the word generation?
      Of course there are overlaps in a "generation". The only possible way for there not to be overlaps would be for each generation to have a batch of children be born at the same minute of a certain year, and die at a simultanous minute of a later year.
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    • By Outta Here
      Since 2009 there has been a great deal of discussion around the concept of an "overlapping generation" in connection with Jesus words at Matt. 24:34.
      I don't see anything particularly difficult about the idea myself. 
      I mean, you have a two stage relay. Start point: 1914 CE on one end. Finish point: the "great tribulation" on the other end. The track between is the stream of time.
      As it is impossible for one team of runners to span the distance from the start, 1914 CE, to the finish, the "great tribulation", there are two teams of "anointed" Christians. Starting the race, those who saw the year 1914 eventually meet up with those (born later) who will see the outbreak of the great tribulation. The baton is passed and the race completed by the second group.
      The entire group are seen as the (anointed) generation of the last days in Jesus prophecy. Not really rocket science is it?
      But, in all the discussion around this, I see a phrase in Jesus words at Matt 24:34 I find intriguing. He said that "this generation will by no means pass away"  (NWT)
      Other translations render this differently, many saying simply "will not pass" or words to that effect. Why does the NWT render it in this particular manner?




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    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Bonjour Eric merci pour cet exposé.
      Bonne journée Michel
      1LE BATEAU.pdf
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    • Eric Ouellet

      La sagesse est plus précieuse que l’or et la crainte envers Jéhovah est notre salut.
       
      La vraie sagesse de Dieu est un cadeau inestimable, car seul ceux qui obéissent et suivent ces préceptes en recoivent les bienfaits. En Psaume 111:10 déclare ceci: “La crainte de Jéhovah est le commencement de la sagesse.”
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      Peu après avoir été diplômé, cet homme ainsi que sa femme se sont mis à étudier la Bible avec les Témoins de Jéhovah. Dans la Parole de Dieu, ils ont peu à peu trouvé les réponses qui leur manquaient. Ils ont appris à connaître le Créateur, Jéhovah Dieu. En étudiant ce qui est arrivé à Moïse à la mer Rouge, à Daniel et à ses compagnons à Babylone, ils ont appris l’importance de craindre Dieu, et non les hommes (Exode 14:10-31; Daniel 3:8-30). Cette crainte pieuse mêlée d’un amour sincère pour Jéhovah a commencé à les animer. Rapidement, leur vie a changé. Enfin cet homme connaissait Celui dont il avait étudié l’œuvre en biologie. Il a progressivement compris le dessein de Celui dont il avait constaté la sagesse dans ses cours de physique. Au lieu d’employer sa connaissance à élaborer des instruments de destruction, il a choisi, avec sa femme, d’aider autrui à aimer Dieu et son prochain. Ils ont entrepris le service de prédicateurs du Royaume de Dieu à plein temps. Par la suite, ils ont suivi les cours de Galaad, l’École biblique de la Société Watchtower, et ont été nommés missionnaires.
      Bien entendu, tout le monde ne peut pas être missionnaire. Mais tous nous pouvons bénéficier de la sagesse fondée sur la crainte de Jéhovah. Si nous cultivons cette sagesse, nous ne consacrerons pas le meilleur de notre vie à étudier les philosophies humaines, qui n’échafaudent que des suppositions sur le but de la vie. Nous nous appliquerons à l’étude de la Bible, livre inspiré de Jéhovah Dieu, la Source de la vie, celui qui peut nous donner la vie éternelle (Psaume 36:9; Colossiens 2:8). Au lieu de nous rendre esclaves d’un système commercial chancelant, au bord de la ruine, nous écouterons Jéhovah, qui nous conseille de nous contenter de la nourriture et du vêtement, et d’accorder à nos relations avec lui la priorité dans notre existence (1 Timothée 6:8-12). Au lieu de nous comporter comme si notre avenir dépendait d’une belle situation dans le monde actuel, nous croirons la Parole de Jéhovah, qui nous affirme que le monde est en train de passer, de même que le désir du monde, alors que celui qui fait la volonté divine demeure pour toujours. — 1 Jean 2:17.
      Dans le livre de Proverbes 16:16, Salomon nous encourage par cette déclaration certaine: “Acquérir la sagesse [la sagesse qui commence par la crainte de Jéhovah], oh! combien cela vaut mieux que l’or! Et acquérir l’intelligence est préférable à l’argent.” Poussés par cette sagesse et cette intelligence, nous considérerons l’accomplissement de la volonté de Dieu comme le premier centre d’intérêt de notre vie. Et quelle activité Dieu a-t-il confiée à ses Témoins en cette période de l’histoire humaine? Faire connaître son Royaume par la prédication et aider les personnes sincères à devenir de vrais disciples de Jésus Christ (Matthieu 24:14; 28:19, 20). Il s’agit d’une activité dont on retire une satisfaction véritable et un grand bonheur. C’est donc à propos que la Bible dit: “Heureux l’homme qui a trouvé la sagesse, et l’homme qui acquiert le discernement.” — Proverbes 3:13.
      Elle nous retient de commettre le mal
      Un deuxième bienfait que nous procure la crainte de Dieu est qu’elle nous retient de commettre le mal. Celui qui respecte profondément Dieu ne détermine pas par lui-même ce qui est bien et mal. Il ne tient pas pour mauvais ce que Dieu déclare bon, ni ne considère comme bon ce que Dieu déclare mauvais (Psaume 37:1, 27; Ésaïe 5:20, 21). De plus, celui que motive la crainte pieuse ne se contente pas de savoir ce que Jéhovah déclare bon ou mauvais. Une telle personne aime ce que Jéhovah aime et elle hait ce que Jéhovah hait. En conséquence, elle agit en harmonie avec les préceptes divins. Ainsi, comme le dit Proverbes 16:6, “par la crainte de Jéhovah, on se détourne du mal”. Cette crainte pieuse devient une motivation puissante qui permet d’atteindre des résultats qu’on n’obtiendrait pas même si une personne commence tout juste à l’éprouver, la crainte pieuse peut lui donner le courage de ne pas faire quelque chose qu’elle regretterait le restant de ses jours. Au Mexique, par exemple, une femme enceinte a demandé à une chrétienne Témoin de Jéhovah ce qu’elle pensait de l’avortement. La chrétienne lui a lu plusieurs versets bibliques, puis lui a tenu ce raisonnement: “Pour le Créateur, la vie est très importante, même la vie de ceux qui ne sont pas encore nés.” (Exode 21:22, 23; Psaume 139:13-16). Des examens laissaient entendre que le bébé serait anormal. Néanmoins, après ce qu’elle avait vu dans la Parole de Dieu, cette femme a décidé de garder son enfant. Son médecin a refusé de la revoir, et son mari l’a menacée de la quitter, mais elle a tenu bon. Elle a finalement donné naissance à une magnifique petite fille, normale et en bonne santé. Par gratitude, elle a recherché les Témoins et s’est mise à étudier la Parole de Dieu avec eux. Moins d’un an après, son mari et elle se faisaient baptiser. Quelques années plus tard, à une assemblée de district, tous deux ont été enchantés de rencontrer la chrétienne qui avait parlé à la femme la première fois. Ils lui ont présenté leur jolie fillette de quatre ans. Incontestablement, le respect de Dieu et le désir puissant de ne pas lui déplaire exercent une grande influence.
      La crainte pieuse peut nous garder d’un grand nombre de mauvaises actions (2 Corinthiens 7:1). Cultivée avec soin, elle est capable d’aider quelqu’un à mettre un terme à des péchés cachés, connus de lui seul et de Jéhovah. Elle peut l’aider à se libérer de la dépendance de l’alcool ou de la drogue. Un ancien drogué d’Afrique du Sud a raconté: “Au fur et à mesure que j’apprenais à connaître Dieu, la crainte de le décevoir ou de lui déplaire grandissait en moi. Je savais qu’il m’observait, et je désirais ardemment son approbation. Cela m’a incité à me débarrasser de la drogue qui était en ma possession en la jetant dans les toilettes.” La crainte pieuse a aidé des milliers de personnes de la même manière. — Proverbes 5:21; 15:3.
      La crainte salutaire de Dieu nous préserve également de la crainte de l’homme. La plupart des humains connaissent, à des degrés divers, la crainte de l’homme. Les apôtres de Jésus Christ l’ont abandonné et se sont enfuis lorsque les soldats se sont emparés de lui dans le jardin de Gethsémané. Plus tard, dans la cour du grand prêtre, désarçonné et en proie à la crainte, Pierre a nié faire partie des disciples de Jésus et même le connaître (Marc 14:48-50, 66-72; Jean 18:15-27). Mais grâce à l’aide qu’ils ont reçue, les apôtres ont retrouvé leur équilibre spirituel. Par contre, aux jours du roi Jéhoïakim, Urie, fils de Schémaïah, fut terrassé par la crainte au point d’abandonner son service de prophète de Jéhovah et de fuir le pays, ce qui ne l’empêcha pas d’être capturé et tué. — Jérémie 26:20-23.
      Comment vaincre la crainte de l’homme? 
      Après nous avoir prévenus que “trembler devant les hommes, voilà ce qui tend un piège”, Proverbes 29:25 ajoute: “Mais celui qui se confie en Jéhovah sera protégé.” La réponse tient donc dans la confiance en Jéhovah. Cette confiance s’appuie sur la connaissance et l’expérience. L’étude de sa Parole nous démontre que les voies de Jéhovah sont droites. Nous découvrons des événements attestant qu’il est digne de confiance, que ses promesses sont sûres (y compris celle de la résurrection), qu’il est amour et qu’il est tout-puissant. Lorsqu’ensuite nous agissons conformément à cette connaissance, accomplissant ce que Jéhovah demande et rejetant fermement ce qu’il condamne, nous commençons à constater dans notre propre cas qu’il prend soin de ses serviteurs avec amour et que l’on peut compter sur lui. Nous acquérons personnellement la certitude que sa puissance est à l’œuvre pour que s’accomplisse sa volonté. Notre confiance en lui s’accroît, de même que notre amour pour lui et notre désir sincère de ne pas lui déplaire. Cette confiance est bâtie sur un fondement solide. Elle est un rempart contre la crainte de l’homme.
      Notre confiance en Jéhovah, alliée à la crainte pieuse, nous rendra fermes en faveur du bien dans le cas où un employeur menacerait de nous renvoyer si nous refusions de participer à des pratiques commerciales malhonnêtes (voir Michée 6:11, 12). Grâce à cette crainte pieuse, des milliers de chrétiens persévèrent dans le vrai culte malgré l’opposition de membres de leur famille. Elle donne aussi aux jeunes le courage de se faire connaître comme Témoins de Jéhovah à l’école, et elle les affermit face aux moqueries de leurs camarades de classe qui méprisent les principes bibliques. Ainsi, une adolescente Témoin de Jéhovah a dit: “Ce qu’ils pensent m’est bien égal. L’important, c’est ce que pense Jéhovah.”
      La même conviction donne aux vrais chrétiens la force de rester attachés aux voies de Jéhovah lorsque leur vie est en jeu. Ils savent qu’ils risquent d’être persécutés par le monde. Ils sont conscients que les apôtres ont été fouettés et que même Jésus Christ a été frappé et tué par des hommes méchants (Marc 14:65; 15:15-39; Actes 5:40; voir aussi Daniel 3:16-18). Mais les serviteurs de Jéhovah sont assurés qu’il peut leur donner la force d’endurer, qu’avec son aide ils peuvent remporter la victoire, que Jéhovah récompensera sans faute ses fidèles, si besoin en les ressuscitant dans son monde nouveau. Leur amour pour Dieu ajouté à la crainte pieuse les pousse puissamment à éviter toute action qui pourrait lui déplaire.
      C’est parce qu’ils étaient animés d’une telle motivation que les Témoins de Jéhovah ont supporté les horreurs des camps de concentration nazis dans les années 30 et 40. Ils ont pris à cœur le conseil de Jésus consigné en Luc 12:4, 5: “D’autre part, je vous le dis à vous, mes amis: Ne craignez pas ceux qui tuent le corps, et qui après cela ne peuvent rien faire de plus. Mais je vais vous indiquer qui vous devez craindre: craignez celui qui, après avoir tué, a le pouvoir de jeter dans la Géhenne. Oui, je vous le dis, Celui-là, craignez-le.” Par exemple, Gustav Auschner, un Témoin qui avait été interné dans le camp de concentration de Sachsenhausen, a écrit plus tard: ‘Les SS ont exécuté August Dickmann et ont menacé de nous passer tous par les armes si nous refusions de signer un document par lequel nous abjurions notre foi. Pas un seul n’a signé. Notre crainte de déplaire à Jéhovah était plus forte que la crainte de leurs balles.’ La crainte de l’homme mène aux compromis, mais la crainte de Dieu nous affermit pour faire le bien.
      La préservation de la vie
      Noé a connu les derniers jours du monde antédiluvien. Jéhovah avait décidé de détruire le monde d’alors en raison de la méchanceté des humains. Toutefois, en attendant, Noé a vécu dans un monde où régnaient la violence, l’immoralité sexuelle choquante et le mépris de la volonté divine. Noé a prêché la justice, et pourtant “ils ne s’aperçurent de rien jusqu’à ce que le déluge vînt et les emportât tous”. (Matthieu 24:39.) Noé n’a cependant pas renoncé à l’activité que Dieu lui avait confiée. Il fit “selon tout ce que Dieu lui avait ordonné. Ainsi fit-il”. (Genèse 6:22.) Qu’est-ce qui a permis à Noé, année après année et jusqu’au déluge, de toujours agir comme il convenait? Hébreux 11:7 répond: “Par la foi, Noé, divinement averti de choses qu’on ne voyait pas encore, fit montre d’une crainte pieuse.” Pour cette raison, sa femme, ses fils, leurs femmes et lui ont été sauvés du déluge.
       Notre époque ressemble de bien des manières à celle de Noé (Luc 17:26, 27). De nouveau un avertissement est lancé. Révélation 14:6, 7 parle d’un ange qui vole au milieu du ciel et invite les gens de toute nation et tribu et langue à ‘craindre Dieu et à lui donner gloire’. Quel que puisse être le comportement du monde autour de vous, obéissez à ces paroles, puis transmettez l’invitation à autrui. À l’instar de Noé, agissons avec foi et manifestons une crainte pieuse. Par cela, des vies peuvent être sauvées: la vôtre et celle de nombre de vos semblables. Lorsque nous considérons les bienfaits dont profitent ceux qui craignent le vrai Dieu, nous ne pouvons que souscrire aux paroles du psalmiste divinement inspiré qui chanta: 
      “Heureux est l’homme qui craint Jéhovah, dans les commandements de qui il prend grand plaisir!” — Psaume 112:1.

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    • Darlene  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      I can not open study material 
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    • Darlene  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      Can not open weekly study material 
      · 3 replies
    • Deborah T. Calloway  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      Thank you so much for the meeting work book. I really appreciate your hard work 
      · 0 replies
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