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Is the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses willing to submit to scrutiny and criticsm?


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Opposers like to quote this reply to a comment “From our Readers” implying that although Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that “Any organization that assumes that position should be willing to submit to scrutiny and criticism”  they themselves do not tolerate any scrutiny or criticism and therefore are being hypocritical.

Is that accusation true?

 

 

 

Awake 1984 8/22

“You all loved it, didn’t you? You couldn’t resist taking a shot at the Catholic Church, could you? I will never forgive the way you mercilessly tore down the Pope. If Jehovah’s Witnesses must refer to cheap shots in attempting to bring down other religions, they’re in more trouble than the Catholics”. - Florda

 

"We surely were not trying to take cheap shots at the pope or the Catholic Church, nor were we criticizing Catholics. The Catholic Church occupies a very significant position in the world and claims to be the way of salvation for hundreds of millions of people. Any organization that assumes that position should be willing to submit to scrutiny and criticism. All who criticize have the obligation to be truthful in presenting the facts and fair and objective in assessing such. In both respects we try to live up to that obligation.—ED.

 

 

 

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Opposers like to quote this reply to a comment “From our Readers” implying that although Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that “Any organization that assumes that position should be willing to submit to scrutiny and criticism”  they themselves do not tolerate any scrutiny or criticism and therefore are being hypocritical. Is that accusation true?       Awake 1984 8/22 “You all loved it, didn’t you? You couldn’t resist taking a shot at the Catholic Church, could you? I w

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What other groups claim to be the way of salvation? There are many are there not? Each and every one of them should be willing to submit to scrutiny and criticism. 

For instance, Ford, Chevy and GM all claim that their product is the best. If consumers are told to ignore what the other company says about their product, and refuses to see any perspective other than their own, then that is ignorant and narrow-minded. It will only be a matter of time before the consumers find out the truth and act based upon the new found evidence. It will only be the staunch Ford/Chevy/GM guy/girl who refuses to even take into consideration of what the opposing car companies or independent studies show about those vehicles. 

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    • By Witness
      The letters below are an exchange between an elder and a past member of the organization, an anointed priest under Christ’s headship. The elder’s first sentence echoes the belief that only the Wt will lead people into “truth”, and “who” are doing the leading.  As one member here recently said to an ex-JW, “ but you haven't suggested an alternate location/theology whereby Christians can come together and build up their faith on a regular basis.”
      Please consider the reply to the elder.
       
      From the elder:
      My dear Rachel
      The "who" today would be the faithful slave as mentioned in Matthew 24:45. These Brothers have taught us the truth about Jehovah, Jesus the Trinity, Hell Fire, the Soul and I could go on and on. Again I say you offer no alternative. Not only spiritual truths, but that faithful slave spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year in relief aid to people in need. As for you and your "group" Jesus well described you in Matthew 25:26 as "wicked and sluggish". You offer no words of comfort, you offer no words of hope, only criticism of those whos sole mission is to help others strengthen their faith.
      Take the time to examine the history of God's people on earth. Jehovah has always brought them together as an organization. He has done the same today with the only organization that fulfills the commission at Matthew 24:14 to PREACH the GOOD NEWS of GOD'S KINGDOM in all the INHABITED EARTH. Name 1 other church, religion or group that is doing that? NOT ONE. I am praying for the scales to fall off of your eyes and for you to ask Jehovah for guidance and faith.
      A.
      -----My email response----
      It is nice to hear from you again, A. I am very familiar with the interpretation of Matthew 24:14 by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania corporation. Admittedly, I used to defend Watchtower as the only religion that is fulfilling preaching the good news, and boasted in them being the “channel” used by God, this “mountain-like” organization. The equating of Watchtower to God is subtle, but now, obvious. The perception that if one “leaves” Watchtower, one has “left Jehovah,” and is encouraged to “return to Jehovah.”
      You had initially asked what alternative to worship I was offering…you said, “where” else will one go! Perhaps you expected I might offer another organized religion as a replacement. However, bringing attention to John 6:68, Simon Peter did not ask Jesus where to go, but rhetorically asked Jesus, “to whom would we go?” You have the words of eternal life.” In your last email, you claimed that the “who” spoken of in John 6:68 is referring to the “faithful slave,” the eight leaders of the Watchtower religious organization that teach “the truth.” Jesus is “truth” (John 14:6).
      Let’s first consider the ancient nation of Israel, and the covenant between them and God. According to the pattern Moses was shown, only priests were permitted to minister in the temple sanctuary (Ex.25:9,40; 26:30). The nation of Israel however, time and again, became wayward, and engaged in idolatry setting up and worshiping images (1 Kings 11:4,5; 2 Kings 17:7-18; Isa.59:1,2; Jer.3:7-10), and at times, ignoring the priesthood arrangement whereby not consecrated individuals engaged in priestly duties, something also strictly forbidden (2 Chron.23:6; 26:16; 1 Sam.6:1-23).
       Of course, the old covenant was made obsolete, replaced by the new covenant with Jesus as high priest (Luke 22:20; Heb.8:1,13; 2 Cor.3:6). But why is the old covenant relevant? Because the old covenant was a “copy and shadow” of the better promise, the kingdom of heaven eternal priesthood that comprises the kingdom of heaven made certain through the blood of Christ, the final redemption (Acts 13:32; Heb.8:5,6, 10-12; 9:15; Gal.3:13).
      This is important to remember when we talk about the gospel of the kingdom/good news spoken in Matthew 24:14 because the “good news” is not novel. Throughout the Old Testament, the “good news” was delivered as a prophetic message to the nation of Israel by prophets chosen and sent by God. When we examine the pattern of “good news,” we find that it is a message of judgment by God on Israel because they broke their covenant, but also of peace through God’s promise of restoration of a repentant remnant, returning to their cities and land and rebuilding of the temple (Nahum 1:15; Isaiah 40:9; 41:27; 52:7; 61:1; Zech.13:8,9; Isa.44:28; Jer.31).
      The good news prophetically foretold the future fulfillment of God’s promise to “make a new covenant with the house of Israel” where God will put His “law in their minds and inscribe it on their hearts,” forgiving “their iniquities” and remembering “their sins no more” (Jer.31:31-34; Heb.8:6-13). Now, notice the same message of good news proclaimed by John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostles.
      “Before the arrival of Jesus,” John the Baptist “preached a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel” (Acts 13:24), “for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:1-4; Luke 3:3), instructing the Israelites to believe in Jesus (Matt.3:1-17; Acts 19:4). Afterward, Jesus preached the good news/gospel of the kingdom “first to Jerusalem,” proclaiming peace, and announcing salvation through repentance – the better promise, the “kingdom of heaven,” was “at hand”/”near” (Luke 24:47; Eph.2:17; Mark 1:14; Matt.4:17; Luke 16:16; 8:1; John 16:33).
      It was first to the House of Israel, the Jewish people who were under the old covenant that Jesus, “the Lamb of God,” was sent, to take away “the sins of the world” (John 1:29; Mark 1:38; Acts 13:23). The “world” that hated Jesus and hated his disciples was not the entire world/system, but the Jewish system led by Jewish religious leaders (John 17:15,16; John 15:18-19; 18:36). If the Jews repented and received God’s Son, they would receive grace, be freed from the transgression of the law, and receive the “better promise,” of which they were in line to receive as natural heirs (John 3:16,17; Acts 2:38,39; Eph.2:8,9).
      God’s promises to Abraham’s descendants spoke of an inheritance of land with boundaries/territories they would inhabit (Gen.15:18-21; Josh.13 through 21). Notice the Israelites were prophesied to “be a land,” (Mal.3:12), a “land that will be his bride” (Isa.62:4). Whose bride? Jesus’, as he is head of his bride congregation, “new Jerusalem” (Rev.21:2,9; 19:7-9; John 3:29).
      With repentance and faith in Christ, “the lost sheep of Israel,” would inherit the better promise, the kingdom of heaven, not a literal land with a rebuilding of a literal temple/Jerusalem (Matt.24:14; 25:1; 10:5-7; Heb.7:22; 8:6; 11:13-16; 12:24; Gal.3:18). But, even Jerusalem’s temple priests refused to accept the spiritual promise. They were physical, desiring to hold onto their positions of prominence in the physical temple, boasting in their Jewish lineage, being Abraham’s descendants, natural heirs (John 8:33,39; Matt.3:9). They rejected the better promise, and so Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it” (Matt.21:43).
      Nation? What nation? Well, notice after Jesus’ death, the apostles continued to proclaim the message of good news to the Israelites (Rom.10:16; Acts 13:46; 14:7,15,21; 28:23,31; 1 Cor.9:16,18; Heb.4:2; Gal.1:8,11), a message they continued to reject (Rom.10:16; Acts 13:46; 14:7,15,21; 28:23,31; 1 Cor.9:16,18; Heb.4:2; Gal.1:8,11; Rom.10:1-4).
      Regarding his preaching to the Israelites, Paul said he had preached to “all the earth, and to the ends of the world” (Rom.10:18). Did he mean that he preached the good news throughout the whole globe? No, he meant that the gospel had been thoroughly preached to all the “earth”/a dwelling/occupied land, the natural heirs to the kingdom of God, the Israelites, within their “world”/religious system (Rom.10:16-21; Heb.3:6). The kingdom of God, now, no longer comprised of only the tribes of natural Hebrew-speaking Jewish people, but to “every nation, from all tribes and peoples and language,” extending to God-fearing Gentiles who upon accepting the gospel and repenting, would receive God’s mercy (Acts 13:46; Rev.7:9; Acts 10:35; 13:26,46-48; Rom.1:5; Gal.2:2,8).
      God told Abraham, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (Gen.22:18). Now, individuals from all nations would be called to become “fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus” (Eph.3:6; Acts 13:32-42, 46; Rom.10:16-19; 1 Pet.2:10; Rev.5:9,10). Paul said that this was the mystery of the good news revealed to him, that “the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus” (Eph.3:3,6).
      The “glorious riches of this mystery” is not a physical temple, but “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col.1:26,27). “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise” (Gal.3:29). Paul said this mystery had been “kept secret since the world began” (Rom.16:25). Since the actual “world” began? Remember, this reference refers to a religious system, and Paul, just as Jesus, was referring to the present Jewish system (Eph.3:6; Gen.17:7).
      This promised kingdom of heaven was likened, by Jesus, to a seed, “a mustard seed that a man planted” in his field (Matt.13:31; Luke 13:19)…seeds that when planted, grow in either good soil, rocky or shallow soil, or among thorns (Matt.13:3-8). Who is the farmer? Jesus said he “is the true vine” and his “Father is the gardener” (John 15:1). As a Farmer, God cultivates the “earth” planting “seeds,” but not all seeds grow to be “healthy trees,” trees that bear healthful fruit, some become “diseased trees” bearing bad fruit (Matt.7:17-20). Seeds that grow into good trees do not bear bad fruit, “nor does a bad tree bear good fruit” (Luke 6:43). How will you recognize whether a “tree,” one “of the earth”/heir to the kingdom, is producing “fine fruit”? Jesus said “by their fruit,” you will recognize them (Matt.7:20). Now, fruit is likened to “lips,” so we discern that a “diseased tree”/false teacher/false prophet will be recognized by their sayings/teachings/failed predictions (Matt.7:16-20; John 15:1-17; Heb.13:1; Deut.18:20-22). Matthew 7:16 quoted from the Amplified Bible says it concisely: “By their fruit you will recognize them [that is, by their contrived doctrine and self-focus]…”.
      “See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and late rains” (James 5:7). God is patiently waiting to see whether His children, those of the earth, will remain attached to His son, “the vine,” and “bear much fruit,” truthful teachings that last, not rot and expire (John 15:1-8,16).
      Now we must ask ourselves, were the prophecies, the promise of inheritance, that God’s people would receive a multi-billion dollar religious organization/compound to live on? Jesus had “no place to lay his head,” (Matt. 8:20), and the apostle Paul rented a house (Acts 28:30). Jesus could have easily directed a physical temple/religious structure be set up to restore pure worship, but did he? No, The temple Jesus spoke about was “temple of his body,” a “spiritual house, a holy priesthood,” “God’s building” constructed of “living stones” (John 2:21; 1 Cor.3:9; 1 Pet.2:5).
      The gospel of God is a priestly service, one that is carried out by those sanctified by the Holy Spirit to “minister” in “the priestly service of the gospel of God” (John 15:16; Rom.15:16). Who chooses such ones to perform the priestly service? God Himself selects those who are “built together to become a dwelling place which God lives by his Spirit,” the people He formed to proclaim His praises and to give testimony (Isa.43:10,21; Rev.12:10,11; Eph.2:22; 1 Pet.2:9).
      Not all will be able to understand what Jesus is saying, not even all who are spiritual heirs (Matt.16:4). Why? They do “not accept the things of the Spirit of God” and “cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor.2:14). “Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?” (Luke 12:56) Without spiritual discernment, one will be as a “natural man,” and will falsely apply physical interpretations to the spiritual signs given by Jesus (Luke 17:20-24; 11:29; Matt.12:39; 2 Cor.4:18).
      You asked me to name one group that has preached the good news worldwide. Who has convinced you that God backslid on His “better promise” of a new covenant, established since Christ’s death, and demanded that his spiritual temple be a physical organization? That would be exactly the pattern of backsliding ancient Israel engaged in, a form of idolatry (Jer.3:11-22)! “However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands…” (Acts 7:48). “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands” (Acts 17:24). “What agreement can exist between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.” (2 Cor.6:16).
      There are members of the body that together, uphold Jesus’ truthful teachings and do preach the good news worldwide...not connected to a physical organized religion (John 15:16). Remember, the prophetic message of peace was proclaimed announcing good news that a remnant of ancient Israel would repent of their rebelliousness and idolatry and restore their covenant with God (2 Chron.29:6; 36:14; Ezra 9:7; Neh.1:6; Ezek.11:14-20). “These things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whims the end of ages has come” (1 Cor.10:11,12). Despite this warning, in the last days, God’s household/spiritual Israel (Rom.2:28; 9:6; Phil.3:3) will “harden their hearts” and be “deceived by sin” (Heb.3:12-19). The spiritual priesthood is replaced, silenced, and trampled by those not consecrated to perform spiritual sacrifices (Matt.24:15,16; 2 Thess.2:1-4). Yet, a final remnant of spiritual Israel will repent, leave their idolatrous ways, and through the sacrifice of the “Lamb of God,” restore the “body of Christ” (Rev.2:5; 12:11). This is the good news!
      If you want to follow a group of eight anointed that have become rebellious and created a physical organization, replacing the eternal priesthood with non-spirit anointed Gentiles, destroying His temple, stay, it is your choice! But be warned, if you stay, you WILL share in her sins (Rev.18:4; Ezek.44:6-9; Zech.4:6,7; Heb.8:5; 1 Cor.3:17).
      “Repent, for the Kingdom of heavens is near” (Matt.4:17).
       
    • By Witness
      They state they were appointed as the “faithful and discreet slave”.
      A question frequently asked, since they are not inspired, how did they receive this message from God, to know they should appoint themselves in this position?  Use some logical reasoning; they compare themselves to not only the apostles but even Moses – all inspired men, prophets and teachers chosen personally by God and Jesus Christ.  It takes total arrogance to make the assumption that God chose them to lead 8 million people, without inspiration from the Holy Spirit.  It takes total blindness for these people to believe that He has!  (Exod 3:10-12; John 15:16; Acts 9:15) (Mark 4:12; 1 Cor 2:14)
      Since they are not inspired, they lean on their “Helpers” to share the workload of putting food on the spiritual table. (Ezek 44:6-9)  Are the Helpers inspired?  Someone has to be, in order to live up to their proclamation that God directs the organization. 
      What about the anointed ones in the congregations? (Male or female – God is not partial, Gal 3:28; Rom 2:29)  Could they have some “inspiration” to share?  Do they know truth?  (1 John 2:27)
      If they did act on the spirit given them through an anointing, what happens if their heart tells them that the GB are wrong in their teachings? (2 Cor 1:21,22) What happens if they choose to speak up, to defend truth?  To defend Jesus Christ as their Head? (Eph 4:25; 1 Tim 2:5-7)  They are ignored, silenced, and very possibly, disfellowshipped. (Ray Franz, as an example – one of probably thousands over the last century)  (John 16:2; Rev 13:15)  There is a huge army in place to take care of these matters - men, not appointed by God although JWs in general believe that once again, God even directs their appointment. (Dan 7:25; 8:24; Rev 9:4;13:7)  Can’t you see? The appointments by men are preferred over the authentic anointed appointments by God.
      Let me tell you why God has nothing to do with appointing elders. When my husband was approached to be an elder, the body wrote the Society of their consideration; but also to let them know he wore a beard for medical reasons. (These men were desperate for help) The letter they received back said it was up to the body of elders to appoint him, and to be aware of possible consequences for their choice.  There was no Holy Spirit involved, no prayer uttered; only the opinion of men from the top, down to the congregation level just like it happens in any other organization.  Up to that point I had believed that the GB actually prayed over each elder appointment, and received the answer from God. In fact, an elder told me this.  Don’t be fooled, JWs.  God would not choose men to serve Him, when His priests were anointed specifically to fill the role as shepherds. (Mal 2:7; John 21:17; Matt 28:16-20; John 15:8; 1 Pet 2:5,9; Rom 12:1; Gal 6:9)  
       “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, a curse be on him!  As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!”  Gal 1:8,9
       
      If the GB was directed by Christ’s Holy Spirit, the Spirit would aid in leading the anointed members together, to teach truth.  Jesus performed miracles while on the earth, couldn’t he do the same from heaven?  The GB cannot claim to be a “faithful slave” of Christ, yet also reject their own brotherhood.  (1 Cor 12; 1 John 3:10-12; Matt 24:48-51)
      “Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.”  Rom 12:16
      “God resists the proud,
      But gives grace to the humble.”
      6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” 1 Pet 5b,6
       Or, are some of these men total imposters in more ways than one.  If anointed, they have become “Israel’s” harlots by transgressing their covenant of life in Christ. (Rev 17:1-6)  Yet, perhaps some are total “Gentile” imposters, never to have been anointed to begin with – never appointed as a priest of God. (1 Pet 2:5,9)
      And no -  if they reject their anointed brotherhood, refusing to acknowledge each member as necessary; refusing to acknowledge that this anointed body when working together would soar in speaking God’s truths, they are no longer under the covenant of life.  They have disconnected from the Head and become the “head” of the body they have chosen, the “Gentile” elders.  (Rev 11:1,2)
      “ Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.”  Col 2:16-19
      Wake up, JWs.   These men have shoved the anointed in Christ, into a back corner. (Isa 51:23)  Selfish power, not love, is their driving force in this organization.  Power over you, and especially over “Israel”. (Ezek 21:21,22,24,25) Deceit, not truth, is the driving spirit behind this organization and its leadership. (Matt 24:24) It is established on the ground, and in the realm where politics, riches, power and authority has become the bedrock of the GB’s “inspiration”. What spiritual entity offers these things? (Luke 4:5-7; Rev 9:1; 13:11) What spiritual entity would just as soon destroy Christ, and those part of his Body? (Rev 12:3,4,7) Can’t you see that this signifies a spiritual war based on deceit? (Eph 6:12;Rev 13:5-7; 16:13-16)  The holy priesthood has been absorbed into a nation and has lost its identity.  It appears that they would rather remain captive to falsehoods, than to open the door for Christ. ( Matt 25:6;Rev 3:18-20) Oh, how I wish all of you would leave darkness behind; and simply, turn to the light and truth of Jesus Christ.  (John 14:6)
      The opposition that I usually receive to comments such as this, is in defense of the GB and the organization; whereas the Temple priesthood means little to nothing. (1 Cor 3:16,17; Eph 2:20-22) There is no defense given for Jesus Christ. (Dan 8:25) What sort of heavy spiritual blindness are JWs under that would cause them to exalt a man-made corporation, over a heavenly Temple/House built by God? (Rev 13:1,2,4; 16:13-16) The pride that JWs carry in their heart, in believing that doctrine of men and proven falsehoods can be called truth…believing that God has blessed their efforts through manpower (no inspiration by God remember? Zech 4:6)...while His house/dwelling/Temple of “living stones” lies in ruins, will ultimately bring them to their knees.  (Ezek 21:6,7; Luke 19:41-44; 2 Thess 2:9-12; Rev 18:4-8)
      You reside in the “home” of the man of lawlessness – the disgusting thing that “sits” in the Temple of God and “tramples”/rules over the anointed priesthood. How I wish you could perceive this danger.  (Matt 24:15,16; 2 Thess 2:3,4)
      “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Cor 4:2-6
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    • By Witness
      This is a very short 3 1/2 minute video.  No speech is given, just written reasoning using the organization's own quotes.  
      Besides what the video presents, please consider this:
      "And just as a child seeks his parents' protection when a storm rages, we seek protection in Jehovah's organization" (w11 4/15 pp. 3-5)
      "We should also cling tightly to ‘our rock,’ Jehovah, as well as to his organization."  (w06/2/1 pg. 32)
       
      "There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord,
      Nor are there any works like Yours."   Ps 86:8
       
      "There is no one holy like the Lord,
      Indeed, there is no one besides You,
      Nor is there any rock like our God. " 1 Sam 2:2
       
      “Remember the former things long past,
      For I am God, and there is no other;
      I am God, and there is no one like Me"  Isa 46:9
       
      Where in the Word of God, does it state that we are obligated to attach ourselves to an earthly mess of an organization?  Where does it state that God and the Wt. go hand in hand?  In the light of its sins of child abuse and trampling down of the anointed ones(2 Thess 2:3,4; Rev 11:1,2), look what your organization boasts:
      "For example, the Bible says of Jehovah: “The Rock, perfect is his activity, for all his ways are justice. 
      Because Jehovah’s servants follow divine, not human, standards, his organization is theocratic, clean, and wholesome."   (w 98/9/1 pg 13
      HOW DARE YOUR LEADERS COMPARE AN ORGANIZATION BUILT WITH FALSE TEACHINGS, GREED AND SLAVERY...TO YHVH.
       
       
       
    • By Witness
      Dear Mr. Sanderson,
      In your most recent video on modesty, I was surprised by your audacious and hypocritical comment on the following account in 2 Chron 26:16-18:
      But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. 17 Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the Lord followed him in. 18 They confronted King Uzziah and said, “It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the Lord God.”
      You responded by saying, “Can you imagine, he became so emboldened, that he actually went into Jehovah’s temple and burned incense on the altar of incense.  Well, the priests came running, and what did they say to him?  (see) verse 18, ‘It is not proper for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to Jehovah.  It is only the priests that should burn incense.’”
      Incense offerings were decreed to corresponded with the daily sacrifices by the early priesthood of Israel.  (Exod 30:34-38; Lev 2:2 (etc); Num 4:16)  We see its importance in the account of Korah challenging the assigned priesthood and its duties.  Although he was given duties by God as a member of the tribe of Levi, he desired to usurp the authority God gave Moses and Aaron.     
      “So when Moses heard it, he fell on his face; 5 and he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, “Tomorrow morning the Lord will show who is His and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to Him. That one whom He chooses He will cause to come near to Him. 6 Do this: Take censers, Korah and all your company; 7 put fire in them and put incense in them before the Lord tomorrow, and it shall be that the man whom the Lord chooses is the holy one. You take too much upon yourselves, you sons of Levi!”  Num 16:4-7
      We know the outcome of his rebellion, “…the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up”. (Num 16:32) When the Wt. wrote of this event, it made it very clear of the consequences Korah suffered by his presumptuous actions, a word you used about Uzziah.  However, as the article then presumptuously and boldly proclaimed, the “daily sacrifices” with the “burning of incense”, is to be administered not by God’s appointed priesthood, but as the article alludes to, by the elder body, who by and large are not anointed priests.
      “Representing the royal priesthood are appointed elders, who serve in positions of responsibility in congregations of Jehovah’s people around the earth.”
      Their position cannot be challenged, as the magazine stated.  When such an aggressive statement is made, a struggle on various levels, can ensue.  This challenge results in a spiritual “war” against God’s holy people.  (Eph 6:12; 1 Pet 5:8; Col 2:8; Rev 13:5-7,10)
      Today’s Temple of God is the anointed household.  (1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17; 6:19-20; 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:20-22)  In the last days, the  “man of lawlessness” arrogantly  opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God”  NKJV 2 Thess 2:4
      “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done.”  Dan 11:36
      “Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to conquer them.”  Rev 13:6,7
      I find the title of this article, the epitome of Wt’s deception: “Loyally Submit to Godly Authority” w02 8/1 p. 12  There is no quality of “modesty”, when one speaks a lie.
      Tell me, how can you show such amazement at Uzziah’s “emboldened” stance in the early temple of God, yet presume that it is acceptable for God’s anointed priesthood to be “represented” by the elder body, absorbing the assigned duties of those who are to submit to the authority of God and Jesus Christ?  It is crystal clear that the governing body is no different than Uzziah, taking it upon themselves to choose who should offer spiritual “daily sacrifices”, and “burn incense” before God. 
      “you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Pet 2:5
      “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice  of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”  Heb 13:15
      It has been prophesied that this abomination, this seize of the holy people through the use of deception, would occur in the last days. (Luke 21:8; Rev 13:12-14; 20:7-10) Yes, the authority of the holy priesthood of God has been challenged.  The Temple of “living stones”, has been “given” to the “Gentiles”, to rule over, and judge as counterfeit priests.  (Rom 14:4; Rev 9:4,19; 13:16,17)
      Rev11:1-3-“Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. 2 But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.    And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”
      Can you comprehend that you are the inspiration for this  abomination? (Matt 24:48-51; Rev 13:11,14-17) Do you realize that your organization tells the anointed priests that they must not bond together, since this would destroy the “unity” of your earthly, man-made organization?  No bonding, and no spiritual “daily sacrifices” to be offered by the priests of “Israel”. “Divide and conquer” is the scenario played out wickedly, within the Wt.  (Ezek 21:21,22; Rev 12:12,17; Luke 21:24) 
      Your army of spiritual “Gentiles” have the authority given by you, to disfellowship any “courageous priests” who “confront” you and your army with this abomination, just as the priests did, with Uzziah.  (Rev 13:15; 11:3,7)
      This is the army that the governing leaders of the organization has created: (see Rev 9:1-4,7-11)
      “He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.”   Dan  8:11
      “Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?”  Heb 10:28,29
      Whatever is committed against the members of the Body of Christ, is committed against the Head of the Body.  (Matt 25:40,45; John 15:20; Acts 9:1,5; 1 Cor 12:12-14,25,26)
      “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” 1 Cor 3:16,17
      Where is your priority?  Is it with God’s Temple, or is with an earthly organization, steeped in lawsuits, spiritual immorality and greed? (1 Tim 4:1,2; Phil 3:18,19; Rom 1:25)  His Temple in Christ has been “building” since the first century. (John 2:19-21; Matt 16:18; Eph 2:20-22)   Your organization is a little over a hundred years old.  Do you really believe God would abandon His Temple of truth, to allow your organization to take precedence? (Acts 7:48-51; 17:24; Matt 24:24; Mark 13:22; Acts 20:29-31) (2 Thess 9:9,10)
      This growing abomination by your comrades in the past and present, has been born and nurtured, through the doctrine of men. (2 Tim 4:3; 1 Tim 4:16; Rev 16:13-15)  Your entire organization has trampled and abandoned God’s Temple of “living stones” residing spiritually “captive” within your “towers”; while expertly creating its own temple of “hewn stones”.  (Isa 9:10,13-16; 29:1-8; Rev 13:1,2,4,8)
      Picture today’s spiritual temple in the royal priesthood, now under the authoritative power of both the governing body, and your “body of elders”:
      “For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”  Luke 19:43,44 (Rev 20:7-9)
      “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” Hag 1:4
      “For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”  Heb 10:30,31
       
       Paula Knapp
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    • By Witness
      The whereabouts of the ark of the covenant has been a source of fascination and intrigue for centuries.  It is thought that during King Manasseh’s reign, the ark was removed from the temple, either by the priesthood or by Manasseh himself, to make way for his idols. (2 Chron 33:7,9; 2 Kings 21:4)  From there, it is said to have been moved to Ethiopia, and to this day is kept under guard by a succession of monks at a Catholic church.  Yet, King Josiah who reigned after Manasseh, referred to the ark no longer being a burden on the shoulders of the priests. (2 Chron 35:3)  Some speculate that this meant Josiah may have become aware of a future Babylonian siege.  He then hid it in an alcove built by Solomon located under the temple mount; or he transported it to a cave near the Dead sea. 
      In the latter half of the 20th century, one man claimed to have found the ark sequestered within the tunnels under Jerusalem, hidden there by Jeremiah during the Babylonian siege.  This man chose an alternate hill as the location of Jesus’ death on a tree (Acts 10:39), where he states that the shed blood of Christ seeped through a rock crevice, eventually pooling on the “mercy seat” of the chest buried underneath the mount (“Day of Atonement” Lev 16:11,14).  He claimed to receive a vision where he was told to ensure his find remain locked away until the “man of lawlessness” would be revealed in the last days.     
      There are many speculations where the ark disappeared to, and the possibility of counterfeits built down through history; but the chest’s significance today is only that of a historic and archaeological treasure, since it is no longer God’s “throne”, or the symbol of the divine presence of God, which was called the “shekina”. 
      The ark of the covenant, or ark of the “testimony”, was built by Moses according to the heavenly  “pattern” shown to him on the mountain. (Ex. 25:10-22; Heb 8:5)  Inside and out, the acacia box was wrapped in pure gold.  On the cover, two cherubim faced each other with wings touching above the ark. 
      “You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you. 22 And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.”  Exod 25:21,22
      There are many miraculous events associated with the ark. When Joshua’s priests stepped into the waters of the Jordan river, it parted, allowing the nation of Israel to cross into the Promised Land. At the battle of Jericho, God’s spiritual presence was with his faithful people, as the ark was carried on the shoulders of the priests.  The walls of Jericho were brought down on the seventh day of marching around the city, when the priests blew their trumpets in unison.    (Josh 3:14-17; 6:2-5)
      God’s word also shows evidence of allowing the enemy to overtake Israel, even though the ark may have been present during battle.  When young Samuel was under the care of Eli the high priest of Shiloh, God told Eli that his descendants would not thrive because of his weak attitude toward the wicked behavior of his two sons, who were also priests.  His unfaithfulness toward God’s decrees brought disgrace on him, as well as the nation of Israel. (1 Sam 2:29-31)  His corrupt priestly sons are described as idolaters and fornicators who “did not know the Lord”.  (1 Sam 2:12)  The account of their sacrifices offered for the people, shows an abhorrent lack of righteousness practiced before God.  (1 Sam 2:17)
      After an initial defeat by the Philistines, Eli’s son’s Hophni and Phineas rashly remove the ark from the tabernacle putting faith in the presence of the literal ark itself, to bring them to victory.  They treated it as another idol, as the physical manifestation of God. Because of Israel’s sins, it was defeated by the Philistines and suffered great loss of life, including the lives of Eli’s sons.  (1 Sam 4:1-11) 
      The ark was confiscated and placed in the Philistine temple of the god of Dagon.  By God’s spirit, the statue toppled and was destroyed, causing fear among the people. (1 Sam 5:4,6) Within a matter of seven short months, they sent the ark back to Israel after suffering disease and plagues wherever they desperately moved the ark. (1 Sam 5:11) 
      Eventually, and under trial, error, and the unexpected loss of life, David was successful in returning it to Jerusalem.   (1 Chron 15:11-15; 16:1)  When Solomon finished building the temple, the ark was brought from the City of David and placed in the inner sanctuary, under the protection of two cherubim:
      “ Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim. 7 For the cherubim spread their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles. 
      Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.” 1 Kings 8:6,7,9
      Only the Levitical priesthood was to bear the ark, as David realized when bringing it back to the City of David, veiled under a large cloth. (1 Chron 15:13; Num 4:5,6)  The priesthood role was to convey God’s messages to the people, spoken from above the ark, and teach His decrees written on the stone tablets that the chest preserved.  
       Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying: 9 “Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, 10 that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, 11 and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.”  Lev 10:8-11
      Under the new covenant established in Christ, God’s chosen priests symbolically carry God’s laws hidden within their heart.  (Isa 43:10,21; 1 Pet 2:5,9; Heb 8:10;13:15)  These laws are sourced in the Word, Jesus Christ, the Head of God’s Temple of mobile “living stones”.  (John 1:1;14:15,23,24; 1 Pet 2:4,5; Eph 2:10,20-22) 
      Today, God’s priests have abandoned their duty as God’s teachers. (Ezek 44:10; Mal 2:8,9)   A false priesthood/elder body assumes to “carry” God’s laws spoken by false “christs”/prophets, who subtly compare themselves to Moses leading the nation of spiritual “Israel”. (Num 3:10; Rom 2:28,29; 2 Thess 2:3,4) (Matt 24:4,5,23,24; Rev 13:11,12)  God’s priests imbibe in “intoxicating drink” offered by this Harlot; and in their drunkenness, they have allowed God’s sanctuary to be violated by the “unclean”. (Ezek 44:6-9,21,23; Isa 28:7,8; Luke 21:34-36; 1 Thess 5:7; Rev 8:10,11)
      Until researching the ark of the covenant, I had never related “Jehovah’s organization” as an “ark” of testimony, promising to lead JWs safely against the religious and political entities of the world, and on to a victorious finish.  I view it even more so, as their “spirit-breathed” guiding idol of protection, enforcing the decrees of men; and like the example of Hophni and Phineas, it reveals how little God’s anointed priests “know” God.  (Jer 2:8; 9:5,6; Rev 13:15)
      The practice of spiritual immorality has resulted in the trampling of God’s Word in Christ, bringing truth down to the ground, and exalting the doctrines of men. (Dan 8:12,13,25; Mark 13:14; 2 Thess 2:9,10; Isa 2:22)
      His priests do not bear the mark or portray the “image” of God’s Temple City of Truth. They bear the mark of a counterfeit temple of two blasphemous Beasts.  (Deut 6:6,8; 11:18; Exod 13:9; Rev 14:1; Rev 13:1,11,12,16,17; 17:3,5)
       
      Do you understand that it is blasphemy, when the wicked steward wrongly claims to be God's faithful slave (Rev 2:2; Matt 7:15; Rev 13:11), or when those not spiritual Jews (Rom 2:28,29; Ezek 44:7-9)
      falsely claim to be God's Temple 
      (Rev 2:9; 3:9; 2 Chron 13:9; 23:6; Mark 13:14; 2 Thess 2:4; Dan 8:11; Rev 13:7; 11:2; Jer 7:4)
      ...when in truth, they are an abomination of Satanic deception! 

      Such Gentile "elders", blaspheme against the genuine saints and priests of heaven (Heb 12:22,23; Eph 2:6; Phil 3:20; Rev 13:6)
      ... "killing" all who refuse to worship and serve their collective "image", as God's "spirit-directed" organization (Rev 13:15).

      That "abomination" is successful in destroying the life prospects of God's genuine people (Rev 13:7,8; Matt 24:4,5,24,25,22).
      That's why Jesus called it, "the abomination causing desolation", "as spoken about by Daniel the prophet" (Matt 24:15; Dan 11:31; 8:13)   (Jer 12:10-12; Matt 10:34; Rev 2:16; 19:15,19; 16:13-16; 13:10; Isa 63:18; Jer 6:3; Luke 19:43,44; 21:20,24,22; Rev 11:2).  

      This is, the "operation of error" / "deluding influence", of 2 Thess 2:11 
      (2 Thess 2:4; Dan 8:11,12; Rev 13:1,4; 2 Thess 2:9-12).
      Pearl Doxsey - “Who Are God’s People?”  
       
      Prov. 25:11 – “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures (“images”) of silver”.
      Jesus gave us warning that both good fruit and bad fruit would be exposed in the last days.(Matt 7:15-20)  Those slaves who are attached to the “vine”, who remain connected with their Head, will be projecting the “image” of God’s words of truth in Christ.  (John 15:1-5; Col 1:18)  Truth is the foundation of the Temple. Each “living stone” sealed into it would speak in harmony with Christ’s truth.  (Matt 16:18; John 14:6; 1 Tim 3:15)
      “And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.” Ps 12:6
      In the inner sanctuary, as well as on the “mercy seat” of the ark of the covenant, were the two cherubim which appeared to guard God’s “testimony” of Truth which the ark carried inside. 
      John 8:17 – “It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true.”
      A symbolic “two witnesses”, Revelation’s messenger servants of Christ, “trumpet” the need for God’s Temple priests to submit to Christ’s admonition, to “buy gold refined in the fire”  (Isa 58:1; Matt 24:31; Rev 3:14-22)
      “Behold, I send My messenger,
      And he will prepare the way before Me.
      And the Lord, whom you seek,
      Will suddenly come to His temple,
      Even the Messenger of the covenant,
      In whom you delight.
      Behold, He is coming,”
      Says the Lord of hosts.
      2 “But who can endure the day of His coming?
      And who can stand when He appears?
      For He is like a refiner’s fire
      And like launderers’ soap.
      3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;
      He will purify the sons of Levi,
      And purge them as gold and silver,
      That they may offer to the Lord
      An offering in righteousness.  Mal 3:1-3
       
      The tree of life represents God's gift of life through Christ  (1 John 4:9; John 6:57; John 3:16; 5:26; 1:4; Acts 3:15).
      That gift is also represented by the ark of the covenant, guarded by "two cherubim" (1 Kings 8:6; 6:27; 2 Kings 19:15; Ps 80:1; 99:1; Ezek 10:1)

      When the symbolic garden of Eden is restored, and the trees of life are accessible again,
      the sanctuary is "opened", and living waters/manna/the law tablets (Heb 9:4; 2 Cor 3:3)), once again "flow" from the throne of God, and from the sanctuary in heaven.
      (Ps 18:6,10; 80:1; Isa 37:16; Ezek 10:1; Rev 11:19; 15:5; Ezek 47:1; Rev 22:1,17; Heb 8:5; Jer 3:15-17).

      So when we read that the "tree of life" was guarded by cherubim, we can hopefully perceive that this reality is prophetic and spiritual, and is still very much with us. 
      It is the "two cherubim" (Rev 11:3), that determine who it is that are permitted to receive of life's provisions 
      (Matt 16:19; Mark 10:37,40; Zech 4:3; Matt 17:2,3,11; Isa 61:4,3; Jer 1:10; 2 Cor 10:4; Rev 2:26,27; Zech 4:3,14; Rev 11:4,3),

      thereby guardians of the "ark of the covenant" AND the "tree of life" (Rev 22:14; Ps 118:20; John 10:9,7; Rev 21:12; 22:14; 1 Cor 4:1; Luke 12:42).

      Not all are permitted access to the "tree of life" 
      (Matt 13:11,12; 10:13-15; 7:6; Mark 6:11; Luke 10:11; Isa 29:11; Luke 8:10; John 6:65; 1 Cor 2:10; 2 Cor 4:3-6; Rev 22:15; 21:27; Isa 52:1b; Joel 3:17; Nahum 1:15)
      Pearl Doxsey – “Garden of Eden”/New Creation/Seven Spirits/Tree of Life/The True Vine”
       
      “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the advice of the wicked;
      nor does he stand in the way of sinners;
      nor does he sit in the assembly of mockers.
      2 Instead, in the law of YHVH is his delight,
      and on His law he meditates day and night.

      3 And so, he is like a tree planted by streams of water
      that gives its fruit in its season;
      its leaf also does not wither.
      Therefore all that he does prospers.

      4 Not so the wicked.
      Instead, they are like the chaff that the wind scatters.
      5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
      nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
      6 for YHVH knows the way of the righteous,
      but the way of the wicked will perish.”
      Psalm 1:1-6
       
       
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      Who is the target of God’s four plagues of Revelation? (Rev 18:4)  See: “Sodom”/”Four Horsemen”  
      “Teach the Distinction!”
      “Disgusting Thing”
      “The fallen star”
       





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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.

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    • Darlene  »  T.B. (Twyla)

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

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

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