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    • By Srecko Sostar
      Article from 1/24/2020: Jehovah’s Witness abuse victims unhappy at lack of care, report shows

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .....The Dutch branch went to court to try to stop the publication of the report but judges on Thursday ruled that it could be published in the public interest.....
      Below is final part of that report. 
      SUMMARY
      Results in context
      International studies conducted in Australia, Belgium and the United Kingdom show that the issue of sexual abuse in the Jehovah's Witness community is not restricted to the Netherlands. Furthermore, studies conducted within the Dutch Roman Catholic Church and the youth care sector in the Netherlands show that the issue of sexual abuse is not exclusive to the Jehovah's Witness community.
      Our study and the international studies show that the Jehovah's Witness community can be characterized as a closed community. Each of these studies shows that fixed structures and protocols have been established based on the Bible.
      Furthermore, all of the international studies showed that the Jehovah's Witness community does not adequately handle reports and complaints of sexual abuse against minors and that victims find themselves in a vulnerable position.
      Our study and the studies conducted in Australia, Belgium and the United Kingdom also suggested that the closed nature of the community hinders transparent handling of reports of sexual abuse. At first glance, this closed nature also seems to have a negative influence on the willingness to file a police report. International studies into the Jehovah's Witness community have found that there are very few opportunities to make such complaints outside the community and that doing so involves a very high risk of shunning and exclusion. The victim-support mechanisms within the community appear to be insufficient, no support is provided to enable external reporting of sexual abuse and according to many respondents, external reports are discouraged.
      The obligation to notify the authorities of suspected or actual sexual abuse is a vital measure that has been taken by or recommended to the Jehovah's Witness community in Australia and Belgium. The Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands has also been advised to introduce a notification obligation. Since the studies in Australia and the United Kingdom were conducted, the Jehovah's Witnesses have set up a protocol to determine how elders must handle allegations of child abuse. The effects of the measures taken by the Jehovah's Witness community in Australia, the United Kingdom and Belgium in order to improve child safety are not yet known.
      When we look at the three Dutch studies examining communities (closed or otherwise) that were examined during this study (the Roman Catholic Church, the youth care sector and the Netherlands Ministry of Defense), we note that being in a closed community hinders people from reporting a variety of offences. At the time, the minors who reported sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church community seemed to be in an extremely vulnerable position (due in part to the lack of personal counselling), which - among other factors - discouraged them from notifying external parties. Studies within the youth care sector and the Netherlands Ministry of Defense indicate that non-religious organisations also have structural inadequacies concerning the protection of members against undesired conduct and external reporting of such conduct. Furthermore, it can be carefully concluded from the studies within the Roman Catholic Church and youth care sector that the weak levels of procedural transparency concerning issues, such as to whom the incidents should be reported and how the reporting process is conducted, appear to have negatively impacted the willingness to report offences.
      Utrecht University Conclusions
      ▪ A total of 751 participants shared their experiences of sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witness community via our contact point. These experiences included 292 accounts from people with personal experience of abuse and 459 accounts from people who know somebody who suffered abuse.
      ▪ 80% of the participants in the study reported their experiences of sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witness community. ▪ 30% of the respondents notified the police and 27% of the respondents filed a police report.
      ▪ Three-quarters of the victims awarded a score of 5 or less for the handling of their report by the Jehovah's Witness community (average score: 3.3). ▪ 63% of the victims awarded a score of 6 or more for the handling of their report by the police (average score: 6.4).
      ▪ Compared to internal channels (80% report the offence within the community), a relatively small proportion of the participants in the study engage external channels (30% notify the police and 27% file an official police report). There are reasons to assume that the filing of a police report is hindered by the closed nature of the community and the risks involved in informing external parties. However, our study does not provide causal evidence for this factor and follow-up studies would be required for such evidence.
      ▪ According to our respondents, the closed culture within the Jehovah's Witness community can also be linked to the problems concerning the handling of reports of sexual abuse. The board has now put protocols and instructions in place to establish procedures for responding to reports of sexual abuse, although these mainly seem to focus on protecting the community - and, by extension, the culprit - rather than the victim. As a result, victims receive limited support and insufficient recognition, which can result in secondary victimization.
      ▪ While the community has taken steps over the past 10 years to improve how reports of sexual abuse are handled, the Jehovah's Witnesses' formalistic system still provides no guarantee of an adequate response to sexual abuse.
      Recommendations
      Based on the findings and conclusions in the study, we have formulated recommendations for the Jehovah's Witness community and for the Dutch government.
      ▪ We appeal to the community of Jehovah's Witnesses to ensure better support for and recognition of victims and alleged victims via measures such as the following:
      o Providing more explicit information regarding the options for reporting the abuse externally or filing a police report and/or seeking external help as well as providing clear assistance with these external channels.
      o Setting up an internal reporting centre for victims of sexual abuse, with adequate knowledge of the subject and of the internal and external options for victims. Clear agreements must be established within this reporting centre concerning timely engagement of external parties for the purposes of reporting the offence and/or supporting the victim.
      o Compiling annual reports regarding the activities of the internal reporting centre in relation to its own website, fellow believers and the public.
      o Training and educating elders in how to handle in cases of sexual abuse, in order to better equip them to provide support to victims.
      o Investing in openness and transparency in relation to sexual abuse and how it is handled.
      o Initiating cultural change that establishes a clearer position for women.
      o Engaging in discussions within the community and with other parties - such as politicians, the police, the authorities and the Reclaimed Voices foundation - concerning how to prevent and handle sexual abuse.
      ▪ Furthermore, the results of this study could help to ensure relevant parties - such as the municipal health services and the police - are better informed of the influence of closed communities on victims of abuse.
      ▪ The Netherlands board of Jehovah's Witnesses actively cooperated with our study. The board also stated that it complies with the law of the land and the Reclaimed Voices foundation confirmed this policy principle. This situation provides the Dutch political system with the opportunity to take action and enter into talks with the community about patterns, church rules, other rules, customs, structures and their consequences for the willingness to report sexual abuse within the community of Jehovah's Witnesses. Within this context, a law is being considered that would make it mandatory for the Jehovah's Witnesses and other organisations to report instances or suspicions of sexual abuse to the police. Other countries have already introduced this type of law. Assessment of the usefulness and desirability of this instrument for the Jehovah's Witness community in the Netherlands will require further research.
      ▪ Finally, we recommend supplementing the independent scientific research presented during this report with additional future research. After all, the number of missing values/responses for a number of variables and the self-reports presented here imply that establishing truth is not the purpose of this report. Furthermore, no solid causal links concerning willingness to report sexual abuse can be derived from this report. Further research would be necessary to determine how applicable the findings concerning sexual abuse are to the Jehovah's Witness community in the Netherlands and in other countries, as well as within other organisations. However, the research presented in this study into sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witness community in the Netherlands provides ample grounds for future research to establish a more comprehensive picture of the people reporting sexual abuse, the people not reporting sexual abuse, and the perpetrators of sexual abuse among Jehovah's Witnesses in the Netherlands and in other countries.

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    • By Patiently waiting for Truth
      Jehovah’s Witnesses go to court to block sex abuse report publication

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Utrecht, Netherlands
      A SHOOTING attack on Monday in the Dutch city of Utrecht that left three people dead and nine injured was being investigated as a possible case of terrorism, authorities said, and police were focusing their hunt on a gunman who escaped the scene.
      "At this stage, we can confirm three deaths and nine wounded, three of them seriously," Utrecht Mayor Jan van Zanen said in a video statement on Twitter. "We are working on the principle that it was a terrorist attack," he added.
      Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had earlier said there were "possible deaths" and that a terrorist motive was "not excluded".
      The Netherlands' main counterterrorism agency raised its assessment of the threat in Utrecht province, just south-east of Amsterdam, to the highest level and said it had activated a crisis team. The Dutch paramilitary police increased security at airports and other vital infrastructure points.

      Armed police at the scene where a shooting took place in the Dutch city of Utrecht on March 18. Authorities raised the terrorism threat to its highest level in Utrecht. 
      PHOTO: EPA-EFE
      https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/tram-shooting-in-holland-in-possible-terrorist-attack
    • Guest
      By Guest
      We are excited for the regional convention this year. Even a number of international conventions are planned! This again will be an opportunity to experience the love and unity of our world wide brotherhood. Thank you for the picture @jw_legofigure
    • By ARchiv@L
      2016 December Chile Special Convention of JW
       
       
      2016______________________

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The Jehovah’s Witnesses community in the Netherlands will not hold an independent inquiry into the sexual abuse of members, despite being urged to do so by justice minister Sander Dekker. By last month, 267 reports of sexual abuse involving Jehovah’s Witnesses had been made to a hotline set up by the Reclaimed Voices foundation in 2017 after Trouw published a report on the growing scandal. Dekker told RTL Nieuws on Tuesday that the organisation’s decision is ‘disappointing’ and that it is ignoring the victims who want to be heard. He has no powers to force the organisation to hold an inquiry.
      Read more: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The number of reports of sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses now stands at 267, Reclaimed Voices, a foundation that manages the hotline for this type of abuse, said to newspaper Trouw.
      Reclaimed Voices was established last year after Trouw published the stories of a number of Jehovah's Witnesses who were abused during their youth. One victim called the religious group a "paradise for pedophiles", because the Jehovah's Witnesses elders tend to keep sexual abuse quiet. In the first week of its existence, the hotline received nearly 50 sexual abuse reports. 
      According to the newspaper, the victims of sexual abuse asked the Jehovah's Witnesses elders for a meeting to discuss this abuse six months ago, but still haven't heard anything. This has a big affect on the victims, Frank Huiting of Reclaimed Voices said to Trouw. "They are angry, they haven't known where they stand for some time and feel disappointed about the entire process. They still aren't being heard, is what it comes down to."
      Minister Sander Dekker for Legal Protection also instructed the leaders of the Jehovah's Witnesses to start a conversation with the victims. 

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    • By Srecko Sostar
      "Some 80 reports of sexual abuse involving the Jehovah’s Witnesses community have been made over the past month, Trouw said on Thursday.
       
      Justice minister Sander Dekker has already said that the (JW)church should look to the example of the Catholic church to dealing with complaints about sexual abuse."
       
      "We are going to study the measures of the Catholic Church."
      - Michel van Hilten, spokesman Jehovah's Witnesses

      source;  
      DutchNews.nl: Dozens come forward to report abuse by Jehovah’s Witnesses 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Reclaimed Voices, a foundation set up in the Netherlands to denounce sexual abuse by Jehovah's Witnesses, received 46 reports of abuse in just a week's time. The number of reports is shocking, Frank Huiting, one of the founders and himself a victim of sexual abuse in a closed Jehovah's Witnesses community as a child, said to broadcaster NOS. 
      The foundation was launched just over a week ago, based on Huiting's own experiences. He was abused from the time he was seven year's old. When Huiting told his parents, they decided not to report it to the police. An elder in the community advised against it. "Then there will be headlines in the newspaper and we don't want that."
      According to the Reclaimed Voices initiators, victims within the closed Jehovah's Witnesses community are not heard and perpetrators are left to continue unchecked. Over the past week, foundation employees heard stories from a number of people who were abused by Jehovah's Witnesses. "The fact that so many reports have come in actually says enough. There are at least hundreds of cases in the Netherlands that should actually come out", Huiting said, according to NOS. He added that so many victims are too afraid to come forward.
      The main purpose of Reclaimed Voices is to be a listening ear. The employees urge victims to speak out, and hope that they also report the abuse. "People walked around with this secret for years. And the fact that they are coming out, can be a relief for them. That was also my experience. We also want to advise them to seek professional help. Also outside the religious community, for example with a social worker, psychologist or general practitioner", Huiting said.
      The foundation aims to collect as man reports of sexual abuse as possible and present them to the board of Jehovah's Witnesses Netherlands and the Dutch government. "We want to get the government to investigate these abuses. And not to start a fight, but really to focus on the victim."
      Earlier this year Dutch newspaper Trouw spoke to a number of people who were sexually abused as children in the Jehovah's Witnesses community. One victim described the religious society as a "paradise for pedophiles". 

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    • By Bible Speaks
      Thank you ???????
      ???
      Song 67 "Preach the Word"
       
      People need to hear that the end of this system of things is near. May this song motivate you to share the hope within your heart.
      ???
      Tap on Video Link mp4 ________Enjoy! 
      #Repost @jw_kingdommelodiespiano
      49AF6BBA-0412-4DF6-B3B2-1E237A8AF178.MP4


    • By Bible Speaks
      A Place That Will Bring You Praise—Chorus ?????
      1. Jehovah, the Maker of heaven,
      By heaven you can’t be contained,
      Even less an earthly dwelling place.
      But your spirit can here remain.
      Adorning this center of worship
      Are people who walk in your light.
      We rejoice to serve in unity;
      Our devotion is your delight.
      (BRIDGE)
      There is nothing we have
      That you haven’t provided.
      From your own hand, we’ve given
      All that we offer you.

      (CHORUS)
      For all you have done, we are grateful;
      Our voices in song we now raise.
      For you’ve made our hope reality
      With this place that will bring you praise.
        2. Jehovah, you knew that we wanted
      A place that will bring to you praise
      And will serve the needs of worshippers,
      Helping others to walk your ways.
      And now may this place serve your purpose.
      There’s work needing yet to be done,
      To pick up the pace and carry on
      In the work given by your Son.
      (BRIDGE)
      So we offer the best
      Of our time and possessions.
      You alone are deserving —⁠
      Giver of all good things.

      (CHORUS)
      For all you have done, we are grateful;
      Our voices in song we now raise.
      For you’ve made our hope reality
      With this place that will bring you praise. Tap on Video Link mp4_____Enjoy! 
        IMG_7873.MP4
    • Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
    • By Bible Speaks
      Wow...#JWHolland?? #JWEurope 
      #ConventionCampaign #JWGlobalFamily #StandFirm #ShoulderToShoulder #CloseRanksNow
      IT IS OUR TURN TO START THE CONVENTION CAMPAIGN FOR SWIFTERBANT, THE NETHERLANDS !! DON'T GIVE UP! 2017
      Tap on screen link for video 
        IMG_0068.MP4
    • By Bible Speaks
      "Preach the word, be at it urgently in favorable season, in troublesome season, reprove, reprimand, exhort, with all long-suffering and art of teaching."
      ???
      (2 Tim. 4:2)
       
    • By The Librarian
      A Song That Inspired Laborers
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      Via
    • By Jack Ryan
      These are the 8 designated party conventions for 2017. They are for those who know they are special and get to go expenses paid and for those who are willing pay dearly to feel special. They are guaranteed to be blessed with a visit from a GB member. Some will be featured on JWTV.
      To emphasize the exclusivity, only certain countries are invited to each convention. The countries that get invited usually only get one choice. For example the Japanese can only go to Indonesia. But some get two choices, like Russians, who can choose Indonesia or Kazakhstan. Croatians can drive to Vienna or Milan. But Americans got invited to all 8 parties.
      Are you "special" enough to be chosen?
    • Guest Nicole
    • Guest
      By Guest
      Posted so as to avoid confusion. ;-)
      My last name supposedly originates from the Dutch .... I was told they changed from a C to a K to avoid persecution from the Germans in the USA. Go figure.
    • By ARchiv@L
      Video files containing the music and lyrics for all 151 songs from the new songbook “Sing Out Joyfully” to Jehovah are now available. 
      These files allow the lyrics to be shown on-screen during congregation meetings of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

      1. Jehovah's Attributes

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      2. Jehovah Is Your Name
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      3. Our Strength, Our Hope, Our Confidence
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      4. "Jehovah Is My Shepherd"
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      5. God's Wondrous Works
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      6. The Heavens Declare God's Glory
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      7. Jehovah, Our Strength
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      8. Jehovah Is Our Refuge
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      9. Jehovah Is Our King!
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      10. Praise Jehovah Our God!
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      11. Creation Praises God
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      12. Great God, Jehovah
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      13. Christ, Our Model
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      14. Praising Earth's New King
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      15. Praise Jehovah's Firstborn!
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      16. Praise Jah for His Son, the Anointed
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      17. "I Want To"
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      18. Grateful for the Ransom
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      19. The Lord's Evening Meal
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      20. You Gave Your Precious Son
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      21. Keep On Seeking First the Kingdom
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      22. The Kingdom Is in Place—Let It Come!
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      23. Jehovah Begins His Rule
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      24. Come to Jehovah's Mountain
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      25. A Special Possession
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      26. You Did It for Me
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      27. The Revealing of God's Sons
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      28. Gaining Jehovah's Friendship
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      29. Living Up to Our Name
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      30. My Father, My God and Friend
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      31. Oh, Walk With God!
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      32. Take Sides With Jehovah!
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      33. Throw Your Burden on Jehovah
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      34. Walking in Integrity
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      35. "Make Sure of the More Important Things"
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      36. We Guard Our Hearts
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      37. Serving Jehovah Whole-Souled
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      38. He Will Make You Strong
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      39. Make a Good Name With God
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      40. To Whom Do We Belong?
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      41. Please Hear My Prayer
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      42. The Prayer of God's Servant
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      43. A Prayer of Thanks
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      44. A Prayer of the Lowly One
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      45. The Meditation of My Heart
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      46. We Thank You, Jehovah
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      47. Pray to Jehovah Each Day
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      48. Daily Walking With Jehovah
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      49. Making Jehovah's Heart Glad
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      50. My Prayer of Dedication
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      51. To God We Are Dedicated!
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      52. Christian Dedication
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      53. Preparing to Preach
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      54. "This Is the Way"
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      55. Fear Them Not!
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      56. Make the Truth Your Own
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      57. Preaching to All Sorts of People
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      58. Searching for Friends of Peace
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      59. Praise Jah With Me
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      60. It Means Their Life
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      61. Forward, You Witnesses!
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      62. The New Song
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      63. We're Jehovah's Witnesses!
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      64. Sharing Joyfully in the Harvest
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      65. Move Ahead!
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      66. Declare the Good News
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      67. "Preach the Word"
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      68. Sowing Kingdom Seed
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      69. Go Forward in Preaching the Kingdom!
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      70. Search Out Deserving Ones
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      71. We Are Jehovah's Army!
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      72. Making Known the Kingdom Truth
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      73. Grant Us Boldness
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      74. Join in the Kingdom Song!
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      75. "Here I Am! Send Me!"
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      76. How Does It Make You Feel?
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      77. Light in a Darkened World
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      78. "Teaching the Word of God"
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      79. Teach Them to Stand Firm
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      80. "Taste and See That Jehovah Is Good"
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      81. The Life of a Pioneer
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      82. "Let Your Light Shine"
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      83. "From House to House"
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      84. Reaching Out
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      85. Welcome One Another
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      86. We Must Be Taught
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      87. Come! Be Refreshed
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      88. Make Me Know Your Ways
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      89. Listen, Obey, and Be Blessed
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      90. Encourage One Another
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      91. Our Labor of Love
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      92. A Place Bearing Your Name
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      93. Bless Our Meeting Together
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      94. Grateful for God's Word
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      95. The Light Gets Brighter
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      96. God's Own Book—A Treasure
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      97. Life Depends on God's Word
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      98. The Scriptures—Inspired of God
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      99. Myriads of Brothers
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      100. Receive Them With Hospitality
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      101. Working Together in Unity
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      102. "Assist Those Who Are Weak"
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      103. Shepherds—Gifts in Men
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      104. God's Gift of Holy Spirit
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      105. "God Is Love"
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      106. Cultivating the Quality of Love
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      107. The Divine Pattern of Love
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      108. God's Loyal Love
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      109. Love Intensely From the Heart
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      110. "The Joy of Jehovah"
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      111. Our Reasons for Joy
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      112. Jehovah, God of Peace
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      113. Our Possession of Peace
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      114. "Exercise Patience"
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      115. Gratitude for Divine Patience
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      116. The Power of Kindness
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      117. The Quality of Goodness
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      118. "Give Us More Faith"
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      119. We Must Have Faith
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      120. Imitate Christ's Mildness
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      121. We Need Self-Control
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      122. Be Steadfast, Immovable!
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      123. Loyally Submitting to Theocratic Order
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      124. Ever Loyal
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      125. "Happy Are the Merciful"
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      126. Stay Awake, Stand Firm, Grow Mighty
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      127. The Sort of Person I Should Be
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      128. Enduring to the End
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      129. We Will Keep Enduring
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      130. Be Forgiving
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      131. "What God Has Yoked Together"
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      132. Now We Are One
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      133. Worship Jehovah During Youth
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      134. Children Are a Trust From God
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      135. Jehovah's Warm Appeal: "Be Wise, My Son"
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      136. "A Perfect Wage" From Jehovah
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      137. Faithful Women, Christian Sisters
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      138. Beauty in Gray-Headedness
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      139. See Yourself When All Is New
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      140. Life Without End—At Last!
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      141. The Miracle of Life
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      142. Holding Fast to Our Hope
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      143. Keep Working, Watching, and Waiting
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      144. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize!
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      145. God's Promise of Paradise
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      146. "Making All Things New"
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      147. Life Everlasting Is Promised
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      148. Jehovah Provides Escape
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      149. A Victory Song
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      150. Seek God for Your Deliverance
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      151. He Will Call
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Meet Puerto Rico, the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) responsible for attracting meetings, conventions, trade shows, sporting events, and incentive groups to Puerto Rico, recently hosted the Jehovah’s Witnesses Special Convention, the largest city-wide convention of the year, bringing an estimated $5 million economic impact to Puerto Rico. From August 22-31, more than 34,500 attendees from the United States, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Colombia, and Cuba experienced the culture of Puerto Rico and stayed throughout the island, from San Juan to Ponce for a total of 7,500 room nights.
      “We are honored that that the Jehovah’s Witnesses chose Puerto Rico to host their Jehovah’s Witnesses Special Convention,” said Milton Segarra, President & CEO, Meet Puerto Rico (MPR-Puerto Rico Convention Bureau). “Puerto Rico has everything it takes to host a large scale, city-wide convention - including a state-of-the-art convention center, a wide variety of accommodations including major hotel brands, and a strong infrastructure. And we offer “only-in- Puerto Rico” experiences, for planners seeking locations that provide experiences to make their events memorable while maintaining an authentic experience. We are fortunate that Puerto Rico delivers that charge.”
      Delegates and exhibitors were linked to virtual attendees as well in the United States via live stream set up at the Puerto Rico Convention Center, the Puerto Rico Coliseum, Ponce Trade Fair Central as well as Arecibo and Humacao. Itinerary highlights included day trips, and pre-and post-tours. The delegates stayed in San Juan, Manati, Bayamon and Ponce.
      The Jehovah’s Witnesses organizational committee said they were pleased with the way the conference was handled and will bring meetings to Puerto Rico over the next five years, including the potential to hold the 2021 Annual Convention in Puerto Rico again. A number of reasons have played into their decision to return to Puerto Rico.
      “Puerto Rico had the flavor of what we wanted to share with our delegates. It is easy to reach, has a wide variety of accommodations, wonderful restaurants, hospitals and scores top marks in their venues and customer service,” said Jorge Alanis, Special Assembly Committee Coordinator. “But what really sets them apart is the combination of the authentic experiences our attendees bring back with them as well as the wonderful people we have worked with and met. We understand that 5,000 local volunteers contributed to our conference and that says a lot about the care taken to ensure all conference attendees feel taken care of,” he said.
      Puerto Rico continues to position itself as an ideal destination for meetings and conventions, offering a state-of-the-art convention center, a wide variety of hotels, strong infrastructure and unique attractions with the added advantage of being on a tropical island in the Caribbean. One in four rooms occupied in hotels that can accommodate large-scale meetings belongs to the groups and conventions segment.

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    • Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
    • By The Librarian
      In the Netherlands, a TV crew for PowNed (a website/TV station known for their non-conventional approach and love for controversy) visited a Circuit Assembly
      The video starts with them asking 'Is everyone welcome here, even criminals, bikers, gays?', and the answer is of course yes.
      Then the clip focuses on asking JW's questions about gays and the Caleb video.
      In the end the crew is asked to stop filming and leave. Their 'implied invitation' has been withdrawn as they were 'creating unrest'.
      Possibly they actually were stirring things up a bit and left that out in editing; I wouldn't put that past them.
      Video in Dutch here 

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    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Bonjour Eric merci pour cet exposé.
      Bonne journée Michel
      1LE BATEAU.pdf
      · 0 replies
    • 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.”
      Qu’est-ce que cela veut dire? La sagesse est la capacité d’utiliser efficacement sa connaissance et son intelligence pour résoudre un problème, éviter un danger, atteindre un objectif. Elle sous-entend un bon jugement. Le commencement, la première partie, le fondement de cette sagesse, c’est la crainte de Jéhovah. Pourquoi cela? Bien que toute création est l’œuvre de ses mains et dépend de lui. Il a accordé aux humains le libre arbitre, mais pas la faculté de diriger leurs pas avec succès sans tenir compte de sa direction (Josué 24:15; Jérémie 10:23). Nous ne connaîtrons le succès durable qu’à la condition de bien saisir ces idées fondamentales sur la vie, et de nous y conformer. Si notre connaissance de Jéhovah nous donne la ferme conviction que la volonté divine est promise au succès, et qu’il tiendra sa promesse de récompenser ses fidèles, alors la crainte pieuse nous poussera à agir sagement. — Proverbes 3:21-26; Hébreux 11:6.
      Prenons un exemple: Il y a quelques dizaines d’années, un jeune homme fréquentait l’université de Saskatchewan, au Canada. Au programme de sa formation figurait la biologie, et on lui a enseigné l’évolution. Après avoir été diplômé, il s’est spécialisé dans la physique nucléaire, profitant d’une bourse pour continuer ses études à l’université de Toronto. Au cours de ses études, il a constaté dans la structure des atomes révélaient des témoignages stupéfiants d’un ordre et d’une finalité extraordinaire . Mais personnes ne répondait pas à ces questions: Qui a conçu tout cela? Quand? Et pourquoi? Sans ces réponses, pouvait-il utiliser sagement ses connaissances dans un monde remplis interrogations ? Qu’est-ce qui le guiderait? Le nationalisme? Le désir de gratifications matérielles? Avait-il acquis la vraie sagesse?
      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.

      · 0 replies
    • Darlene  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      I can not open study material 
      · 0 replies
    • 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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