Jump to content
The World News Media

Are the 24 Elders in Revelation the 144,000? Is the Watchtower about to drop this doctrine?


Recommended Posts

  • Member
On 1/16/2017 at 1:54 PM, Witness said:

So, yes, I have a “problem” that my brothers and sisters in Christ have chosen what men say over scripture.  The GB has miserably failed to teach of the love among members of the Body of Christ. John 13:34,35 They easily disfellowship (“kill”) those who question their actions.  1 John 3:10,12; Rev 13:15 

Because of the continual wariness made concerning one’s anointing within Watchtower pages, many out of fear, no longer ‘partake’ at the Memorial.  This is oppression, Anna, by a “wicked slave” who beats his fellow slaves – not literally, but through emotional abuse and lies.  Matt 24:48-51

To be honest I find it difficult to understand what you mean. I thought the WT Jan 2016 was very good. I did not see any wariness made by the WT concerning one’s anointing.

Page 19 Par.10 Those who have received this special invitation from God do not need another witness from any other source. They do not need someone else to verify what has happened to them. Jehovah leaves no doubt whatsoever in their minds and hearts.

Par. 12 Those who have been invited in such a manner may wonder: ‘Why have I been selected? Why me and not someone else?’ They may even question their own worthiness. But they do not question the fact that they have been invited

Par 15 Perhaps you are wondering if you have received this wonderful invitation. If you think that you might have, ponder  some important questions. Do you feel that you have more than average zeal in the ministry? Are you a keen student of God’s Word who loves to delve into “the deep things of God”? (1 Cor. 2:10) Have you seen Jehovah’s special blessing on your ministry? Do you have a burning desire to do Jehovah’s will? Do you have a deep inner feeling of responsibility to help others spiritually? Have you seen proof that Jehovah has personally intervened in your life? If you answer these questions with a resounding yes, does this mean that you now have the heavenly calling? No, it does not. Why not? Because these are not unique feelings experienced only by those who have the heavenly calling. Jehovah’s spirit works with equal force in those who have the hope of living forever on earth. In fact, if you are wondering whether you have received the heavenly calling, that would in itself indicate that you have not received it. Those called by Jehovah do not wonder whether they have been invited or not! They know!

Page 24, Par.10 “How can we show appropriate respect for those whom Jehovah chooses to anoint? We would not ask them personal  questions about their anointing. We thus avoid meddling with what does not concern us."

So, why would they fear if they are convinced they are of the anointed? And why would they stop partaking? The only explanation I see is that they couldn't have been quite sure in the first place, because if they are anointed, they know, and besides, no one will question them because it is between them and Jehovah only. If you start partaking, is someone going to question it? Perhaps, if you are 5 years old, or are known to have spiritual issues. But otherwise no.

On 1/16/2017 at 1:54 PM, Witness said:

So, why are so many anointed ones becoming squeamish within the organization?  And why are there those who speak up to defend their God in the face of an elder body, like myself?  If God’s spirit is within each anointed heart, those who choose to listen to the Helper, will realize ‘the truth’. John 14:26 Either they act upon it, or choose to remain hidden.

I have no idea, and I have no idea why you feel like you have to defend your God in the face of an elder body either.

On 1/16/2017 at 1:54 PM, Witness said:

“And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie” 2 Thess 2:11 “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders”  2 Thess 2:9

I really do not see what this has anything to do with the WT/GB/Slave/Jehovah's Witnesses

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Views 3.4k
  • Replies 22
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Look at the picture in the March 2017 Watchtower (Study Edition). I've attached it below, but the whole article is also here: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Since 1995, all WT references to the "24 elders" have also included an explanation that they represent the full anticipated number of the 144,000 in their heavenly, resurrected to heaven. (Sometimes this is stated as if it means, only the current number of already resurrected members

True. And you may be on to something! I remember this WT study very well, including this particular paragraph and the sentence I underscored. It was the first time that something written in the WT really bothered me. I just had this weird feeling about it, that it just didn't sound right. In my mind I asked myself how was that meant, "communicating divine truths" ? And why would the resurrected ones communicate only some divine truths, and leave others out? This whole idea made it sound l

How many suppositions are made in the WT quote? The org states that they 1. have special anointed ones with access to exclusive info from heaven 2. this info is specifically being imparted by heavenly anointed ones 3. this connection has led to correctly identifying the great crowd. We're just supposed to "take it at their word" in 3 different ways. That's a lot of faith with no evidence to back it up. How can we know their info is correct? 

Posted Images

  • Member
On 1/20/2017 at 9:17 PM, Anna said:

I really do not see what this has anything to do with the WT/GB/Slave/Jehovah's Witnesses

From the Watchtower 02 8/1 pp. 9-14 –

“APPOINTED ELDERS REPRESENT THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD"

"Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority." Rev 13:2

"Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven."

"It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe,tongue, and nation." Rev 13:6,7

This is the DISGUSTING THING STANDING IN A HOLY PLACE, MATT 24:15

    Hello guest!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
  • Member

.

Years ago, I was sick, and broke, and my three children went to an Assembly for three days ... about three hours travel, each way, hotel rooms, restaurants, etc., and when they came back I asked them to share with me what they had learned for three days of their lives, and about $600 in expenses .... and with a great deal of excitement they told me they had learned the TOES of Nebuchadnezzar's image no longer meant what we used to think they meant ... but that but there was "new light", and they NOW meant something completely different.

I am a retired engineer, and it is POSSIBLE for me to care less, but even with my sense of humor and imagination ... I am having trouble visualizing HOW I could care less.  The same with the 24 Elders. And a MILLION other things that we cannot see, cannot prove, and NO MATTER WHAT IT IS ... It has absolutely no effect whatsoever on our daily work-a-day lives.

WE HAVE REAL PROBLEMS TO CONTEND WITH.

I had three Elders surround me at the Kingdom Hall to ask me what I thought of the ( most holy and sacred) Governing Body ... and I blurted out "I do not think of them AT ALL!"

There were no follow up questions.

.

 

.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...
  • Member
On 1/2/2017 at 1:15 AM, JW Insider said:

Because the correct identity of the great crowd was revealed to God’s anointed servants on earth in 1935. If one of the 24 elders was used to convey that important truth, he would have had to be resurrected to heaven by 1935 at the latest. That would indicate that the first resurrection began sometime between 1914 and 1935.

This reasoning just hurts to read. Are we supposed to just take their word for it that they have the "correct identity" of the great crowd? Isn't it odd that only an exclusive group have access to this divine insight? Where's the proof?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member
On 7/6/2018 at 2:15 AM, Noble Berean said:

"correct identity" of the great crowd?

What's the issue here? A group of Christians go to heaven? No issue. A large group of Christians are going to live on earth? No issue.

"an exclusive group have access to this divine insight?" It's in the Bible. Who's this exclusive group? You just reccounted it yourself didn't you?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member
3 hours ago, Gone Away said:

What's the issue here? A group of Christians go to heaven? No issue. A large group of Christians are going to live on earth? No issue.

"an exclusive group have access to this divine insight?" It's in the Bible. Who's this exclusive group? You just reccounted it yourself didn't you?

How many suppositions are made in the WT quote? The org states that they 1. have special anointed ones with access to exclusive info from heaven 2. this info is specifically being imparted by heavenly anointed ones 3. this connection has led to correctly identifying the great crowd.

We're just supposed to "take it at their word" in 3 different ways. That's a lot of faith with no evidence to back it up. How can we know their info is correct? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member
2 hours ago, Noble Berean said:

We're just supposed to "take it at their word" in 3 different ways. That's a lot of faith with no evidence to back it up. How can we know their info is correct? 

I suppose it really is a "take it or leave it" scenario as you suggest. Whatever one's opinion of the "communication conduit" or "media channel", it remains that a large group of people have a peception, based on the Bible, that there is a strong possibility of surviving a world cataclysm to life on a cleansed earth. And they have learned about this from a rather smaller group of people who are convinced of themselves having a rather more immediate destiny in the heavens as rulers with Christ.

Now they didn't make it all up themselves. Clarity on the idea and detail on it's connection with Bible teachings and prophecy was shared with them to a greater or lesser degree. Some, like myself, were able to discern the bare bones of a concept of people living on earth forever, by resurrection or survival, from the Bible,  and certainly rejected the notion of "all good people go to heaven" long before associating with Jehovah's Witnesses. It was refreshing to come across an organised approach to sharing this Bible based view with other people, and to get a lot more detail on the whole concept of it.

Granted, there is a measure of human imagination thrown in as is always the case in matters of understanding God's Word. But, fanciful ideas  have a way of being skimmed off in time, whilst the genuine core concepts remain. There are plenty of critics and criticisms around, exhibiting varying degrees of emotion toward both groups amongst the Witnesses, ranging from a sort of benign and patronising disbelief through to plain vitriolic hatred. Rather like the "intellectual" Greeks at the Areopagus (Acts 17:32) and the hate-driven Jewish leaders at  Jerusalem (John 11:53)., and all manner of in-between shades.

Really, it is simply a case of "take it or leave it". You either believe or don't believe, accept ot don't accept. It is presented as an invitation in Scripture, so there is no compulsion, other than it's appeal, which has persuasive power, but not to everyone to the same degree. It seems, judging from the forum comments, there are even those who have a better understanding intellectually of the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses on this matter than do some Witnesses themselves. Yet to them, this only spurs an active disbelief and rejection.

But notwithstanding, the invitation to both groups remains and there is still a response to it. It seems that Jesus's words in connection with the kingdom invitation at the time of his preaching still have a very real application in the current period of time.

"From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of the heavens is the goal toward which men press, and those pressing forward are seizing it."  John 11:12

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member

First we have to keep in mind that the Revelation is given in Signs and Visions. In this way the conversation between John and the Elder was happened within the Vision. It would be a weak conclusion to think, we can transpose this conversation ,one to one, to events in our present days. Most closely matches this to a prophetic picture, wich helps us to detect the two groups. At least the knowledge about the big crowd must not given by a literally conversation rather than by the Holy Spirit at the right time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member
On 7/5/2018 at 9:15 PM, Noble Berean said:

Isn't it odd that only an exclusive group have access to this divine insight? Where's the proof?

I am not too comfortable with this idea either, only because of the simple fact that Jehovah gave the Bible to everyone, and he gives holy spirit to anyone asking, so that they can understand the Bible.  From experience I have known spiritually mature brothers and sisters express some ideas which were not at the time "officially" taught, but did become so later on. It seems like they had divine insight? Or was it just that they were very good Bible students and reasoned on things logically? Even ones who had not known what Jehovah's Witnesses taught,  like @Gone Away were able to work some things out that were contrary to popular belief in Christendom. I believe it is the capacity of every good Bible student, whether of the anointed or not, to have insight. The important thing is though to have the wisdom to wait if we have reasoned out something which is not an "official" teaching. Are we going to get upset about the 1% or more that we think is not right, and forget about the bigger percentage that has benefited our lives as one of Jehovah's Witnesses? I have know people who had previously been involved in all kinds of religions who upon reading one of JW publications have declared "this is the Truth". One studious lady (a staunch Catholic) who became a very good friend of mine, even flung the "Truth Book" across the room because she could see that what she read made perfect sense and that what she had previously believed was wrong, and that upset her so much. My own mother in-law, who had always been God fearing, after reading the "Truth Book" , said all those unanswered questions she had were answered, and all the pieces of the puzzle came together. There are many, many more examples I could cite, and I am sure you have read the many experiences of people who have benefited from learning from a small group of anointed Christians who collected their perception of what the Bible "really" teaches into publications, which helped them understand the Bible's message more clearly. I think when we start doubting  the "exclusive group" it is good to focus on the positive things we have gained from our "associating" with them.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member
On 7/6/2018 at 2:15 AM, Noble Berean said:

Isn't it odd that only an exclusive group have access to this divine insight?

Is it really odd? Why? Noah appears to have been informed about God's intentions in his day. Moses was particularly enlightened by Jehovah in order to communicate with many people (through Aaron at times). All the prophets were also. Peter had special privileges in opening doors of opportunity to Jews, Samaritans and Gentiles (depite Paul's apostleship, although I didn't hear him gripe about Peter  having the key.) Even Jesus as the Word has a special role in this regard.

So there is nothing "odd" about a group, or an individual for that matter, having divine insight in spiritual matters and sharing it with others, or rather that Jehovah, through whatever means He chooses, makes information available to others. It is quite a "usual" practice actually.

The issue is more about what that group or individual does with the information they have been provided with, and of course how they feel about the privilege they have been granted: Compare Rev.19:9-10.

I mean let's face it, should I feel jealous of the secretary who called me to let me know I had been successful at a job interview ?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member
On 1/2/2017 at 12:15 AM, JW Insider said:

Look at the picture in the March 2017 Watchtower (Study Edition). I've attached it below, but the whole article is also here:

https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/watchtower-study-march-2017/give-honor-to-whom-it-is-due/

Since 1995, all WT references to the "24 elders" have also included an explanation that they represent the full anticipated number of the 144,000 in their heavenly, resurrected to heaven. (Sometimes this is stated as if it means, only the current number of already resurrected members of the 144,000 at any given time, even during the time when a significant portion of them are still on earth.) Although the exact meaning is a bit hard to pin down, sometimes, the WT has even drawn chronological conclusions about the 24 elders as of 1935, for example. But we can get to that later, if anyone is interested. 

For the first time in 20 years, the Watchtower has mentioned the "24 elders" and never specifically said in the article that they represent the 144,000. The article not only mentions them in the text, but shows a picture of them, asks the reader to look at the picture, and also merely combines them with other heavenly creatures (myriads of angels and the 4 living creatures) in a second, less direct reference. It's an unusual amount of attention drawn to the "24 elders" without any reference to their meaning.

This might not mean anything, of course, but this latest WT reference would nearly mark a decade since the Watchtower specifically mentioned the "24 elders" at all! (And the last two mentions about a decade ago were really brought up only because of a convoluted bit of circular reasoning to try to show that the first resurrection most probably started before 1935 because one of these elders in Revelation asked John who the "great crowd" was. This supposedly showed that one of these spirit creatures must have been communicating from beyond the veil with Brother Rutherford, or persons close to him, before 1935.)

*** w07 1/1 p. 28 par. 11 “The First Resurrection”—Now Under Way! ***
What, then, can we deduce from the fact that one of the 24 elders identifies the great crowd to John? It seems that resurrected ones of the 24-elders group may be involved in the communicating of divine truths today. Why is that important? Because the correct identity of the great crowd was revealed to GodÂ’s anointed servants on earth in 1935. If one of the 24 elders was used to convey that important truth, he would have had to be resurrected to heaven by 1935 at the latest. That would indicate that the first resurrection began sometime between 1914 and 1935.

The idea that Rutherford was communicating with the spirit of someone who had died might feel a bit uncomfortable, and perhaps that is even a factor in a potential change -- if there is a potential change, that is. 

One could also argue from these most recent WT references that there is no change, because the wording is precise enough to allow for the current doctrine to remain. However, it might also have been true in the past that certain doctrines changed because someone asked (or tested out) whether there was a level of concern, or if there had been a lot of questions about it -- especially the questions that come in to the Service Department from Circuit Overseers and elders with reference to disfellowshipping. We have seen, for example, changes to doctrines about blood products in vaccines, organ transplants, [un]acceptable blood fractions, private sexual practices within the confines of marriage, working for a company associated with false religion or a branch of the military, certain types of voting, etc. Many doctrines related to such subjects were stated one way, then dropped from discussion for several years and then sometimes restated in an ambiguous way. The idea might have been to test whether the ambiguous statements resulted in any questions or concerns. If there were no concerns, then the doctrine could be dealt with later. Not all of these were about serious disfellowshipping matters.

I saw this happen with a brother I worked for at Bethel who wanted to "float a trial balloon" about a doctrine he had once championed claiming that the heart was the actual, physical seat of emotion and desire. He said he could try out a talk in Europe where he had served as a Branch Overseer and see if it raised questions over there, and if the concerns seemed important enough to deal with, or if they could be safely ignored. He had an idea about the meaning of "this generation" that he tested out this way on European audiences, too. Brother F.W.Franz was also known for being able to give talks about several subjects in a very ambiguous manner which evidently helped test out their usefulness for a doctrinal article. He did this in talks on "1975," "the Governing Body," and even one in 1978 on the figurative meaning of "fat" and the "liver" when mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures.

So that's the background to this particular conjecture -- and that's all it is, conjecture.

The wording that refers to the "24 elders" strikes me as an interesting, if ambiguous, replacement of the usual description and explanation. Note how the term "exalted creatures" replaces the term "24 elders" below. (I have also attached the scripture reference that wasn't spelled out in the article, although you can click on the link.)

Exalted creatures in the heavenly realm lift their voices in praise to Jehovah, “the One who lives forever and ever.” They declare: “You are worthy, Jehovah our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because  of your will they came into existence and were created.”—Rev. 4:9-11.

(Revelation 4:9-11) 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanksgiving to the One seated on the throne, the One who lives forever and ever, 10 the 24 elders fall down before the One seated on the throne and worship the One who lives forever and ever, and they cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 11 “You are worthy, Jehovah our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they came into existence and were created.”

Do you not feel moved to join with myriads of heavenly creatures in proclaiming: “The Lamb who was slaughtered is worthy to receive the power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.”—Rev. 5:12.

(Revelation 5:11, 12) 11 And I saw, and I heard a voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders, and the number of them was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 and they were saying with a loud voice: “The Lamb who was slaughtered is worthy to receive the power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.”

Think of congregation elders, circuit overseers, Branch Committee members, and the members of the Governing Body. Our brothers and sisters in the first century had high regard for those appointed to take the lead, and we feel similarly today. We do not idolize well-known representatives of the Christian congregation or react in their presence as if angels were standing nearby.

---- end of quotes ---

That highlighted phrase about angels might seem very out of place because nothing explains it in the context. It might refer to a paragraph that was edited out of this issue. I'm guessing that it was probably a reference to a point that made it into the previous February 2017 Study edition. The connection is vague because this point is not expanded upon very much in either issue.

 And Jehovah told him: “Lead the people to the place about which I have spoken to you. Look! My angel will go ahead of you.” (Ex. 32:34) The Bible does not report that the Israelites saw a materialized angel perform those duties. However, the way Moses instructed and guided the people made it clear that he had superhuman help. . . .  Nevertheless, despite the imperfections of these men, the Israelites were expected to follow their lead. Jehovah was supporting those men with his superhuman agents. Yes, Jehovah was leading his people.

However, the rejection of the idea that something like "angels" are standing nearby could also come from an idea that has been stated out loud by people who see the GB in person. It's a common phrase heard by visiting tours at Bethel who appreciate the value of the work and say something like "you can just tell that the angels are standing nearby." Even a couple of the JW Broadcasting broadcasts have come very close to presenting phrases like this when a building project, or Bible-printing project is spoken of and the speaker adds, in effect, 'you could just see the hand of Jehovah in all this.' [2015 JWB] Or, 'you just know the angels were looking on in delight.' [2014 convention experience].

It was also a joke about my grandmother's driving. She once made a left turn onto the railroad tracks, and her survival was attributed to the fact that "an angel must be riding alongside her." Another elder answered, "No angel would dare ride along with her, Brother ..."

But there is a slight chance, too, that the omission is purposeful, and is tied to the removal of angelic beings from the picture. The idea that any of the 24 elders were in direct contact with Rutherford, or persons around him in the past, might now be seen as a dangerous teaching. This could be a first step toward removing that picture from our teachings.

 

24elders.png

 

“And round about the throne there are twenty-four thrones, and upon these thrones I saw seated twenty-four elders dressed in white outer garments, and upon their heads golden crowns.” (Revelation 4:4) Instead of priests, there are 24 elders, enthroned and crowned like kings. Who are these elders? They are none other than anointed ones of the Christian congregation, resurrected and occupying the heavenly position Jehovah promised them.

How do we know this?

First of all, they are wearing crowns. The Bible speaks of anointed Christians as gaining ‘an incorruptible crown’ and attaining to an endless life (immortality). (1 Corinthians 9:25; 15:53, 54)  Since these 24 elders are sitting on thrones, the golden crowns in this context represent royal authority. ( Revelation 6:2; 14:14.) This information supports the conclusion that the 24 elders portray Jesus’ anointed footstep followers in their heavenly position. We know this because Jesus made a covenant with them to sit on thrones in his Kingdom. (Luke 22:28-30) Only Jesus and the 24 elders are described as ruling in heaven in Jehovah’s presence.


This also harmonizes with the promise that Jesus made to the Laodicean congregation: “To the one that conquers I will grant to sit down with me on my throne.” (Revelation 3:21) The heavenly assignment of the 24 elders is not limited to governmental rule. In the introduction to the book of Revelation, John said of Jesus: “He made us to be a kingdom, priests to his God and Father.” (Revelation 1:5, 6) The 24 Elders then - serve not only as kings but priests as well.  “They will be priests of God and of the Christ, and will rule as kings with him for the thousand years.”—Revelation 20:6.


What is the significance of the number 24 that John sees around the throne?

In many respects, these were foreshadowed by the faithful priests of ancient Israel. The apostle Peter wrote to anointed Christians: “You are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession.’” (1 Peter 2:9) It is of interest that the ancient Jewish priesthood came to be divided into 24 divisions. Each division was assigned its own weeks in the year to serve before Jehovah, so that sacred service was rendered without a break. (1 Chronicles 24:5-19) It fits quite well, then, that there are 24 elders depicted in John’s vision of the heavenly priesthood because this priesthood serves Jehovah continually, without ceasing. When completed, there will be 24 divisions, each with 6,000 conquerors, for Revelation 14:1-4 tells us that 144,000 (24 x 6,000) are “bought from among mankind” to stand on the heavenly Mount Zion with the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Since the number 12 signifies a divinely balanced organization, 24 doubles—or strengthens.

 

Unless someone is so full of themselves and changes the Scripture, it will remain as written and in harmonious unity from Genesis through Revelation. Everyone serving faithfully has a portion of holy spirit. However, there is only ONE channel for spiritual Truth. '

“Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time?  Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so.  Truly I say to YOU, He will appoint him over all his belongings". Matt. 24:45-47

 

The slave has continued (since 1870) to be used as that channel to tear down the false doctrines of the world empire of false religion and to gather Matt. 24:14 "And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites




  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Popular Contributors

  • Topics

  • Posts

  • Members

    • misette

      misette 168

      Member
      Joined:
      Last active:
    • Claud's Lst

      Claud's Lst 4

      Member
      Joined:
      Last active:
  • Recent Status Updates

    • Claud's Lst  »  misette

      Bonjour ma sœur Misette. Comment vas-tu ? J'espère avec l'aide de Jéhovah toute la communauté et especialement toi vont bien. 
      Je n'ai pas reçu la réunion de cette semaine, est-ce qu'il y a un problème pour cette semaine ? 
           Bonne journée ou soirée 
                                   Agape 
      · 1 reply
    • 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
  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      63,683
    • Total Posts
      131,933
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      16,943
    • Most Online
      1,592

    Newest Member
    Jess
    Joined
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Service Confirmation Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.