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In our path of study of the prophecies, as already seen in various previous articles, we will have come across something that we would not have believed possible.
The understanding of Babylon the Great, as well as that concerning Armageddon, the Jerusalem above or the Heavenly Jerusalem, have indeed constituted great changes in the official understanding of Jehovah's Witnesses.
We can not ignore the chain effects that these "changes of vision" have produced and continue to produce on many other more or less important doctrines.
The author of this blog would like above all to clarify that all the theses presented so far have never been considered inspired or infallible and therefore each reader is invited to make their own evaluations (and maybe to contribute) by comparing and meditating on the Scriptures without any injury.
At the same time, however, the author is equally convinced that the articles showed respect for the Bible and used it as a guide and supreme authority.
Every affirmation, whenever it was possible, was accompanied or confirmed by one or more Scriptures and therefore, although certain arguments went against the official teaching, it was decided to do so in good conscience.
The possible firm conviction of the author as well as certain categorical expressions used are exclusively due to this: the support of the Scriptures - John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Corinthians 10: 4, 5
The article that will be developed now, will also consist of a significant change of vision and we will see how, changing the conditions, real or possible scenarios become real that, until the day before yesterday, we would have considered really far-fetched - Job 42 :2; Mark 10:27
The wisest thing that each of us can do is to evaluate that every thesis presented is really in harmony with the Scripture, and nothing else, without closing up in shell or reshaping the power of God to what we think possible - Mark 12:24 ; Job 38: 4
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What do we know, with certainty, of the battle of Armageddon?
 
 
What do we know about the Armageddon war?
Speaking of the war of the great day of the Almighty God, what do we know for sure? - 1 Thessalonians 5:21
Well, we know that it is not total destruction due to a human war, a solar flare, a meteorite or other Hollywood nonsense - Isaiah 45:18; Psalm 78:69; Ecclesiastes 1: 4
We know it is the crucial war in which God takes revenge on his enemies and on the enemies of His people - Psalm 2: 3-6; Sofonia 1:18; Zechariah 2: 8
We also know that it is the occasion when Jehovah is magnified and makes himself known to the nations - Ezekiel 36:22, 23
It is the war that will free His people from oppression and slavery and will finally begin the Millennial Kingdom - Exodus 15: 11-13; Revelation 7:10
These are reliable informations.
For the rest, when it will happen, what means it will use, which scenario will present itself just before the outbreak of this war, etc., only assumptions are made.
One of these assumptions, which seems to have a strict logic, is that the place in Hebrew is called Har-Maghedon, is not a literal place but a situation.
In practice it would be the situation in which all the enemies of God find themselves fighting against His People, wherever they are.
This conclusion seems absolutely logical because how could a war of such proportions, which should encompass all of humanity and therefore billions of people, take place in such a small geographical area?
It is absurd to even think about it.
However, before closing our faculties of perception on any contrary subject we try to consider the following - James 1:19
First of all we have seen that the war between the king of the north and the king of the south, which is a prophecy to come, could greatly reduce the number of people present on earth including their armies - compare Revelation 6: 3, 7, 8
It's a raw topic we would not like to talk about but the prophecies seem clear.
This topic has been dealt with in various previous articles, including the one entitled "Who is the horn that became very great?".
Furthermore, as we saw in the article titled "Which nations disappear in Armageddon?" We know that the war of Armageddon will not destroy all nations and people on the planet.
This war will indeed destroy the satanic system which includes the savage beast, the kings of the earth and their armies - 1 John 3: 8
Seen from this point of view, perhaps the fact that this war can be fought in a specific and relatively restricted place becomes a possibility?
Furthermore it is necessary to make a couple of clarifications.
Har-Magedon, which means "Mountain of Megiddo", is not a specific reference to that "tell" that you see in Volume 1 of the book "Insight" (page 953 in the edition in Italian).
What you see in photography is what remains of ancient Megiddo, a small hill built on 26 layers of ruins of ancient cities.
That is "Megiddo" but where's the mountain?
Since there is no mountain called "Mount of Megiddo" we try to make assumptions without prematurely concluding that the whole argument is symbolic.
Megiddo is located at the entrance of the pass through the chain of Mount Carmel, which overlooks the valley of Esdraelon from the south-west.
So the Mount of Megiddo might be Mount Carmel (compare 1 Kings 18:19, 20, Jeremiah 46:18, Amos 1: 2; 9: 3; Naum 1: 3, 4) and could include all the hilly countryside that surrounds the valley of Megiddo, one hundred kilometers north of Jerusalem, including the valley of Esdraelon.
Space is noticeable, but before assuming any calculation, we try to ask ourselves according to what logic or why the kings of the earth should / could be there.
To a superficial judgment it would seem a stupid thing.
The kings of the earth and their armies will not be able to fight against Christ and his elect (though they will try to - compare Revelation 19:19, 20) and so it is evident that they will take it upon His people.
Why, then, to concentrate in one area of the earth (whatever it is) to try to destroy the people of God if it is found in all the inhabited earth?
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we have seen that the earth chosen by God for His people is still the Promised Land and the gathering of Israel will be literal.

The article in part said, "When nations have run out of time, including both the trampling of Jerusalem and the persecution, Armageddon will begin to destroy this beast and all the compact peoples in the fight against the Lamb.
At that moment Jerusalem will have been freed and the people of God, after the necessary period spent in the "inner rooms", will be able to go to that country which is still part of the promise and where in a short time it will begin to flow milk and honey - Isaiah 26: 20 "
What have we seen so far?
We have seen that Babylon the Great is modern apostate Israel but this has to do with the people who occupy it, certainly not with the geographical area which, in itself, can not have merit or guilt - Zechariah 5: 6-8
So, once Israel is liberated from Babylon the Great, Jehovah will bring His people back to that land that bears His name and will be inhabited from generation to generation - Joel 3:20
The crucial question is therefore: will this rallying and consequent exodus to the Promised Land begin after Armageddon or its approach?
Some scriptures suggest that this happens just before the final battle.
How can we say it?
We have seen that during the last war between the king of the north and the king of the south, some nations are able to escape - see Daniel 11:41
The writing mentions Edom, Moab and Ammon and, coincidentally, these are the same nations in which a part of the people of Israel found shelter in the past - compare Psalm 60: 8, 9; Isaiah 16: 4; Jeremiah 40:11
The logical conclusion is that the people of God who survived the war, since they will have to live again Israel now liberated by the Great Whore, are in the vicinity of the Promised Land at least some time before the final battle.
This situation would also be similar to what happened in the past but on a much larger scale.
If the meeting takes place before Armageddon, then it becomes logical and plausible that the "kings of the earth" will gather in the place that in Hebrew is called Har-Maghedon.
This is done to prevent the achievement of the Promised Land (and kill them all at once - compares Psalm 2: 1-6) or simply to kill them once they reach.
This hypothesis makes reasonable not only the literal gathering of kings and armies but also the specific place of the gathering.
Let's try, for a moment, to read Revelation as if it were the first time and as if they had not taught us anything.
The writing says “And I saw three unclean inspired expressions
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that looked like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon
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and out of the mouth of the wild beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
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 They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and they perform signs,
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and they go out to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war
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of the great day of God the Almighty ( ... ) And they gathered them together to the place that is called in Hebrew Armageddon" – Revelation 16:13, 14, 16
Without doing any disquisition on what terms and what it means, the first image that would come to mind are the kings who are gathered together somewhere, is not it?
In fact, the writing says that these frogs "gathered them", which makes one think that these kings are heading towards a specific place.
After all we have never done any disquisitions on the idea that these frogs actually go to the kings of the earth; we have never hypothesized that their "going to" the kings of the earth was symbolic because it is evident that, if these kings live in different and distant nations, these frogs have to go or go towards them.
But we have re-discussed that the kings go somewhere.
So frogs go literally (they must reach these kings) while kings go in a symbolic sense. That is, they do not go anywhere.
The question that would be spontaneous to those who did not know anything about the issues at stake would be ... "Why do the kings of the earth, at the approach of the war, go to the place called Har-Maghedon (whatever place it is)?"
In a war scenario, the answer would become simple: because the object of contention is in that area or near that area.
Any nation that would place its army on the borders of another nation would send a strong and clear message.
He is preparing for the war.
In this case, however, the question does not concern the conquest of the territory of Israel but the extermination of the people who intend to live there - Psalm 2: 1-4
Finally we must distinguish the kings of the earth from their armies.
The writing of Revelation says that only the kings of the earth are gathered at Har-Maghedon.
How many will be the kings of the earth, following their ministers, their officials in various capacities, their bodyguards, etc?
A few thousand?
A few tens of thousands?
Is the entire hilly area of Carmel and the valley of Esdraelon itÂ’s sufficient to accommodate a few tens of thousands of people?
Obviously yes, even only the Carmel.
Where will the armies be and for which aircraft will they be extended?
We do not have a precise answer but we can make some reasoning based on what we know from the scriptures.
The simple distinction, which perhaps few have noticed, between the kings of the earth and their armies, should make every hypothesis fall "of the impossibility of the event" because if the Bible does not specify the area of armies extension they could really be hundreds of millions and even billions of people.
The final battle would take place "around the Mount of Megiddo" for an indefinite area (why could not they cover all of Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq for example?) God's people would still be surrounded, the writing would not it would fail and Jehovah would rise above the nations.
So, regardless of all the reasoning we have just made, if the Bible does not specify the extent of the armies deployed against the people of God, all the discourse on the secure symbolic nature of writing lapses or at least is not as reasonable as it initially seemed.
We will try however to "build" the extension of this army only on the basis of what we know and keeping as close as possible so that all the talk will acquire heaviness and it is really the Bible to speak - Romans 3: 4
Regarding the last dominant king described in Daniel chapters 11 and 12 we know that he will place his tents "between the great sea and the holy Mount of the Adornment" - Daniel 11:45
After this event "he will have to come to his end, and there will not be a rescuer for him" and then it is understood that "pitching the tents" is the last action he performs before his final destruction.
We have also seen that the destruction of Babylon the Great (or the nation of Israel) is the prelude to Armageddon and not to the great tribulation.
As a result, the army of the last ruling king should already be present on the territory of Israel before the final battle * (see footnote).
He simply has to wait for all the others to come (it is to be noted, in fact, that the writing which calls for the gathering of the kings of the earth at Har-Maghedon makes no mention of the wild beast. He is not mentioned because he is among the kings or simply because it is already there?).
However, for the moment we do not know whether this immense army will stand as a shield to prevent Israel from entering or whether it will wait for "the people gathered from all the earth" to actually enter the country and then surround it - see for example Joel 3: 9- 12; Nehemiah 6:16; Psalm 44:13; 59: 5, 6; 76:11, 12; 97: 1-3; Jeremiah 1: 14-16; 6:25; 25: 9; Lamentations 1:17
For the moment we can imagine both situations since concepts do not change.
So, to obstruct any access to the coming people, the armies will have to cover Israel at least for its entire length.
Does this seem reasonable to you?
So we have to hypothesize an extension that goes from the Great Sea (the Mediterranean) to the Mount of the Adornment west of Israel and an extension at least similar to the east side of Israel (in terms of width).
So a length at least equal to that of Israel if not more.
What area are we talking about?
We can only make an estimate but a territory equal to twice the current Israel should cover an area of 45 / 50,000 square kilometers.
With this in mind, let us now assume how powerful this army could be.
A site makes a list of the ten most numerous armies (updated to 2015).
This is the list with the respective numbers.
 
CHINA (number of staff: 2.285.000).
UNITED STATES (1.458.000).
INDIA (1.325.000)
NORTH KOREA (1.106.000)
RUSSIA (1.027.000)
TURKEY (666,500)
SOUTH KOREA (639,000).
PAKISTAN (617,000)
IRAN (523,000).
EGYPT (468,000)
 
The total number of staff would be just over ten million people.
We also consider that, as we saw at the beginning, the war between the kings of the north and the king of the south by then will have greatly reduced the numbers and at least a part of the nations listed above may not exist anymore.
For the benefit of the numbers, however, it must be said that in case of conflict the "effective" would not be the only ones to go to war.
The numbers could be greatly underestimated (it is doubtful, in fact, that the official numbers correspond to the real ones).
Finally we must consider that this is the last move of Satan before being thrown into the abyss for a thousand years so he would have every interest in making the armies as numerous as possible.
So we multiply by five these numbers and assume that the final attack includes 50 million armed soldiers to the teeth.
The area we estimated could contain fifty million people?
Yes and fairly well if we consider that these people are not there to live or stay but simply as soldiers waiting to launch a furious attack.
Every soldier would have a living space of about one square meter.
Do you remember the photographs in which Hitler had his huge troops?
In those large gatherings there were probably three or four people every square meter.
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In Hitler's huge gatherings there were probably 3 or 4 people per square meter
 
It is evident that we are making assumptions and the estimates, both of the army and of the militarized area, could vary a lot, but the point we want to illustrate is simply one.
Despite the ideas that we made about the war of Har-Magedon, and how they are rooted in us, we can not exclude that the final battle takes place in this geographical area and that it will prove to be the biggest fight in the history of humanity.
Indeed, the scriptures mentioned in support of the argument suggest that this is not simply a possibility.
Any new understanding, however, can make other scriptures harmonious or create forcing.
Forcing should be an indicator that "something is wrong".
What happens with the other scriptures, understanding that the place of the final battle will be a specific and relatively restricted place?
Meanwhile, as we have mentioned, this situation would be very similar to several biblical episodes we know - see for example Exodus 14: 10-14; 2 Kings 18: 19-25
Jehovah would be exalted in the midst of the nations precisely because, not being really all destroyed, the distant peoples and nations would speak of this event with terror and for centuries - compare Joshua 2: 9-11; Deuteronomy 2:25; Psalm 112: 10
Isaiah 63: 1-6 describes Jehovah coming from Edom who, as we have seen, is one of the places where God's people find refuge, and from there he begins to "tread peoples into His wrath."
Psalm 2: 2 describes all the peoples and national groups united "as one man" and this gives the idea that the rulers of the earth, and therefore their armies, are effectively gathered somewhere as one army, a single mass and compact.
Finally (but not "finally" because you will find many other similarities if you want to look for them) suddenly becomes clear why the king of the north is troubled because of news from the east and the north - see Daniel 11:44
So far what have we been told?
In other words ... we have been told that we do not know.
In the book "Pay attention to the prophecies of Daniel" on page 283 (Italian edition) we speak of Gog of Magog (among other things in the understanding that it is Satan the Devil) and paragraph 26 concludes with the words "But what at the end they will contain the news from the east and from the north only God will establish it and time will tell it ".
Instead, understanding the scenario that will be created shortly before the final battle we can guess why this king is so upset.
He sees the people of God, who evidently believed he had eliminated, gathered and on their way to the Promised Land!
Depict the scene.
It is easy to imagine that he understands that there is God, the True God and not the farce built by the false prophet behind all this.
Despite his immense power and his fury, he has not succeeded in eliminating the people of God who are now reaching the Promised Land in fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
It is not surprising that this causes great anger in him and comes out "with great fury to annihilate and to vote many to destruction", or the people of God gathered there - Daniel 11:43
And this explains why he "will pitch the tents of his palace between [the] great sea and the holy mount of the Adornment".
Let's take a moment to imagine the scene and see us there, intent on reaching the promised land as the Israelites were in the time of Moses.
Perhaps we may find ourselves imprisoned between the Great Sea and the army or we may be a few kilometers from the border and see "men of extraordinary stature" - Numbers 13:33
Perhaps some of us, seeing such a colossal army, might doubt Jehovah's power or his will to protect us - Isaiah 43:10, 11
Try to imagine how many situations described in the Bible would become the mirror of those last moments of the system of things.
It is not difficult to see the harmony of the Word of God and to understand what will happen if we free ourselves from our conditioning and do not associate the word "impossible" with God.
Is not it a wonderful prospect?
One day, towards the end of the terrifying events that will occur on earth, someone will call us to lead us to the Promised Land, but the journey will be reserved only for those who will understand the prophecy and act accordingly.
Next stop: Israel.
Take the ticket.
Make reservations now.
The forecasts say that the area will be quite crowded.
 
 
Footnote.
The article entitled "1290 and 1335 days" shows a difference of 45 days between trampling on God's people and achieving his "happiness" - see Daniel 12:12
These 45 days could include the time of the gathering of the people of God and the consequent exodus that will lead them to cross the boundaries of the Promised Land.
 
It is necessary to specify that even if the lowering of the waters of the Euphrates has to do with the destruction of these peoples and not simply with the loss of the defenses, this could refer to the peoples that surround Israel and not with Israel - compare Joel 3 : 4
This could mean that the payment of the sixth cup of the angel is not yet the actual destruction of Babylon the Great and therefore the people of Israel might still be alive and active when God's people approach it to "repopulate".
As strange as this may seem, this seems to be in harmony with Revelation 16:19 which says that God would have remembered Babylon "to give it the cup of wine of the fury of his wrath" and by reading the context this happens during or near of the judgment of armageddon - compare Revelation 16:13
Other Bibles translate in a similar way and therefore it would seem evident that when nations gather in Armageddon, God still has to pour his wrath upon Babylon the Great.
If this understanding is correct, when the king of the north "will come out with great fury to annihilate and vote many to destruction" it is possible that in his blinding fury he will strike first the nation that had always been their lover - compare Revelation 18 : 10, 15, 18 (see also Zechariah 14:13, 14)
And obviously this will happen by God's will - Revelation 17:17
This possibility makes very probable the situation in which the people of God are effectively blocked between Israel (still populated) and all the armies of the world.
 

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      I want to share a comment that Pearl made a few years ago, that gives definition to “evil” grapes at their prime:
      The Bible portrays, that it is absorbed into their blood, so that their very soul (Lev 17:11) is the "venom of vipers" (Deut 32:32,33). 
      This is exactly why Christ treads the "winepress". It is to squeeze the falsehood from them. Those marked by “666” are false witnesses. The falsehood filling their souls (symbolized by their blood), will cause the lifeblood they have chosen, to kill them, because they will drown on their own blood. They drown on the lies within them, that Christ must crush at his return. This is such deep symbolism, but every detail of it, applies. Because their blood has become Satan's wine, they will lose their souls. God speaks of the Harlot who channels that "wine", when we read Isa.47:5-7 ...

      5 “O beautiful Babylon, sit now in darkness and silence.
          Never again will you be known as the queen of kingdoms.
      6 For I was angry with my chosen people
          and punished them by letting them fall into your hands.
      But you, Babylon, showed them no mercy.
          You oppressed even the elderly.
      7 You said, ‘I will reign forever as queen of the world!’
          You did not reflect on your actions
          or think about their consequences."

      We will see her fall.

      "30 A horrible and shocking thing
          has happened in this land—
      31 the prophets give false prophecies,
          and the priests rule with an iron hand.
      Worse yet, my people like it that way!
          But what will you do when the end comes?" (Jer.5:30-31)
       
      “And it will happen on that day;
      the mountains will drip new wine,
          and the hills will flow with milk,
          and all the channels of Judah will flow with water.
      A spring from the house of YHWH will come forth,
          and it will water the valley of Acacia Trees.
      19 Egypt will become a desolation,
          and Edom will become a desolate desert,
      because of the violence they did against the children of Judah,
          in whose land they have shed innocent blood.
      20 But Judah will be inhabited forever,
          and Jerusalem for all generations.
      21 I will cleanse their bloodguilt that I did not cleanse,
          for YHWH is dwelling in Zion.”  Joel 3:18-21
       
      Pearl Doxsey – Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      Labor Pains
      A Hidden Famine, A Hidden Feast
      Spiritual Virginity vs. The Harlot’s Cup/Two Covenants
      666
      The Great Winepress

    • By the Sower of Seed
      7:26 But the Court sat, and they took away his rulership, in order to annihilate him and to destroy him completely.
      27 “‘And the kingdom and the rulership and the grandeur of the kingdoms under all the heavens were given to the people who are the holy ones of the Supreme One. Their kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all rulerships will serve and obey them.’
       
      28 “This is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts alarmed me greatly, so that I turned pale; but I kept the matter in my own heart.”
    • By Witness
      @Arauna - “So, aside from all the human imperfections we have to deal with - just like David, moses, Elijah and the nation of Israel....... God used them as a nation despite their infedility, immorality, idolatry and maybe even child sexual abuse...... unfortunately all forms of irregularities is part of life until jehovah removes the wicked forever.”
      When God’s nation sinned, He abandoned them to the consequences of their sins. He didn’t tolerate idolatry, immorality, greed, victimization, etc., The number of evil kings far surpassed the number of good kings among Judah and Israel.   How many good “kings” have there been in the WT? This forum has brought out the ugliness of every head leader since Russel.  (Lam 2:14; Jer 14:14; Isa 56:10; Rev 17:9,10)
      Today’s “Israel” who are to be spiritually “organized” as a body under their Head, Jesus Christ, has now succumbed to men’s “unique” idea (a1940’s revelation) of an earthly organization as the only path to salvation.  After 2,000 years, it appears God’s holy people believe Christ’s power to individually lead one to salvation through God’s approved way of worship, is now not possible. (1 Cor 12:27; 2 Cor 5:20; 1 Cor 4:1; 1 Pet 2:5,9; Mal 2:7; John 7:18,38; Rev 21:6; 22:17) A sin-laden brainstorm of men leads millions on a twisted path, which JWs view as the road to everlasting life.
      “Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where You’re going. How can we know the way?”6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  John 14:5,6
      As I recall the cry the organization makes to inactive ones: “Return to Jehovah!”, myself and many others are able to read between the lines, and detect the idol that the inactive, disfellowshipped and shunned ones are to return to - “Jehovah’s organization”.  Can God be placed in the same context to anything men build? 
       “Who will you compare me or make me equal to? Who will you measure me with, so that we should be like each other?    Isa 46:5
      In light of this idolatry, the organization’s leaders carefully use due diligence to maintain their false haven of “peace and security”, since its many sins over the years are perpetually uncovered, and people are taking notice. (Luke 8:17)  It is one of several reasons why the “mountainlike organization” will not survive. (Ps 127:1; 1 John 2:17; Zech 4:7; Rev 8:8)
      I was thinking of Arauna’s avatar when formulating this comment.  It reminds me of the situation David faced when he stubbornly counted all Israel – a practice the leaders of the WT repetitiously accomplish year after year. (1 Chron 21:1) I have noticed that the organization readily compares itself to historical Israel, usually applied to the time Moses led Israel; yet, the account in 1 Chron chapter 21 is treated with an apparent flippant attitude. Although it is taught that God similarly leads His people today by comparing the GB’s lead to that of Moses, God’s decrees seem to apply only when advantageous for the life and breath of the organization. They are heeded when convenient, to keep the members “moving ahead” with the organization.  (Exod 32:1,4; Judges 10:13,14)   Taking a census seems like such an innocent thing to do, a practicality necessary as all of today’s organizations in the world deem it to be. (Ezek 20:32-38) (Luke 4:5-7)
       “Satan stood up against Israel and incited David to count the people of Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, “Go and count Israel from Beer-sheba to Dan and bring a report to me so I can know their number.” 1 Chron 21:1,2
      Each time God’s anger is said to “burn against Israel”, as is stated in 2 Sam 24:1 regarding this event, it was because of rebellion and idolatry.  He rejected them by removing His protective spirit and allowed the adversary to step in.  (Psalm 78)
      In Exod 30:11-16, God gave specific directions about taking a census which in this case, David took no notice of.  Would JWs think of the routine census taken worldwide as evil? Well, perhaps they should, since the source of persuasion in David’s case, was Satan. Satan exhibits pride and greed. One of these Satanic attributes may have spurred David’s decision to count the number of Israelites.  What is the reason today’s leaders of “Israel” do so? To fuel pride in ‘Jehovah’s growing organization’?  To project graphs and statistics of future incoming donations and what they could possibly achieve with it?  (Phil 3:19)
      But Joab said, “May YHVH add to the people a hundred times what they are! Are they not, O my lord the king, all of them the king’s servants? Why does my lord seek this? Why would he bring guilt to Israel?”     1 Chron 21:3
      David was considered as one of the few good kings to rule God’s people, shepherding Israel “with integrity of heart” (Ps 78:72),but he still suffered the consequences of his failings, and so did all of Israel.
      (This chart may be of interest:  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. )
       “Yet the king’s order prevailed over Joab. So Joab left and traveled throughout Israel and then returned to Jerusalem. 5 Joab gave the total troop registration to David. In all Israel there were 1,100,000 swordsmen and in Judah itself 470,000 swordsmen. 6 But he did not include Levi and Benjamin in the count because the king’s command was detestable to him. 7 This command was also evil in God’s sight, so He afflicted Israel.”  1 Chron 21:4-7
      When David’s conscience came alive, he admitted his foolishness. (1 Chron 21:8) Still, he was given three choices to atone for his sin -
       “This is what the Lord says: ‘Take your choice: 12 three years of famine, or three months of devastation by your foes with the sword of your enemy overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the Lord—a plague on the land, the angel of the Lord bringing destruction to the whole territory of Israel.’ Now decide what answer I should take back to the One who sent me.”  Vs 11,12
      His decision not to fall into the hands of men, resulted in 70,000 Israelites killed by a plague. If the Bible examples are for our direction, why hasn’t the organization heeded this one -  a plague of destruction far surpassing that of Korah’s rebellion of 14,000 (Num 16:49) and the plague of Baal-Peor of 24,000 (Num 25:9; 1 Cor 10:8)?  (1 Cor 10:6)
      God relented at the last moment and saved the entirety of Jerusalem from destruction by the Destroyer. All of this occurred not only because of a brazen act committed before God, but the apparent sinful practices of Israel which led to this destructive plague. (2 Sam 24:1) 
      Yet, David focused on his own sin:
      When David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem, David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell down with their faces to the ground. 17 David said to God, “Wasn’t I the one who gave the order to count the people? I am the one who has sinned and acted very wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? My Lord God, please let Your hand be against me and against my father’s family, but don’t let the plague be against Your people.” 1 Chron 21:16,17 
      I really can’t imagine any JW leader, past or present, putting himself ahead of the sheep, by placing his neck on the chopping block for his wrongful actions. (Rom 5:6-8) But David saw the shocking literal effects of his sin. He witnessed the sword held in the angel’s hand, prepared to add victims to an already horrendous slaughter.   As JWs suffer among the nations of the world (which every JW should meditate on why this is so) they are told to keep their faith strong and continue in their loyalty to “Jehovah’s organization”; the work of man’s hands. (Lev 26:1; Exod 20:23; Jonah 2:8; Rom 1:25; Rev 13:4; 9:20)  It doesn’t appear that there is enough suffering in the organization worldwide, for its leaders to acknowledge their own guilt, of leading “Israel” and those with them, into sin, continual false teachings, and idolatry. 
      The plague was detained by David’s obedience to God’s direction –
       ‘Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.’ 
      It was on that threshing floor on the mountain of Moriah, that Solomon built the temple for God. 2 Chron 3:1
      Araunah, or Ornan used in 1 Chron 21:15, referred to himself as a king in 2 Sam 24:23
      Both names have several meanings:
       Ornan --  " strong, that rejoices, light was perpetuated: their fir trees"
      Araunah -  “ark, song, joyful cry, a large tree, Yah is Firm”
      22 Araunah said to David, “My lord the king may take whatever he want and offer it. Here are the oxen for a burnt offering and the threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 Your Majesty, Araunah gives everything here to the king.” Then he said to the king, “May the Lord your God accept you.” 2 Sam 24:22-23
      24 The king answered Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it from you for a price, for I will not offer to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for twenty ounce of silver. 25 He built an altar to the Lord there and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord was receptive to prayer for the land, and the plague on Israel ended.
      At the coming of Jesus, John the Baptist compared God’s people to wheat and chaff on a threshing floor:
       17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Luke 3:17
      Through the sacrifice of his life, Jesus willingly “bought” a people – a “land” of wheat to be threshed as faithful “living stones” of the Temple of God. (1 Pet 2:5,9)  And who also, in the footsteps of Christ, sacrifice their lives to do God’s will.  (Luke 8:15; Matt 13:38; Mark 4:20;1 Cor 3:9) (Rom 12:1; 1 Pet 2:5)
      As the tree of light and life, he has refined a people of strong “trees” on a spiritual “threshing floor” since the first century, to serve with him in God’s Kingdom. (Gen 2:9; John 6:57;8:12; Rev 2:7; 22:14; Matt 12:33; Ezek 47:12; Rev 22:2)   Without this atonement, none of God’s people would have been saved from total destruction. (Luke 21:5,6; Matt 23:38,39;; Acts 3:22,23; John 2:18-21; Acts 3:25; Rom 9:6,7)
      Rev 5:9,10 -  9 And they sang a new song, saying:
      “You are worthy to take the scroll
          and to open its seals,
      because you were slain,
          and with your blood you purchased for God
          persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
      10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
          and they will reign on the earth.”
      1 Pet 2:5,9,10 - you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house (“a temple of the Spirit”) to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ,  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
      This new Temple is reaching completion, as the remaining anointed are being “sifted as wheat” on that symbolic, spiritual “threshing floor”. Today, the Great Tribulation is the time of threshing the remnant of God’s people “Israel”. (Luke 22:31; Rev 12:1-4,15-17; 16:13,14)  Entering the organization does not lead to a salvaged condition of the heart, as I believe many JWs think so.  Its existence is for one reason only, to incite God’s people to transgress His decrees, primarily by committing idolatry.
      Never did Moses teach that an organization was the source of salvation.
      I, I am YHVH,
      and there is no other Savior but Me.
      I alone declared, saved, and proclaimed—
      and not some foreign god among you.  Isa 43:11,12a
      God’s “Israel” today blindly permit men to lead them in this spiritual adultery, forgetting who “bought” them with his atoning sacrifice. They allow a “foreign god” and “thief” (John 10:10) to persuade their heart in exchanging the truth about salvation, for a lie.  (Ezek 32:8,4; Rom 1:20-22,25; 2 Thess 2:9; Rev 13:11,14,15,8)
      You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 1 Cor 7:23
      “ Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Cor 6:19-20 
      @Arauna also commented -  “I wait for ideal conditions when Jesus has restored the original purpose of God and given rulership back to Jehovah.”
      Restoration happens now, amidst a plague of “locust/scorpions” (2 Thess 2:9,10; Joel 2:1-5; Rev 9:3,4,7) and famine, resulting from a wicked house steward restricting spiritual provisions to be received from all servants of the House. (2 Chron 15:3; Amos 8:11; Rev 6:5,6,8; 18; 13:17; Isa 55:2) (Luke 12:42-46)
      Not only are God’s holy people committing idolatry, they are valuing the word of men over God’s decrees concerning His Temple, of which they as “living stones” under Christ, have submitted to the rule and judgment of a “Gentile” counterfeit priesthood, as dictated by false “christs”. (2 Thess 2:3,4; Rev 13:5-7,11,12; Matt 24:24) They are scattered among all JWs and readily accept their anonymous identity. (Jer 23:2; Lam 4:1,2) Because of all of this, the appearance of an “Elijah”, a role that also John the Baptist fulfilled, is again seen in the “two witnesses” preaching in “sackcloth”.  (Rev 11:3)
      10 And the disciples asked him, saying, “Then why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 11 And he answered and said, “Elijah indeed is coming, and will restore all things.” Matt 17:10
      This servant of Christ reveals the sins of God’s people and the need to escape the coming destruction, at the hands of the Destroyer. (Rev 11:3,4) (John 10:10)  John preached to the nation of Israel, as do the “two witnesses” of Revelation – to spiritual “Israel”, and those with them. (Matt 10:23; Rev 11:3; 18:4-8)
      The "two witnesses" are “killed” for their witness to Christ’s truth concerning the “abominations standing in God’s “holy place” (Dan 11:31,32,36; Matt 24:15; 2 Thess 2:4; Eccl 10:5-7)
      “When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.”  Rev 11:7
      “For you will be excommunicated from the synagogues, and indeed the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing God a service.” John 16:2
      “It was granted to him (by a false prophet/Beast, Rev 13:11) to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. Rev 13:7
      “He (that false prophet) was granted power to give breath (direct spirit/”spirit-directed”) to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”  Rev 13:15
      “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.”  Matt 9:24
       “They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”  Luke 21:24
      “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. 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.”  Rev 11:1,2 
      JWs are taught that the two Beasts of Revelation are found in the world of “Christendom” and politics.  Not so. “Babylon” is the spiritual condition where God’s wayward people exist now, in a haven of confused teachings, resulting in spiritual famine, and idolatry to an organization. (Isa 28:7-15)  The anointed Temple of God is “trampled” by this Beast, the “man of lawlessness”/elder body/counterfeit priesthood that rules over them. (Dan 7:23 2 Thess 2:3,4; Rev 9:3,4;11:1-3)  These two Beasts, a false prophet and an organization, have been successful in applying pressure and persecution through the use of lying accusations against them, enough to extinguish any light of truth they may hold in their hearts. (Matt 5:14-16; Rev 13:5-7)
      Why do God’s anointed priests tolerate men who dictate how they are to serve God?   It is because these men offer them the captivating false promise that eternal life is achieved through the organization, a promise God and His Son have never made.   (Isa 44:20; Col 2:8; Rev 13:10)
      The Lord, the holy God of Israel,
          the one who shapes the future, says:
      “You have no right to question me about my children
          or to tell me what I ought to do!
      12 I am the one who made the earth
          and created human beings to live there.
      By my power I stretched out the heavens;
          I control the sun, the moon, and the stars.
      13 I myself have stirred Cyrus to action
          to fulfill my purpose and put things right.
      I will straighten out every road that he travels.
          He will rebuild my city, Jerusalem,
          and set my captive people free.
      No one has hired him or bribed him to do this.”
      The Lord Almighty has spoken.  Isa 45:11-13
      Pearl Doxsey
      I have learned from my own experience with Holy Spirit, that Satan has demanded to test all those elected by God (Luke 22:31; 1 Pet 4:12,13). As was the case with Job, God allows this (Job 1:8,9,12,22), that we might prove worthy of the calling (Luke 16:10; Matt 25:14,19,23,29,30;8:12) in the face of Satan's accusations (Job 1:11; 2:5; Zech 3:1; Rev 12:10).
      I was clearly shown in vision, that our time in the WT is a test....
      a great tribulation. The Greek word there, refers to the beating, threshing, crushing, and sifting of wheat by constraint, restraint, and opposition. This time is also referred to as a period of "labor pains", or "pangs of distress".
      2347 thlípsis – properly, pressure (what constricts or rubs together), used of a narrow place that "hems someone in"; tribulation, especially internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined (restricted, "without options") and carries the challenge of coping with the internal pressure of a tribulation, especially when feeling there is "no way of escape" ("hemmed in"). (Rev 13:10; Ezek 22:29,28; Isa 5:7; Rev 14:19)

       [By contrast, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (stenoxōría) focuses on the external pressure exerted by external circumstances.]
      Therefore, we are not without explanation as to why we were drawn into the WT. Satan has baited our test with the only thing that draws the chosen.....Bible Truth (Ps 119:103,72;19:9,10).
      The best way to get someone to swallow 1/3 poison, is to put it inside something attractive (Rev 8:10,11; Jer 23:15).
      The decades we spent inside the abyss of the WT was not without purpose (Isa 59:10,19-21; Ezek 14:21-23; Rev 6:8; Prov 17:3). When our loyalty (exclusive devotion) to the God of Truth is finally fully tested…
      …we "wake up" and realize something is wrong, and we must act.
      Despite the anticipated losses, those of faithful heart loyally cling to the God of Truth. Like Christ their exemplar, truth is more precious than our own lives (Mark 8:35). Like Christ, truth is more precious than conformity to those who rule over God's Chosen Nation under test (Matt 23:13).
      (Luke 19:41-46; Rev 13:17,7)

      Only those who make it all the way through the gamut/refining pot/crucible, are sealed as sons/heirs of God's Kingdom (Acts 14:22; Luke 13:23,24;Matt 7:14; 24:13)  
      From Pearl Doxsey, "The Anointed Teaches Truth--How?
       “Threshing is the process of loosening the edible part of grain (or other crop) from the chaff to which it is attached. It is the step in grain preparation after reaping. Threshing may be done by beating the grain using a flail on a threshing floor. Another traditional method of threshing is to make donkeys or oxen (beasts) walk in circles on the grain on a hard surface.” Wikipedia
      Matt 24:48-51 – “ But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
      Revelation's Beasts are experts at circular reasoning, shaping scripture to fit their doctrines and calling it "truth". Babylon from long ago was destroyed because of idolatry, and foreigners who “entered the holy places of the Lord’s temple”. Jer 51:51-53  Today’s temple “living stones” under the covenant /promise of “Babylon” have apathetically allowed “Gentiles” to walk all over them, which has desecrated God’s Temple in Christ.  (Ezek 44:6-9; Isa 51:23; 1 Pet 2:5; 1 Cor 3:16,17)  As Pearl brought out, they have fully conformed to the rule of men. Gal 1:10
      Rev 18:4-8 tells God's "saints" and companions to leave this confusion, ("babal") - to leave "Babylon" (the gate of gods).  Many have obeyed this call, desiring to follow the word of God over the word of man.  Matt 13:24-30
      The cry to “come out of her my people” happened then…and is happening now.  Jer 51:45,46; Rev 18:4-8  
        Ephraim herds the wind
          and is pursuing the east wind all day long;
      he multiplies deception and violence
          and he makes a treaty with Assyria,
          and oil is brought to Egypt. Hos 12:1
       A merchant loves to extort
      with dishonest scales in his hands.
      8 But Ephraim thinks,
      “How rich I have become;
      I made it all myself.
      In all my earnings,
      no one can find any iniquity in me
      that I can be punished for!”  7,8
      Ephraim has caused bitter provocation,
          and his Lord will hold him responsible for his crimes
          and pay back to him his insults. Hos 12:14
       When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling;
      he was exalted in Israel.
      But he incurred guilt through Baal and died. Hos 13:1
      2 Now they continue to sin
      and make themselves a cast image,
      idols skillfully made from their silver,
      all of them the work of craftsmen.
      People say about them,
      “Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves.”
      3 Therefore, they will be like the morning mist,
      like the early dew that vanishes,
      like chaff blown from a threshing floor,
      or like smoke from a window.  Hos 13:1-3
      Israel, return to the Lord your God,
      for you have stumbled in your iniquity.
      2 Take words of repentance with you
      and return to the Lord.
      Say to him: “Forgive all our iniquity
      and accept what is good,
      so that we may repay you
      with praise from our lips.
      3 Assyria will not save us,
      we will not ride on horses,
      and we will no longer proclaim, ‘Our gods!’
      to the work of our hands.
      For the fatherless receives compassion in you.”
      4 I will heal their apostasy;
      I will freely love them,
      for my anger will have turned from him.
      5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
      he will blossom like the lily
      and take root like the cedars of Lebanon.
      6 His new branches will spread,
      and his splendor will be like the olive tree,
      his fragrance, like the forest of Lebanon.
      7 The people will return and live beneath his shade.
      They will grow grain
      and blossom like the vine.
      His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon.
      8 Ephraim, why should I have anything more
      to do with idols?
      It is I who answer and watch over him.
      I am like a flourishing pine tree;
      your fruit comes from me.
      9 Let whoever is wise understand these things,
      and whoever is insightful recognize them.
      For the ways of the Lord are right,
      and the righteous walk in them,
      but the rebellious stumble in them.  Hos 14:1-9
       
       
       
       

    • By Witness
      Except for some time-consuming events, my husband and I have traveled across the heart of the state of Nevada, numerous times per year, for the last fifteen years. It can be a long, lonely jaunt, but with periods of peace. We know where to look for herds of sheep wandering freely without fences, taking their time in maneuvering to a fresh crop of grass on other side of the highway. We’ve witnessed rogue sheepdogs seemingly searching for their flock. We’ve got it down where the elk hang out, the pronghorn, as well as the long straight stretches that we wish would end sooner than they do. I know I’ve seen every sign along that highway; but their appearance doesn’t always register in the brain. During this last trip, one rather small sign took on a different meaning for me. Besides highway markers pointing to the major natural attractions, there are minor signs directing the way to areas such as Fish Creek, Robert’s Creek, Duckwater; and the one that caught my eye on this last journey, Blind Valley. What was someone’s reason for naming it such? Is it a valley hidden from the view of the highway? Was it a land purchase made sight unseen? Most likely, fish are found in Fish Creek, ducks are found at Duckwater. Robert might even be found at Robert’s Creek. Could it be that someone blind, lives in Blind Valley?
      How well the name “Blind Valley” designates a symbolic valley where multitudes within it are found to be spiritually blind - the Bible’s “valley of decision”.
      “Come quickly, all you nations from every side,
      and assemble there.
      Bring down your warriors, Lord!
      12 “Let the nations be roused;
      let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat,
      for there I will sit
      to judge all the nations on every side.
      13 Swing the sickle,
      for the harvest is ripe.
      Come, trample the grapes,
      for the winepress is full
      and the vats overflow—
      so great is their wickedness!”
      14 Multitudes, multitudes
      in the valley of decision!
      For the day of the Lord is near
      in the valley of decision.” Joel 3:11-14
      During this war of Armageddon, the “abundant” or “great number” found in this valley of decision, have chosen to remain spiritually blind to the truth presented before them. God’s final judgment that they face, involves their choice of teachings derived from anointed ones who speak truth or lies; lasting, good “fruit”, or rotten fruit from bad “trees”; spiritually equipped either with God’s Spirit or that of Satan’s, to battle against their opponent. (Matt 7:20; Eph 6:12-17; Rev 16:13,14;17:14; 19:11)
      The question is, why would someone desire to remain blind to God’s truth, resulting in permanent blindness? (Matt 13:14,15,16; 2 Cor 4:4; 1 Tim 4:1,2)
      How does one’s heart become a “weed” during this final harvest? (Matt 13:24-29)
      The following quote may help reveal why. It is taken from an interview with a JW last month, on the organization’s broadcasting channel. He states:
      “The ambitions that I had before, that may have been obtainable, became second place. Now it was to have a simple life, to walk with the organization and to raise my children in the truth”.
      Does this statement portray the general feeling of JWs? I think so, otherwise they would readily accept the choice to leave the organization and serve God without it, and without the repercussion of shunning. Yet, we know doing so, is not a simple decision to accept. (Dan 12:1; Matt 24:21; Rev 9:4-6) It has been made perfectly clear by its leaders, that without “moving ahead” with the organization, eternal life is not possible. (2 Cor 11:4; Col 2:8)
      So, undoubtedly, it is perceived that ‘walking with the organization’ and bearing its brand on one’s mind and heart, equates with walking with God in truth. (Isa 42:8; Jer 2:8; Deut 11:18; Rev 13:4,16) Doing so, keeps the decisions as a faithful member of the organization, “simple”, no matter what fallacies may be taught throughout the years. (Jer 18:15; 2:13)
      The weapon used by Satan in this war of truth against lies, is the organization; constructed with one purpose, to mislead and subsequently persecute the “remaining ones of the woman’s seed”. (Gen 3:15; Dan 11:10; 12:4; 8:15,17; Rev 1:1; 20:7-9)
      A hunter uses camouflage to disguise himself from the prey. A bird hunter also uses decoys to attract the prey into believing he is joining in with his fellow birds. How naive it is, to believe Satan would not also utilize a bait of truth and the tactic of disguise, using elements at his fingertips. This allows him to build a decoy on the grandest scale possible in his realm. (Amos 3:5; Ps 140:4,5; Prov 22:5; Rev 9:3,10)
      He has successfully created a delusion to sift each anointed heart as “wheat”, which our God of justice, allows to occur. (Amos 9:9; 2 Thess 2:10-12) His “ministers of light” call it, “the truth”. (2 Pet 2:2; Rev 13:5,6)
      “sift”: “shake in a sieve”/”inward agitation to try one's faith to the verge of overthrow”
      If we give in to “walking with the organization”, our faith in God has been overthrown – conquered.
      Let’s compare the JWs’s testimony with scripture. To God’s authentic anointed “witnesses”, He declares,
      I, I am YHVH,
      and there is no other Savior but Me.
      I ALONE declared, saved, and proclaimed—
      and not some foreign god among you.
      So you are My witnesses”—
      this is the Lord’s declaration—
      “and I am God.” Isa 43:11,12
      Although he may speak of God, the man interviewed revealed what lies in the deep-seated intentions of his heart. (Matt 15:18,19; Luke 6:45) It is evident that it is idolatry toward an organization.  He believes he cannot obtain eternal life without it.  
      Isa 43:11,12 speaks of a “foreign god”, with a footnote that refers to “foreigners”. There are “foreigners/foreign gods among God’s true “witnesses”, His Temple priesthood. (Jer 2:11) They have secured the priesthood from whom it rightly belongs. (Isa 51:23; Mark 13:14; Rev 11:1,2)
      Their magnified presence signifies the very organization that JWs adhere to. (Exod 20:5; Rev 13:15) It is the elder body, the “Gentile” “man of lawlessness” that opposes “and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” (2 Thess 2:4; 1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17; Eph 2:20-22)
      Left unchecked, Satan’s ruse would fully “devour Jacob”. (Jer 10:23-25)
      Only a remnant is prophesied to survive. (Isa 10:19; Amos 7:1,2; Rev 9:3,4; 3:18;7:13-15)
      The JW interviewed puts his faith in an organization built by spiritually unqualified men. (Num 18:7; 2 Chron 13:9; Ezek 44:7-9) He has allowed it to trap, rule over, and lead him into serving a “foreign god”.
      “But I have a few things against you. You have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to place a stumbling block (“to place a trap”) in front of the Israelites: to eat meat sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality.” Rev 2:14
      This is an act of blasphemy against YHVH and His decrees concerning His Temple. (Dan 11:31; 1 Cor 3:16,17) If we are to envision this idolatry, it must be our heart’s desire to love God and His decrees, over those of men. (Exod 34:14; 2 Tim 4:3; Tit 1:9)
       
      As each prophet/"tree" bears "fruit"/teachings,
      and this war of words escalates; God foresaw that the ruling wicked would persecute the faithful, on the basis of false doctrines (Matt 24:49; Ezek 38:21; 1 John 3:12; Rev 13:15; 11:3,7; 16:13,14; 17:14; 19:11,14; 6:9,11; John 16:2; Matt 5:11,12; 23:37; Acts 7:52; Rev 11:8; Dan 7:21,23,25; Dan 8:12)
      The faithful retaliate with the sword of God's Word of Truth. (Dan 11:32,33; 2 Cor 10:4,5; 6:7; Heb 4:12; Eph 6:17; Rev 19:19,15,20; 11:5,3,4)
      As this battle between truth and lies occurs, the final harvest/judgment of "fruit"/teachings/words occurs (Matt 12:36,37,34,35; Prov 18:21; Matt 7:17) in the symbolic "valley of decision" (Heb 4:13; Rom 14:12; 2 Cor 5:10; Prov 16:4; Rev 22:12; Dan 7:22).  
      Pearl Doxsey – “What is Armageddon?”
      Should anyone earnestly yearn to know Christ’s authentic truths, they would be granted that understanding. Those who choose to remain in darkness, close-minded to God’s decrees, are among the blind judged in the valley of decision.
       Hades when translated, means "not perceiving". It is the consignment of all those born under sin, and means to be under a blanket of spiritual darkness, ignorance, and confusion. Only those granted light, truth, and understanding, are figuratively rescued from the realm of Hades.

      When Jesus tells us that he has the keys to Hades/Abyss... this means that he has the power and authority to release whom he chooses, from spiritual darkness... and transfer them into his kingdom of light and life (Col 1:13; Luke 8:10) those who are repentant. Jesus also has the authority and power to lock up others... or to leave them there, in ignorance and spiritual darkness (Matt 13:10,11,13-16; Jude 1:13; John 12:35) those hard-hearted who are not repentant. Such ones remain under the authority and power of the Devil (2 Cor 4:4; John 3:18).  
      When Rev 20:1 tells us that the chain of restraint that Jesus possesses is "great"; this points to the ability of Jesus, to prevent understanding and perception among the blind, but proud (John 9:41). When Jesus wraps that symbolic chain around the Devil, and then casts the Devil into the Abyss/Hades... this depicts for us, Satan's blind inability to mislead those whom Jesus rescues from darkness... because it is now Satan who is overcome by the blind confusion of his own realm.
      Jesus also shares his keys to release from the abyss (or bind in chains of ignorance) (Matt 16:19; 18:18), those whom his enlightened brothers judge as repentant (John 20:23) and worthy of the treasures of truth which they are empowered by Jesus, to impart (Matt 10:7,11-14; 7:6).
      Rev 20:1
      Pearl Doxsey
       
      Idolatry among Israel happened continually. (2 Kings 17:9; Judges 10:13-16; Neh 9:26,28; Hos 1:1,2; Jer 2:28; Ps 78:35-37) Today’s spiritual “Israel” and companions in the organization have also blindly fallen into idolatry, by ‘walking with the organization’. It is a “god” possibly not previously known, before dedicating themselves at baptism and serving this god through their necessary, various activities laid out for them by a Harlot/false prophet. (Matt 24:11,12; Luke 21:8; 2 Thess 2:1-3; 2 Pet 2:1-3; Rev 13:11-14,16-18)
      “If a prophet or someone who has dreams arises among you and proclaims a *sign or wonder to you, 2 and that sign or wonder he has promised you comes about, but he says, ‘Let us follow other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us worship them,’ 3 do not listen to that prophet’s words or to that dreamer. For the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul. 4 You must follow the Lord your God and fear Him. You must keep His commands and listen to His voice; you must worship Him and remain faithful to Him. 5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he has urged *rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the place of slavery, to turn you from the way the Lord your God has commanded you to walk. You must purge the evil from you.” Deut 13:1-5
      The organization appears as an apparent ‘simple’, wide open, welcoming door; yet, it if one chooses to remain blind to its true intention, it will lead to one’s downfall. (Luke 13:22-27; John 10:9,10 )
      “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the *rebellion comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. The coming of the lawless one is based on Satan’s working, with all kinds of *false miracles, signs, and wonders, 10 and with every unrighteous deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved.” 2 Thess 2:3,9,10
      “Mankind, He has told you what is good
      and what it is the Lord requires of you:
      to act justly,
      to love faithfulness,
      and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
       
      WALKING WITH THE ORGANIZATION CANNOT EQUATE TO WALKING WITH GOD.
      “Take delight in the Lord, and HE will give you your heart’s desires”. Ps 37:4 
       
      Pearl Doxsey, 4womaninthewilderness blogspot –
      “Wheat and Weed Seeds Grow Up Together”
      "Abomination of Desolation"

       
    • Guest
      By Guest
      The Year 2038 problem is an issue for computing and data storage situations in which time values are stored or calculated as a signed 32-bit integer, and this number is interpreted as the number of seconds since 00:00:00 UTC on 1 January 1970 (the epoch).[1] Such implementations cannot encode times after 03:14:07 UTC on 19 January 2038, a problem similar to but not entirely analogous to the Y2K problem (also known as the Millennium Bug), in which 2-digit values representing the number of years since 1900 could not encode the year 2000 or later. Most 32-bit Unix-like systems store and manipulate time in this Unix time format, so the year 2038 problem is sometimes referred to as the Unix Millennium Bug by association.

      Animation showing how the date would reset, represented as a signed 32-bit integer (at 03:14:08 UTC on 19 January 2038).
      Technical cause
      The latest time that can be represented in Unix's signed 32-bit integer time format is 03:14:07 UTC on Tuesday, 19 January 2038 (231-1 = 2,147,483,647 seconds after 1 January 1970).[2] Times beyond that will wrap around and be stored internally as a negative number, which these systems will interpret as having occurred on 13 December 1901 rather than 19 January 2038. This is caused by integer overflow. The counter runs out of usable digit bits, flips the sign bit instead, and reports a maximally negative number (continuing to count up, toward zero). Resulting erroneous calculations on such systems are likely to cause problems for users and other relying parties.
      Programs that work with future dates will begin to run into problems sooner; for example a program that works with dates 20 years in the future will have to be fixed no later than 2018.
      Early problems
      In May 2006, reports surfaced of an early manifestation of the Y2038 problem in the AOLserver software. The software was designed with a kludge to handle a database request that should "never" time out. Rather than specifically handling this special case, the initial design simply specified an arbitrary time-out date in the future. The default configuration for the server specified that the request should time out after one billion seconds. One billion seconds (approximately thirty-two years) after 9:27.28 pm on 12 May 2006 is beyond the 2038 cutoff date. Thus, after this time, the time-out calculation overflowed and returned a date that was actually in the past, causing the software to crash. When the problem was discovered, AOLServer operators had to edit the configuration file and set the time-out to a lower value.[3][4]
      Players of games or apps which are programmed to impose waiting periods[5] are running into this problem when they attempt to work around the waiting period on devices which harbor the coding, by manually setting their devices (such as the Nexus 7[6]) to a date past 19 January 2038, but are unable to do so, since a 32-bit Unix time format is being used.
      Vulnerable systems
      Embedded systems that use dates for either computation or diagnostic logging are most likely to be affected by the 2038 bug.
      Many transportation systems from flight to automobiles use embedded systems extensively. In automotive systems, this may include anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC/ESP), traction control (TCS) and automatic four-wheel drive; aircraft may use inertial guidance systems and GPS receivers. However this does not imply that all these systems will suffer from the bug. Many such systems will not require access to dates. For those that do, those systems which only track the difference between times/dates and not absolute times/dates will, by the nature of the calculation, not experience a problem. This is the case for automotive diagnostics based on legislative standards such as CARB (California Air Resources Board).[7]
      Another major use of embedded systems is in communications devices, including cell phones and Internet appliances (routers, wireless access points, etc.) which rely on storing an accurate time and date and are increasingly based on UNIX-like operating systems. For example, the bug makes some Android devices crash and not restart when the time is changed to that date.[8]
      Despite the modern 18–24 month generational update in computer systems technology, embedded systems are designed to last the lifetime of the machine in which they are a component. It is conceivable that some of these systems may still be in use in 2038. It may be impractical or, in some cases, impossible to upgrade the software running these systems, ultimately requiring replacement if 32-bit time_t limitations are to be corrected.
      MySQL database's built-in functions like UNIX_TIMESTAMP() will return 0 after 03:14:07 UTC on 19 January 2038,[9] though a bug-fix was contributed on 22 March 2017.[10]
      Data structures with time problems
      Many data structures in use today have 32-bit time representations embedded into their structure. A full list of these data structures is virtually impossible to derive but there are well-known data structures that have the Unix time problem:
      file systems (many file systems use only 32 bits to represent times in inodes)
      binary file formats (that use 32-bit time fields)
      databases (that have 32-bit time fields)
      database query languages, like SQL that have UNIX_TIMESTAMP() like commands
      Examples of systems utilizing data structures that may contain 32-bit time representations include:
      COBOL systems of 1970s–1990s vintage that have not been replaced by 2038-compliant systems[citation needed]
      embedded factory, refinery control and monitoring subsystems
      assorted medical devices
      assorted military devices
      Any system making use of data structures containing 32-bit time representations will present risk. The degree of risk is dependent on the mode of failure.
      NTP timestamps
      The Network Time Protocol has a related overflow issue, which manifests itself in 2036, rather than 2038. The 64-bit timestamps used by NTP consist of a 32-bit part for seconds and a 32-bit part for fractional second, giving NTP a time scale that rolls over every 232 seconds (136 years) and a theoretical resolution of 21321 seconds (233 picoseconds). NTP uses an epoch of 1 January 1900. The first rollover occurs in 2036, prior to the UNIX year 2038 problem.
      Implementations should disambiguate NTP time using a knowledge of the approximate time from other sources. Since NTP only works with the differences between timestamps and never their absolute values, the wraparound is invisible as long as the timestamps are within 68 years of each other.
      This means that for NTP the rollover will be invisible for most running systems, since they will have the correct time to within a very small tolerance. However, systems that are starting up need to know the date within no more than 68 years. Given the large allowed error, it is not expected that this is too onerous a requirement. One suggested method is to set the clock to no earlier than the system build date or the release date of the current version of the NTP software. Many systems use a battery-powered hardware clock to avoid this problem.
      Even so, future versions of NTP may extend the time representation to 128 bits: 64 bits for the second and 64 bits for the fractional-second. The current NTP4 format has support for Era Number and Era Offset, that when used properly should aid fixing date rollover issues. According to Mills, "The 64 bit value for the fraction is enough to resolve the amount of time it takes a photon to pass an electron at the speed of light. The 64 bit second value is enough to provide unambiguous time representation until the universe goes dim."[11][note 1]
      Solutions
      There is no universal solution for the Year 2038 problem. Any change to the definition of the time_t data type would result in code compatibility problems in any application in which date and time representations are dependent on the nature of the signed 32-bit time_t integer. For example, changing time_t to an unsigned 32-bit integer, which would extend the range to the year 2106, would adversely affect programs that store, retrieve, or manipulate dates prior to 1970, as such dates are represented by negative numbers. Increasing the size of the time_t type to 64-bit in an existing system would cause incompatible changes to the layout of structures and the binary interface of functions.
      There is also no universal solution for the issue with DVB and ATSC real time transmitted dates due to issues with legacy receivers. The issue has yet to be acknowledged or resolved by either organization. The only workaround would be to discontinue all time-related metadata services such as programming guides and automatic date synchronization after the affected dates. One possible option would be to create new table types for the affected part of the specifications and use ISO 8601 date strings rather than fixed integers—as are used in ISO 9660 and ISO 13346 filesystems.
      Most operating systems designed to run on 64-bit hardware already use signed 64-bit time_t integers. Using a signed 64-bit value introduces a new wraparound date that is over twenty times greater than the estimated age of the universe: approximately 292 billion years from now, at 15:30:08 UTC on Sunday, 4 December 292,277,026,596. The ability to make computations on dates is limited by the fact that tm_year uses a signed 32 bit integer value starting at 1900 for the year. This limits the year to a maximum of 2,147,485,547 (2,147,483,647 + 1900).[12]
      Starting with NetBSD version 6.0 (released in October 2012), the NetBSD operating system uses a 64-bit time_t for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. Applications that were compiled for an older NetBSD release with 32-bit time_t are supported via a binary compatibility layer, but such older applications will still suffer from the Year 2038 problem.[13]
      OpenBSD since version 5.5, released in May 2014, also uses a 64-bit time_t for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. In contrast to NetBSD, there is no binary compatibility layer. Therefore, applications expecting a 32-bit time_t and applications using anything different from time_t to store time values may break.[14]
      Linux uses a 64-bit time_t for 64-bit architectures only; the pure 32-bit ABI is not changed due to backward compatibility.[15] There is ongoing work, mostly for embedded Linux systems, to support 64-bit time_t on 32-bit architectures, too.[16][17]
      The x32 ABI for Linux (which defines an environment for programs with 32-bit addresses but running the processor in 64-bit mode) uses a 64-bit time_t. Since it was a new environment, there was no need for special compatibility precautions.[15]
      Network File System version 4 has defined its time fields as struct nfstime4 {int64_t seconds; uint32_t nseconds;} since December, 2000.[18] Values greater than zero for the seconds field denote dates after the 0-hour, January 1, 1970. Values less than zero for the seconds field denote dates before the 0-hour, January 1, 1970. In both cases, the nseconds (nanoseconds) field is to be added to the seconds field for the final time representation.
      Alternative proposals have been made (some of which are in use), such as storing either milliseconds or microseconds since an epoch (typically either 1 January 1970 or 1 January 2000) in a signed 64-bit integer, providing a minimum range of 300,000 years.[19][20] Other proposals for new time representations provide different precisions, ranges, and sizes (almost always wider than 32 bits), as well as solving other related problems, such as the handling of leap seconds. In particular, TAI64[21] is an implementation of the Temps Atomique International standard, the current international real-time standard for defining a second and frame of reference.
    • By Jack Ryan
      To all naysayers and apologists who say that Jehovah will look at hearts at armageddon and save billions, my own mother believes this.
      This is the october 2019 study Watchtower page 11 paragraph 14. As you can see it makes it crystal clear that ONLY baptized witnesses will survive armageddon.
      14 Read Matthew 28:19, 20. As we conduct Bible studies, we have to try our best to “make disciples . . . , teaching them to observe all the things [Jesus has] commanded.” We need to help people understand how important it is for them to take their stand for Jehovah and his Kingdom. This means trying to motivate people to make the truth their own by applying what they learn, dedicating their life to Jehovah, and getting baptized. Only then will they survive Jehovah’s day.—1 Pet. 3:21.
    • By Witness
      To get to the meaningful core of what Armageddon is about, which is the battle of truth against lies, we look at Israel’s sins of the past.  Today’s spiritual “Israel” comprised of the anointed ones, is also steeped in sin, resulting from a testing delusion put upon them by Satan; a delusion that is passionately called “the truth”.   Luke 22:31; 2 Thess 2:9-12; Rev 13:1,2,11 
      God does expect us to seek Truth.  Ps 25:5; Matt 7:7,8; John 4:23,24; 8:31,32; 14:6 
      Yet, today’s “Israel” is feeding on the lies of their leaders/prophets. Matt 7:15; Acts 20:29; Rev 16:13,14  
      When reading Ezekiel chapter 13, notice that the term “whitewash” helps reveal what is behind the organization’s ‘new light’ label.  Many translations use the phrase, “untempered mortar”, a few say “loose mud”, or “chalk”; all are descriptive of the organization’s attempt to cover over unstable teachings that do not last.  John 15:16,5 
      “untempered mortar” is defined as “whitewash" used to patch a wall, creating the facade of beauty.
      As an example:
      Matt 23:37 – “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.”
      Why were these teachers described by Jesus as whitewashed tombs?
      “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”  John 8:44-47
      By choosing to deny Christ’s words of truth which offer eternal life, they remained in spiritual darkness, alienated from God and life.
       “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.”  John 6:63
      “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.” 1 John 1:6
      The battle of truth against lies was evident then, and is now, as it reaches the end point in these last days.  The “two witnesses” (“two “meaning truth – John 8:17) proclaim the revealing message from Christ, while false prophets battle against it, with their lies. Dan 12:9; Rev 1:11; 11:3; 1 John 4:6 
      Ezekiel chapter 13:
      The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the Lord!3 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish (“wicked”) prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! 
      4 Your prophets, Israel, are like jackals among ruins. (Lam 5:17,18; Ps 44:19)
       5 You have not gone up to the breaches in the wall to repair it for the people of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the Lord. ( Ezek 22:30)
      6 Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. Even though the Lord has not sent them, they say, “The Lord declares,” and expect Him to fulfill their words. (Ps 50:21; Isa 57:11) 
      7 Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, “The Lord declares,” though I have not spoken? (Ezek 22:28; Rev 16:13,14) 
      8 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because of your false words and lying visions, I am against you, declares the Sovereign Lord.9 My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.  (Rev 13:8)   
      10 “‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash,  (Jer 23:13,17; 1 Thess 5:3) 
      11 therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. 
      12 When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?”
      13 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury. (Ps 18:12,13; Isa 30:30 [Heb 12:1] Ps 147:17,18; Matt 24:30; Rev 11:3,5; Rev 8:7; Matt 7:24,25}  
      14 I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. (Matt 7:26,27; 1 Cor 3:10,13)  When it falls, you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the Lord.
      15 So I will pour out my wrath against the wall and against those who covered it with whitewash. I will say to you, “The wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it,16 those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace, declares the Sovereign Lord.”’ 
      Pearl Doxsey:
      I have come to appreciate, that "walls" stand for doctrines/teachings. Just as the city wall protects the city from their enemies, so do doctrines defend against threats to faith, but they also offer boundaries to keep a "flock" in an enclosure. My point, is that Ezekiel "dug" a hole in the wall. (Ezek 12:4-7) We know the meaning of "digging" (Prov 2:2-5; Matt 13:44), and when we combine these symbols (digging, wall) I take it as scrutiny of teachings (1 John 4:1; 1 Thess 5:21) which weakens a wall of false doctrine, just as digging holes in a literal wall would. We are told (according to this symbolism) that the "wall" of apostate Jerusalem will fall (see Ezekiel 13:10,11,12,14,15), no matter how much they "whitewash" their teachings.
      I am certain of this connection and meaning of "wall", because the fall of Jericho’s wall is inextricably linked with the "end", and to Revelation (Heb 11:30; Luke 21:20; Josh 6:15,20,8; Rev 8:2,6).
      The "wall" of false teachings will "fall", leaving all those within that city defenseless and conquered. The wall they trusted in will fail them.
      (From “Wall/Christ’s Side” 4womaninthewilderness)
      As a child, I was occasionally assigned to clean the chalk boards after school, using water and a large cloth.  Most children rode the bus home to the far reaches of the farming community I lived in. I was one of the few who walked home from school, which gave me the opportunity to stay longer.  I remember the satisfaction of washing away the day’s writings to reveal a clean board, ready for the new day’s teachings. 
      JWs, from the outset, the organization has added layers and layers of decaying interpretations to its doctrines, like smudged chalk accumulating on a dirty chalkboard. This is the reality behind the organization’s new light philosophy.  In its history, it has never returned to the clean pure truth of Christ’s Word. 
      To understand why God allows his people to submit to this powerful delusion, please see:
       “Who is to Blame?”
      “Spreading Tribulation – Tainted or Tested?”
      “Satan’s Fall”
      4womaninthewilderness blogspot
       

    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      Questo è il primo articolo dedicato alle 70 settimane di cui si parla in Daniele 9:24-27. Seguirà un secondo e forse un terzo articolo a conclusione del tema.   Chi ordinò la ricostruzione della città di Gerusalemme e del secondo Tempio? Ciro o Artaserse? Avvenne entro il 515 o nel 455 a.E.V.?     Il titolo di questo articolo avrà forse lasciato perplesso qualcuno. La maggior parte dei testimoni di Geova ma anche appartenenti ad altre confessioni religiose probabilmente si chiederanno che “senso ha” associare la parola “enigma” alla profezia relativa alle 70 settimane. D’altronde non ci troviamo più al tempo di Daniele, non è vero? Qualcuno dirà che per lui, a quel tempo, sia quella che altre profezie a venire furono considerate enigmatiche (confronta Daniele 12:8) ma non per noi oggi! Oggi l’abbiamo capita! Molti diranno che quella profezia si adempì alla perfezione con la venuta del Signore e la distruzione del Tempio di Gerusalemme. È davvero così? Questa sarà senz’altro la parte più difficile da ridiscutere perché considerata in assoluto “la più sicura” interpretazione di tutte. Lo stesso autore di questo blog riconosce di aver avuto questa convinzione. Nel primo articolo dedicato al 1914 (che ovviamente ridiscusse quella data) si faceva un’introduzione proprio relativa alle 70 settimane mostrando “la differenza” tra una e l’altra. In pratica si domandava se la spiegazione del 1914 fosse “altrettanto accurata” come quella delle 70 settimane… . In realtà un esame più accurato rimise presto in discussione quella certezza per cui è arrivato il momento di mettere sul tavolo le varie motivazioni che hanno spinto ad una rilettura. Il lettore è invitato a valutare attentamente queste ragioni, come al solito, basandosi esclusivamente sulla logica Scritturale e non sulla propria educazione religiosa. Prima di far questo confrontiamo attentamente come, le diverse traduzioni bibliche, rendono questi versetti. Riflettendo sulle diverse traduzioni bibliche forse si inizierà a valutare come, l’interpretazione di questa profezia, è ancora oggetto di discussione.   Daniele 9:24-27 nelle diverse traduzioni bibliche   Settanta settimane sono state fissate riguardo al tuo popolo e alla tua santa città, per far cessare la perversità, per mettere fine al peccato, per espiare l'iniquità e stabilire una giustizia eterna, per sigillare visione e profezia e per ungere il luogo santissimo. 25 Sappi dunque e comprendi bene: dal momento in cui è uscito l'ordine di restaurare e ricostruire Gerusalemme fino all'apparire di un unto, di un capo, ci saranno sette settimane e sessantadue settimane; essa sarà restaurata e ricostruita, piazza e mura, ma in tempi angosciosi. 26 Dopo le sessantadue settimane un unto sarà soppresso, nessuno sarà per lui. Il popolo d'un capo che verrà distruggerà la città e il santuario; la sua fine verrà come un'inondazione ed è decretato che vi saranno devastazioni sino alla fine della guerra. 27 Egli stabilirà un patto con molti, per una settimana; in mezzo alla settimana farà cessare sacrificio e offerta; sulle ali delle abominazioni verrà un devastatore. Il devastatore commetterà le cose più abominevoli, finché la completa distruzione, che è decretata, non piombi sul devastatore"» - Daniele 9:24-27 secondo la Nuova Riveduta   Cominciamo già a vedere qualcosa di interessante che cambia di molto l’intendimento di alcuni. Il versetto 24 parla di “luogo santissimo” e non di “Santo dei Santi” come fa la Traduzione del Nuovo Mondo. Ovviamente anche “Santo dei Santi” (o Santissimo) è corretto perché questa parola può essere tradotta in più modi ma il problema è capire di chi o di cosa si sta parlando. Traducendo “Santo dei Santi” alcuni potrebbero intendere che la profezia riguardi il Cristo, il Messia. Tuttavia bisogna comprendere se lo scrittore si stava riferendo ad una persona o ad un luogo perché il “Santo dei Santi” era la parte più interna del tempio. Insomma era un “luogo”, non una persona. La Nuova Riveduta, infatti, non ha tradotto “il luogo santissimo” a caso. È scontato asserire che questo non è un piccolo particolare perché non cambierebbe solo aspetti marginali della nostra comprensione: cambierebbe tutto il soggetto. Quindi anche il versetto 25 è tradotto in maniera sostanzialmente diversa: la Nuova Riveduta non traduce “IL Messia” ma “un unto, un capo”. Nel prossimo articolo vedremo cosa compare, in effetti, nel testo originale ma di fatto se questa parola tradotta “unto” fosse la stessa che abbiamo usato per Ciro (confronta Isaia 45:1) o per qualsiasi altra persona con un incarico speciale distinguendolo dal Messia, allora è lecito chiedersi cosa abbia spinto il traduttore a tradurre in quel modo. La Scrittura dà modo di ritenere che si stia parlando del Messia (ossia Cristo Gesù) o più semplicemente di un unto, un capo? Andiamo al versetto 26 e troviamo un’altra espressione che crea un’enorme differenza con la TnM. In questa traduzione si legge: “Dopo le sessantadue settimane un unto sarà soppresso, nessuno sarà per lui” mentre la TnM traduce “senza nulla per sé” e anche questo non è un particolare insignificante. Il perché lo vedremo meglio confrontando altre traduzioni ma già si nota che nel primo caso si parla di qualcuno che non avrebbe ricevuto aiuto da nessuno mentre nel secondo di uno che non aveva nulla. Un’altra profonda differenza la troviamo al versetto 27 dove si legge di qualcuno che “stabilirà un patto con molti” mentre la TnM traduce “terrà in vigore il patto per i molti”, cosa che lascia intendere l’esistenza di un patto precedente, senza contare che nella prima versione si capisce bene che è il condottiero di questo popolo distruttore a “stabilire un patto con molti” mentre nella TnM non si capisce se è questo condottiero a farlo oppure il “Messia”. Provate a rileggerle bene e a confrontarle per vedere se le cose stanno così. Ed infine bisognerebbe anche capire chi è “colui che giace desolato” (e cosa significano queste parole) mentre la Nuova Riveduta dice che “la completa distruzione, che è decretata, non piombi sul devastatore". Cominciamo a riflettere su queste differenze.   Adesso leggiamo come la C.E.I/Gerusalemme traduce questi versetti. 24 Settanta settimane sono fissate per il tuo popolo e per la tua santa città per mettere fine all'empietà,
      mettere i sigilli ai peccati, espiare l'iniquità, portare una giustizia eterna, suggellare visione e profezia e ungere il Santo dei santi. 25 Sappi e intendi bene, da quando uscì la parola sul ritorno e la ricostruzione di Gerusalemme fino a un principe consacrato, vi saranno sette settimane.
      Durante sessantadue settimane saranno restaurati, riedificati piazze e fossati, e ciò in tempi angosciosi.
      26 Dopo sessantadue settimane, un consacrato sarà soppresso senza colpa in lui; il popolo di un principe che verrà distruggerà la città e il santuario; la sua fine sarà un'inondazione e, fino alla fine,
      guerra e desolazioni decretate. 27 Egli stringerà una forte alleanza con molti per una settimana e, nello spazio di metà settimana, farà cessare il sacrificio e l'offerta; sull'ala del tempio porrà l'abominio della
      desolazione e ciò sarà sino alla fine, fino al termine segnato sul devastatore».   Questa traduzione riporta “principe consacrato” e si capisce bene che i traduttori non hanno ritenuto che esso fosse il Messia (il commentario, infatti, riporta il Sommo Sacerdote al tempo Antioco IV). Inoltre c’è un particolare molto interessante. Questa traduzione non considera affatto 69 settimane come fa la TnM scrivendo “7 settimane e anche 62 settimane” ma divide in due avvenimenti ben distinti. “Da quando uscì la parola sul ritorno e la ricostruzione di Gerusalemme fino a un principe consacrato, vi saranno sette settimane”. Stop. Quindi sta dicendo che dall’annuncio (editto o quello che è) di ricostruzione di Gerusalemme fino all’apparizione di questo “unto consacrato” devono passare 7 settimane. Non stiamo per ora a disquisire se sono settimane di giorni o di anni ma il punto è che scritto in questo modo non si evince affatto che per l’apparizione di questa persona dovevano passare 69 settimane ma solo 7. Come continua la scrittura? “Durante sessantadue settimane saranno restaurati, riedificati piazze e fossati, e ciò in tempi angosciosi”. Quindi è chiaro: secondo questa traduzione dall’annuncio di ricostruire Gerusalemme fino all’apparizione di questo capo passano 7 settimane mentre Gerusalemme viene ricostruita in 62 settimane al termine delle quali questa persona viene soppressa. È davvero così assolutamente chiara questa scrittura e l’interpretazione che abbiamo sempre accettato era “senza difetti” o sta saltando fuori un vero e proprio enigma? Ovviamente qualcuno dirà che la storia ha dimostrato una certa interpretazione mentre avrebbe scartato tutte le altre… ma questo lo vedremo più avanti. Per il momento, per coloro che sono convinti che la traduzione corretta debba essere 7+62, ovvero 69 settimane alla comparsa del Messia, potrebbero chiedersi perché la Scrittura dice che il Messia sarebbe stato soppresso dopo 62 settimane e non dopo 69 (vedi Daniele 9:26 nella TnM). Se la traduzione corretta fosse 7+62, ovvero 69, perché essa non dice che il Messia sarebbe stato soppresso dopo 69 settimane o, al limite, dopo “7+62 settimane”? Ed infine un’altra differenza si trova nel versetto 27 dove si parla “dell’ala del tempio” mentre la TnM traduce “ala di cose disgustanti”. Anche qui la differenza è notevole ma in questo caso potrebbe non esserci un vero contrasto, dal momento che la wt ritiene che si applichi alla distruzione del tempio avvenuta nel 70 E.V.   Passiamo dunque alla traduzione successiva. 24 Settanta settimane sono stabilite per il tuo popolo e per la tua santa città, per far cessare la trasgressione, per mettere fine al peccato, per espiare l'iniquità, per far venire una giustizia eterna, per sigillare visione e profezia e per ungere il luogo santissimo. 25 Sappi perciò e intendi che da quando è uscito l'ordine di restaurare e ricostruire Gerusalemme fino al Messia, il principe, vi saranno sette settimane e altre sessantadue settimane; essa sarà nuovamente ricostruita con piazza e fossato, ma in tempi angosciosi. 26 Dopo le sessantadue settimane il Messia sarà messo a morte e nessuno sarà per lui. E il popolo di un capo che verrà distruggerà la città e il santuario; la sua fine verrà con un'inondazione, e fino al termine della guerra sono decretate devastazioni. 27 Egli stipulerà pure un patto con molti per una settimana, ma nel mezzo della settimana farà cessare sacrificio e oblazione; e sulle ali delle abominazioni verrà un devastatore, finché la totale distruzione, che è decretata, sarà riversata sul devastatore» - Nuova Diodati   Anche la Nuova Diodati ritiene che “il Santo dei Santi” sia in realtà “il luogo santissimo” ma poi anch’essa traduce “Messia” intendendo evidentemente Cristo. Anch’essa traduce “7 settimane e altre 62 settimane” e nel versetto 26 si legge “nessuno sarà per lui” ribadendo il concetto “nessuno che lo aiuti” e non “senza nulla per se”. Ovviamente riconoscendo da un lato che il Santissimo è il luogo più interno del tempio e non una persona ma dall’altro traducendo “Messia” dove altre traduzioni traducono semplicemente unto o capo, sorge la domanda: è il luogo ad essere unto (cioè messo nella condizione giusta) oppure è il Messia?   La versione successiva traduce… 24 Settanta settimane son fissate riguardo al tuo popolo e alla tua santa città, per far cessare la trasgressione, per metter fine al peccato, per espiare l'iniquità, e addurre una giustizia eterna, per suggellare visione e profezia, e per ungere un luogo santissimo. 25 Sappilo dunque, e intendi! Dal momento in cui è uscito l'ordine di restaurare e riedificare Gerusalemme fino all'apparire di un unto, di un capo, vi sono sette settimane; e in sessantadue settimane essa sarà restaurata e ricostruita, piazze e mura, ma in tempi angosciosi. 26 Dopo le sessantadue settimane, un unto sarà soppresso, nessuno sarà per lui. E il popolo d'un capo che verrà, distruggerà la città e il santuario; la sua fine verrà come un'inondazione; ed è decretato che vi saranno delle devastazioni sino alla fine della guerra. 27 Egli stabilirà un saldo patto con molti, durante una settimana; e in mezzo alla settimana farà cessare sacrifizio e oblazione; e sulle ali delle abominazioni verrà un devastatore; e questo, finché la completa distruzione, che è decretata, non piombi sul devastatore' – Luzzi/Riveduta   Isolando i punti che ci interessano vediamo che la Luzzi traduce “un unto”, il quale compare in sette settimane esattamente come traduce la CEI. Con un punto e virgola tra le due espressioni, si capisce che le successive 62 settimane servono per restaurare e ricostruire Gerusalemme e non hanno nulla a che vedere con l’apparizione di questo unto (che è comparso da un pezzo). Alla fine di queste 62 settimane, ovvero quando ormai Gerusalemme è ricostruita, questo unto viene soppresso. Un’altra differenza importante è che questa traduzione riporta che “è decretato che vi saranno delle devastazioni sino alla fine della guerra” e non “fino alla fine ci sarà guerra” e anche questa è una differenza notevole. Nel primo caso si sta dicendo che la devastazione durerà fino alla fine della guerra (guerra che può essere breve o lunga) mentre nel secondo caso dice che ci sarà guerra “fino alla fine” ovvero fino alla fine del sistema satanico. Probabilmente a questa traduzione si deve la credenza comune che se in Israele c’è sempre guerra è perché era una profezia (anche se bisognerebbe spiegare che guerre ci sarebbero state in Israele quando Israele non esisteva e comunque per quale motivo non c’è sempre stata devastazione). Vi sembrano differenze di poco conto? Prima di “scegliere” una traduzione e scartarne un’altra, dovremmo almeno capire quale criterio seguire. Non sarebbe un po’ troppo facile scegliere quella traduzione che accarezza maggiormente le nostre credenze o le nostre idee preconcette?   Come già accennato, qualcuno però dirà che la storia ha dimostrato quale dovrebbe essere la traduzione più corretta. Non viene però spontaneo chiedersi perché, “se fosse così”, molte traduzioni continuerebbero a tradurre male sapendo com’è andata la storia? Questi traduttori biblici preferiscono negare la storia pur di giustificare le proprie traduzioni o forse la storia non è andata proprio come ci è stato raccontato? Sorvolando temporaneamente queste domande, analizziamo in profondità la spiegazione della Wt e vediamo se è davvero così inattaccabile.   Analizziamo l’interpretazione delle 70 settimane secondo l’intendimento della Watchtower   E’ opportuno, prima di cimentarci nella spiegazione ufficiale della società Torre di Guardia, citare cosa diceva la rivista del 15/02/2014 alle “domande dai lettori”. Segue la citazione. “Nel II secolo alcuni ebrei credevano che le 70 settimane abbracciassero il periodo di tempo che andava dalla distruzione del primo tempio nel 607 a.E.V. a quella del secondo nel 70 E.V.; altri invece pensavano che la profezia si fosse adempiuta durante il periodo dei Maccabei, nel II secolo a.E.V. Quindi, sul calcolo delle 70 settimane non c’era unanimità. Se nel I secolo il calcolo delle 70 settimane fosse stato fatto correttamente, sarebbe lecito pensare che gli apostoli e altri cristiani dell’epoca usassero questa profezia per dimostrare che Gesù Cristo era il promesso Messia e che era arrivato proprio quando era stato predetto. Non ci sono però prove a conferma del fatto che questo è ciò che fecero i primi cristiani. È opportuno mettere in risalto anche un altro fattore. Gli scrittori dei Vangeli spesso menzionarono profezie delle Scritture Ebraiche che si erano adempiute in Gesù Cristo (Matt. 1:22, 23; 2:13-15; 4:13-16). Nessuno di loro, però, associò la comparsa di Gesù sulla terra alla profezia delle 70 settimane. In conclusione, non possiamo affermare con certezza che ai giorni di Gesù si avesse un intendimento corretto della profezia delle 70 settimane. I Vangeli, comunque, forniscono altre valide ragioni per cui il popolo avrebbe dovuto essere “in aspettazione” del Messia”. Fine della citazione.   Riflettiamo attentamente su queste parole. Finché parliamo del II secolo e di persone non approvate da Dio è solo logico pensare che essi non avessero il corretto intendimento di questa o di altre profezie – confronta Daniele 12:9, 10; Matteo 11:25, 26 Tuttavia se parliamo dei discepoli di Cristo, in particolare gli apostoli, i quali predicarono in Israele e altrove per dimostrare che Gesù fosse il Messia promesso, non è strano constatare che tra le tante Scritture che essi menzionarono a riprova dell’identità del Cristo, nessuno mai fece riferimento alle 70 settimane? Eppure sarebbe stata la dimostrazione più forte e incontestabile! Riuscite a trovare un solo discorso degli apostoli o dei primi cristiani che, durante la loro opera di predicazione, citano la profezia delle 70 settimane a riprova che Egli fosse il Messia promesso? La rivista Torre di Guardia qui citata afferma “non possiamo affermare con certezza che ai giorni di Gesù si avesse un intendimento corretto della profezia delle 70 settimane”… e a parte il fatto che si sarebbe dovuto scrivere “non possiamo affermarlo e basta” e non “non possiamo affermare con certezza” c’è un problema più serio da affrontare. Ammettiamo che i primi discepoli di Cristo non avessero una conoscenza completa della Scrittura, come infatti era – confronta Giovanni 16:12 Le stesse domande che essi facevano dimostravano i loro limiti e il loro desiderio di capire – confronta Matteo 15:15, 16 Questa mancanza di conoscenza sarebbe perdurata? Il Signore disse “Mentre rimanevo con voi, vi ho detto queste cose. Ma il soccorritore, lo spirito santo, che il Padre manderà nel mio nome, quello vi insegnerà ogni cosa e vi rammenterà tutte le cose che vi ho detto” - Giovanni 14:25, 26 La predicazione della buona notizia non si interruppe alla morte di Cristo anzi… essa raggiunse tutta la terra abitata allora conosciuta – Atti 24:5; Romani 10:18 Quindi anche ammettendo che durante la vita del Signore sulla terra essi non avessero un accurato intendimento delle Scritture, dopo la Sua morte sarebbe sceso su di loro lo Spirito Santo che avrebbe “insegnato loro ogni cosa”. Perché, dunque, in tutte le lettere apostoliche fino alla lettera di III Giovanni non si menzionano, mai, le 70 settimane di Daniele? Quello che la rivista qui citata dice tra le righe in effetti è: anche se i primi cristiani non compresero la profezia delle 70 settimane, l’abbiamo compresa noi.   Ciò che segue è preso dal libro “Prestate attenzione alle profezie di Daniele”* parti estrapolate dal capitolo 11. 16 Tre avvenimenti notevoli meritano di essere presi in considerazione a proposito dell’inizio delle “settanta settimane”. Il primo si verificò nel 537 a.E.V. quando Ciro emanò il decreto che permetteva agli ebrei di tornare al loro paese. Si legge: “Ciro re di Persia ha detto questo: ‘Geova l’Iddio dei cieli mi ha dato tutti i regni della terra, ed egli stesso mi ha incaricato di edificargli una casa a Gerusalemme, che è in Giuda. Chiunque fra voi è di tutto il suo popolo, il suo Dio sia con lui. Salga dunque a Gerusalemme, che è in Giuda, e riedifichi la casa di Geova l’Iddio d’Israele — egli è il vero Dio — la quale era a Gerusalemme. In quanto a chiunque resta da tutti i luoghi dove risiede come forestiero, gli uomini del suo luogo lo assistano con argento e con oro e con beni e con animali domestici insieme all’offerta volontaria per la casa del vero Dio, che era a Gerusalemme’”. (Esdra 1:2-4) Chiaramente il preciso scopo del decreto era far ricostruire il tempio — “la casa di Geova” — nel luogo in cui sorgeva un tempo. 17 Il secondo avvenimento si verificò nel settimo anno del regno del re persiano Artaserse (Artaserse Longimano, figlio di Serse I). All’epoca il copista Esdra fece un viaggio durato quattro mesi da Babilonia a Gerusalemme. Era latore di una lettera speciale del re, che però non autorizzava la ricostruzione di Gerusalemme. L’incarico di Esdra consisteva solo nell’“abbellire la casa di Geova”. Per questo la lettera menzionava oro e argento, vasi sacri e contribuzioni in frumento, vino, olio e sale per sostenere l’adorazione presso il tempio, nonché l’esenzione dalle tasse per coloro che vi prestavano servizio. — Esdra 7:6-27. 18 Il terzo avvenimento si verificò 13 anni (ovvero 13 anni dopo il settimo anno del re persiano Artaserese) dopo, nel 20° anno del re persiano Artaserse. Allora Neemia serviva come suo coppiere “a Susa il castello”. Gerusalemme era stata parzialmente riedificata dal rimanente tornato da Babilonia. Ma le cose non andavano bene. Neemia apprese che ‘le mura di Gerusalemme erano diroccate e le sue stesse porte erano state bruciate col fuoco’. Questo lo turbava molto e il suo cuore era rattristato. Quando gli fu chiesta la ragione della sua tristezza, Neemia rispose: “Viva il re a tempo indefinito! Perché non dev’essere triste la mia faccia quando la città, la casa dei luoghi di sepoltura dei miei antenati, è devastata, e le sue medesime porte sono state divorate dal fuoco?” — Neemia 1:1-3; 2:1-3. 19 La descrizione dell’episodio che riguardava Neemia prosegue: “A sua volta il re mi disse: ‘Che cos’è dunque che cerchi di ottenere?’ Subito pregai l’Iddio dei cieli. Dopo ciò dissi al re: ‘Se al re in effetti sembra bene, e se il tuo servitore sembra buono davanti a te, che tu mi mandi in Giuda, alla città dei luoghi di sepoltura dei miei antenati, affinché io la riedifichi’”. La proposta piacque ad Artaserse, che acconsentì anche a un’ulteriore richiesta di Neemia: “Se al re in effetti sembra bene, mi siano date lettere per i governatori che sono oltre il Fiume [l’Eufrate], perché mi facciano passare finché io giunga in Giuda; anche una lettera per Asaf il custode del parco che appartiene al re, affinché mi dia alberi per costruire col legname le porte del Castello che appartiene alla casa, e per le mura della città e per la casa in cui devo entrare”. Neemia riconobbe il ruolo di Geova in tutto questo, dicendo: “Il re, dunque, [mi] diede [le lettere], secondo la buona mano del mio Dio su di me”. — Neemia 2:4-8. 20 Il permesso venne accordato nel mese di nisan, nella prima parte del 20° anno del regno di Artaserse, ma l’effettiva “emanazione della parola di restaurare e riedificare Gerusalemme” andò in vigore mesi dopo, quando Neemia arrivò a Gerusalemme e iniziò il lavoro di ricostruzione. Il viaggio di Esdra aveva richiesto quattro mesi, ma Susa si trovava più di 300 chilometri a est di Babilonia e quindi ancora più lontano da Gerusalemme. Molto probabilmente, dunque, Neemia arrivò a Gerusalemme verso la fine del 20° anno di Artaserse, cioè nel 455 a.E.V. Le predette “settanta settimane”, o 490 anni, iniziarono allora. Sarebbero terminate nell’ultima parte del 36 E.V. — Vedi “Quando iniziò il regno di Artaserse?”, a pagina 197. 21 Quanti anni passarono prima che Gerusalemme fosse effettivamente ricostruita? La ricostruzione della città doveva avvenire “nelle strettezze dei tempi” a motivo di difficoltà fra gli ebrei stessi e dell’opposizione dei samaritani e di altri. Il lavoro a quanto pare fu completato nella misura necessaria verso il 406 a.E.V., entro le “sette settimane”, cioè entro 49 anni. (Daniele 9:25) Sarebbe seguito un periodo di 62 settimane, o 434 anni. Dopo quel periodo sarebbe comparso il Messia promesso da tempo. Contando 483 anni (49 più 434) dal 455 a.E.V. arriviamo al 29 E.V. Cosa accadde quell’anno? Il Vangelo scritto da Luca ci dice: “Nel quindicesimo anno del regno di Tiberio Cesare, quando Ponzio Pilato era governatore della Giudea, ed Erode era governante del distretto della Galilea, . . . la dichiarazione di Dio fu rivolta a Giovanni figlio di Zaccaria nel deserto. Egli venne dunque in tutto il paese intorno al Giordano, predicando il battesimo in simbolo di pentimento per il perdono dei peccati”. In quel tempo “il popolo era in aspettazione” del Messia. — Luca 3:1-3, 15. 22 Giovanni non era il Messia promesso. Ma riguardo a ciò di cui fu testimone al battesimo di Gesù di Nazaret, nell’autunno del 29 E.V., Giovanni disse: “Ho visto lo spirito scendere dal cielo come una colomba e rimanere sopra di lui. Nemmeno io lo conoscevo, ma Colui che mi ha mandato a battezzare in acqua mi disse: ‘Chiunque sia colui sul quale vedrai scendere e rimanere lo spirito, questi è colui che battezza nello spirito santo’. E io l’ho visto e ho reso testimonianza che questi è il Figlio di Dio”. (Giovanni 1:32-34) Al suo battesimo, Gesù diventò l’Unto: il Messia o Cristo. Poco dopo Andrea, discepolo di Giovanni, incontrò l’unto Gesù e poi disse a Simon Pietro: “Abbiamo trovato il Messia”. (Giovanni 1:41) Quindi “Messia il Condottiero” comparve puntualmente, alla fine di 69 settimane! Dal sottotitolo “GLI AVVENIMENTI DELL’ULTIMA SETTIMANA” 23 Cosa doveva compiersi durante la 70a settimana? Gabriele disse che il periodo di “settanta settimane” era stato determinato “per porre termine alla trasgressione, e porre fine al peccato, e fare espiazione per l’errore, e recare giustizia per tempi indefiniti, e imprimere un suggello sulla visione e sul profeta, e ungere il Santo dei Santi”. Perché questo si compisse “Messia il Condottiero” doveva morire. Quando? Gabriele disse: “Dopo le sessantadue settimane Messia sarà stroncato, senza nulla per lui stesso. . . . Ed egli deve tenere in vigore il patto per i molti per una settimana; e alla metà della settimana farà cessare sacrificio e offerta di dono”. (Daniele 9:26a, 27a) Il momento cruciale era “alla metà della settimana”, vale a dire nel mezzo dell’ultima settimana di anni. 24 Il ministero pubblico di Gesù Cristo iniziò nell’ultima parte del 29 E.V. e durò tre anni e mezzo. Come era stato profetizzato, nei primi mesi del 33 E.V. Cristo fu “stroncato” quando morì su un palo di tortura, dando la sua vita umana come riscatto per l’umanità. (Isaia 53:8; Matteo 20:28) La necessità dei sacrifici di animali e delle offerte di dono prescritti dalla Legge cessò quando il risuscitato Gesù presentò a Dio in cielo il valore della sua vita umana sacrificata. Anche se i sacerdoti ebrei continuarono a fare offerte sino alla distruzione del tempio di Gerusalemme nel 70 E.V., quei sacrifici non erano più graditi a Dio. Erano stati sostituiti da un sacrificio migliore, che non si doveva mai ripetere. L’apostolo Paolo scrisse: “[Cristo] offrì un solo sacrificio per i peccati in perpetuo . . . Poiché con una sola offerta di sacrificio ha reso perfetti in perpetuo quelli che sono santificati”. — Ebrei 10:12, 14. 25 Benché il peccato e la morte abbiano continuato ad affliggere l’umanità, il fatto che Gesù fu stroncato nella morte e la sua risurrezione alla vita celeste adempirono la profezia. Ciò ‘pose termine alla trasgressione, pose fine al peccato, fece espiazione per l’errore e recò giustizia’. Dio aveva abrogato il patto della Legge, che denunciava e condannava gli ebrei come peccatori. (Romani 5:12, 19, 20; Galati 3:13, 19; Efesini 2:15; Colossesi 2:13, 14) Adesso i peccati dei trasgressori pentiti potevano essere cancellati e le relative pene annullate. Grazie al sacrificio propiziatorio del Messia, per coloro che esercitavano fede era possibile la riconciliazione con Dio. Potevano aspettarsi di ricevere il dono di Dio della “vita eterna mediante Cristo Gesù”. — Romani 3:21-26; 6:22, 23; 1 Giovanni 2:1, 2. 26 Così nel 33 E.V., con la morte di Cristo, Geova abrogò il patto della Legge. Come mai, allora, si poteva dire che il Messia doveva “tenere in vigore il patto per i molti per una settimana”? Perché mantenne in vigore il patto abraamico. Sino alla fine della 70a settimana Dio concesse le benedizioni di quel patto ai discendenti ebrei di Abraamo. Ma alla fine delle “settanta settimane” di anni, nel 36 E.V., l’apostolo Pietro predicò a un devoto italiano, Cornelio, ai suoi familiari e ad altri gentili. E da quel giorno in poi si cominciò a proclamare la buona notizia fra persone delle nazioni. — Atti 3:25, 26; 10:1-48; Galati 3:8, 9, 14. 27 La profezia aveva predetto anche l’unzione del “Santo dei Santi”. Non si tratta dell’unzione del Santissimo, o compartimento più interno, del tempio di Gerusalemme. L’espressione “Santo dei Santi” si riferisce qui al celeste santuario di Dio. Lì Gesù presentò il valore del suo sacrificio umano al Padre. Nel 29 E.V. il battesimo di Gesù aveva unto, o appartato, quella realtà spirituale, celeste, rappresentata dal Santissimo del tabernacolo terreno e del successivo tempio. — Ebrei 9:11, 12. Dal sottotitolo “LA PROFEZIA CONFERMATA DA DIO” 28 La profezia messianica pronunciata all’angelo Gabriele parlava anche di “imprimere un suggello sulla visione e sul profeta”. Questo significava che tutto ciò che era stato predetto riguardo al Messia — tutto quello che compì mediante il suo sacrificio, la sua risurrezione e la sua comparsa in cielo, come pure le altre cose che avvennero durante la 70a settimana — avrebbe avuto il suggello dell’approvazione divina, sarebbe risultato vero ed era degno di fiducia. La visione sarebbe stata suggellata, limitata al Messia. Si sarebbe adempiuta in lui e nell’opera compiuta da Dio per mezzo suo. Solo in relazione al predetto Messia avremmo potuto trovare l’interpretazione corretta della visione. Niente altro ne avrebbe dischiuso il significato. 29 Gabriele in precedenza aveva profetizzato che Gerusalemme sarebbe stata ricostruita. Adesso predice la distruzione della città ricostruita e del suo tempio, dicendo: “Il popolo di un condottiero che verrà ridurrà in rovina la città e il luogo santo. E la fine d’esso sarà mediante l’inondazione. E sino alla fine ci sarà guerra; sono decise le desolazioni. . . . E sull’ala di cose disgustanti ci sarà colui che causa desolazione; e fino a uno sterminio, la medesima cosa decisa si verserà anche su colui che giace desolato”. (Daniele 9:26b, 27b) Anche se sarebbe avvenuta dopo le “settanta settimane”, questa desolazione sarebbe stata il risultato diretto di avvenimenti verificatisi durante l’ultima “settimana”, quando gli ebrei rigettarono Cristo e lo fecero mettere a morte. — Matteo 23:37, 38. 30 La storia mostra che nel 66 E.V. le legioni romane al comando di Cestio Gallo, legato di Siria, accerchiarono Gerusalemme. Nonostante la resistenza degli ebrei, gli eserciti romani con le loro insegne idolatriche penetrarono nella città e cominciarono a scalzare il muro del tempio a nord. Il fatto che stessero lì li rendeva una “cosa disgustante” che poteva causare completa desolazione. (Matteo 24:15, 16) Nel 70 E.V. i romani al comando del generale Tito vennero come un’“inondazione” e resero effettivamente desolati la città e il tempio. Niente li fermò, poiché questo era stato decretato — ‘deciso’ — da Dio. Geova ancora una volta aveva adempiuto la sua parola al tempo da lui stabilito! FINE DELLA CITAZIONE   Cominciamo dunque ad analizzare approfonditamente questa interpretazione che, ad una prima lettura, sembrerebbe inattaccabile. Dopo aver spiegato le motivazioni secondo cui dobbiamo considerare le settimane come settimane di anni (come traducono anche alcune versioni bibliche), il libro riconosce che ci sono “tre avvenimenti notevoli che meritano di essere presi in considerazione a proposito dell’inizio delle “settanta settimane””. Il primo si verificò nel 537 a.E.V. quando Ciro emanò il decreto che permetteva agli ebrei di tornare al loro paese. Si legge: “Ciro re di Persia ha detto questo: ‘Geova l’Iddio dei cieli mi ha dato tutti i regni della terra, ed egli stesso mi ha incaricato di edificargli una casa a Gerusalemme, che è in Giuda” - Esdra 1:2-4 Questo sembra davvero essere il più ragionevole perché fu Dio stesso ad autorizzarlo. Questo editto non fu proclamato per iniziativa di un imperatore borioso ma, come egli stesso disse, “Geova l’Iddio dei cieli (…) mi ha incaricato di edificargli una casa a Gerusalemme”. Non solo: è proprio lui ad essere chiamato “unto”! - Isaia 45:1 Daniele menziona chiaramente “l'ordine di restaurare e ricostruire Gerusalemme” Secondo la Parola di Dio e non secondo le interpretazioni umane, chi fu incaricato di ricostruire Gerusalemme? Isaia 44:28 dice “Colui che dice di Ciro: ‘È il mio pastore, e tutto ciò di cui mi diletto adempirà completamente’; perfino nel [mio] dire di Gerusalemme: ‘Sarà riedificata’, e del tempio: ‘Saranno gettate le tue fondamenta’”. A questo punto la questione dovrebbe già essere chiusa** (vedi la nota in calce) perché la semplice domanda che dovremmo farci è: queste parole si adempirono oppure non si adempirono? Se non si adempirono, allora affermiamo apertamente che la Bibbia si è sbagliata. Dio disse di aver incaricato Ciro per riedificare Gerusalemme e gettare le fondamenta del tempio ma questo non si avverò. Giusto? Non si avverò perché il libro “Profezie di Daniele” dice chiaramente che “Gerusalemme era stata parzialmente riedificata”… ma la profezia di Isaia diceva che Ciro avrebbe riedificato Gerusalemme e non “parzialmente”. Inoltre lo rimarca dicendo “tutto ciò di cui mi diletto adempirà completamente”. Cosa avrebbe adempiuto, completamente? Forse il diletto di Geova era che Gerusalemme fosse ricostruita parzialmente? Sul tempio si potrebbe disquisire perché la profezia riguardo a Ciro diceva semplicemente che “sarebbero state gettate le fondamenta”, a indicazione del fatto che egli non sarebbe vissuto abbastanza per vedere il tempio di Gerusalemme completamente ricostruito e dedicato, ma non si può disquisire sulla ricostruzione di Gerusalemme. Cosa ci dicono i dati storici? Quando fu ricostruita Gerusalemme e quando fu ricostruito e dedicato il tempio? Dopo il ritorno dall'esilio babilonese, sotto la guida di Zorobabele, nominato governatore della Giudea e sommo sacerdote Giosuè, immediatamente si cerca di ricostruire Gerusalemme e la Giudea, devastati ed abbandonati 70 anni prima. Dopo le iniziali e notevoli difficoltà comunque Gerusalemme viene ricostruita e le fondamenta del Secondo Tempio, sempre secondo la storia secolare, vengono concluse nel 535 a.C. Ovviamente stiamo parlando di una “data secolare” e finora abbiamo preso queste informazioni con le dovute cautele. Possiamo tendenzialmente fidarci di questa data? Sì, perché essa sarebbe in armonia con il periodo di vita dell’imperatore Ciro, il quale morì nell’anno 530 a.C. Come abbiamo letto nella profezia di Isaia, egli avrebbe emanato l’ordine di ricostruire Gerusalemme ma per quanto riguarda il tempio egli avrebbe visto soltanto “gettarne le fondamenta”. Sempre secondo la storia secolare, confermata dagli storici ebrei, il Tempio viene consacrato nella primavera del 515 a.C., ovvero più di venti anni dopo il ritorno da Babilonia. Ciro non avrebbe mai visto il completamento dei lavori in quanto mori 15 anni prima. Senza voler per forza associare questa profezia (quella di Isaia) a quella di Daniele, la questione è solo una: quante volte il tempio o la città dovevano essere ricostruiti? Se la parte iniziale della profezia delle settanta settimane si riferisce alla ricostruzione di Gerusalemme e del tempio, allora dobbiamo stabilire se ciò sia avvenuto nel 515 a.E.V (o al limite qualche anno prima) oppure nel 455.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Chi emanò l'ordine di "restaurare e riedificare Gerusalemme"? Ciro o Artaserse?     Possiamo scegliere “la data che ci piace di più”, come fanno in molti, ma la Bibbia menziona Ciro come “unto” incaricato sul rimpatrio degli ebrei e sulle fondamenta del Tempio e nessun Artaserse fu mai incaricato per questo. Anche ammettendo che le date su Ciro e sul suo editto non siano precise, di certo non possono essere sballate di 60 anni e Ciro e Artaserse non sono intercambiabili. La data di inizio da cui far partire queste emblematiche “70 settimane” è già diventata molto discutibile ma vediamo altre questioni difficili da armonizzare. Facendo partire le prime sette settimane dal 455 a.E.V. arriviamo al 406 a.E.V. (come ammette lo stesso libro) citato. Riguardo a questa data, il libro afferma “Il lavoro a quanto pare fu completato nella misura necessaria verso il 406 a.E.V”. “A quanto pare” dal punto di vista di chi? Esiste, nella storia secolare, un solo dato riscontrabile che anche solo si avvicini a questa data? Oppure “a quanto pare” è da riferirsi a qualche data biblica? Esiste, nella Bibbia, qualche riferimento che possa farci ricavare questa data o una data vicina? In realtà non esiste nulla di tutto ciò e “a quanto pare” è da riferirsi ad una convinzione preconcetta: se dobbiamo far collimare questa data alla comparsa del Messia, dev’essere così per forza. Forse adesso cominciamo a capire perché diverse traduzioni bibliche traducono “unto” anziché “Messia”, insistendo nella loro traduzione nonostante quella che per molti di noi era un’ assoluta evidenza storica? Riusciamo anche a mettere il beneficio del dubbio sul perché i primi cristiani non usarono mai questa parte delle Scritture per dimostrare l’identità o il periodo della comparsa del Messia? Ovviamente, quindi, partendo dal 406 (?) e aggiungendo altri 434 anni arriviamo al 29 E.V. che è proprio l’anno in cui Gesù viene battezzato e diventa il Messia. Tutti sanno fare i 434-406, nessuno discute che faccia “29”, togliendo l’anno zero; questo semplice calcolo lo sapranno fare anche i diversi traduttori biblici ma il problema sta a monte. Se forziamo la data di partenza riusciamo a far collimare qualsiasi cosa. Se poi forziamo sia la data di partenza che la data di arrivo, allora possiamo far dire alla Bibbia tutto quello che vogliamo… ma andiamo avanti perché i problemi non sono certo finiti qua. Il libro vorrebbe lasciar intendere che questo calcolo, cioè quello che porterebbe al 29 E.V., era intrinsecamente conosciuto dagli ebrei del primo secolo in quanto il popolo era in aspettazione del Messia proprio nel periodo di predicazione di Giovanni il Battista – confronta Luca 3:1-3, 15 Questo resoconto, però, dimostra soltanto che il popolo ebraico era in aspettazione del Messia già da parecchio tempo e sicuramente da molti anni. Vedendo Giovanni il Battista battezzare e predicare il pentimento dei peccati, il dubbio che potesse essere lui era solo legittimo. Che essi non avessero affatto un’idea precisa dell’anno della sua apparizione lo si capisce sia dalle parole del Signore che dal resoconto della storia secolare. Parlando degli ultimi giorni del sistema giudaico il Signore disse chiaramente che sarebbero sorti “falsi Cristi e falsi profeti” che avrebbero potuto sviare perfino i suoi discepoli per cui dovevano stare in guardia. I resoconti storici confermano che poco dopo il primo assedio, avvenuto per ordine di Cestio Gallo nel 66 E.V., ci fu un’apparente riscossa degli ebrei i quali arrivarono al punto di inseguire i propri invasori. Proprio in quel periodo sorsero “falsi Cristi” asserendo che era volontà di Dio che Gerusalemme fosse definitivamente liberata. Ora, se come lascia intendere il libro il popolo conosceva il calcolo delle 70 settimane (e di conseguenza erano giunti alla stessa data del 29 E.V.) perché essi diedero retta ai “cristi” apparsi quasi quarant’anni dopo? In realtà essi aspettavano l’arrivo del Cristo liberatore fin da quando furono soggiogati dall’impero romano ed essi sapevano che il Cristo poteva comparire da un momento all’altro, all’improvviso. Inoltre non è ragionevole credere che essi avessero fatto questi calcoli sulle 70 settimane perché la scrittura parla di “giustizia eterna” ma anche di distruzione del tempio – vedi Daniele 9:26 E’ dunque strano che essi si illusero di poter liberare Gerusalemme se interpretavano la profezia delle 70 settimane come viene interpretata oggi, ovvero sapendo che il tempio doveva essere distrutto. Che questa interpretazione delle 70 settimane proposta dalla Watchtower sia fasulla lo si vede ancora nella parte finale della profezia. Pur avendo forzato le due date di inizio (il 455 e il 406), non si riesce a far collimare neppure la parte finale. Vediamo perché. Intanto la scrittura dice che quel periodo di tempo era stato determinato “per porre termine alla trasgressione, e porre fine al peccato, e fare espiazione per l’errore, e recare giustizia per tempi indefiniti” ma ciò non avvenne nel 33, nel 36 e neppure nel 70. Non si pose fine né al peccato, né alla trasgressione e non si recò giustizia a tempi indefiniti ma ovviamente la wt spiega queste affermazioni in senso “spirituale”. Dal momento che il sacrificio di Cristo servì al perdono dei peccati abrogando la Legge che li condannava, venne stabilita questa “giustizia a tempi indefiniti”… . Citando le parole del libro: “Adesso i peccati dei trasgressori pentiti potevano essere cancellati e le relative pene annullate. Grazie al sacrificio propiziatorio del Messia, per coloro che esercitavano fede era possibile la riconciliazione con Dio”. Noi abbiamo capito che Israele non ha mai smesso d’avere importanza agli occhi di Dio: non c’è mai stata alcuna “sostituzione” come dicono le religioni della cristianità. Se questo è corretto, allora dovrebbe essere scontato che è proprio sul popolo di Israele e sulla terra di Israele che si doveva “porre termine alla trasgressione, e porre fine al peccato, e fare espiazione per l’errore, e recare giustizia per tempi indefiniti”; infatti l’angelo dice a Daniele che quelle 70 settimane erano state determinate non solo sul suo popolo ma anche “sulla sua santa città” - leggi Daniele 9:24 La santa città di Daniele era Gerusalemme e nessun’altra… invece in quella città, anche dopo la morte e risurrezione di Cristo, continuò ad esserci trasgressione e sicuramente non si può dire che venne stabilita una “giustizia eterna” durante i 19 secoli della sua inesistenza. Neppure oggi che Gerusalemme esiste di nuovo si può dire che è stata stabilita questa giustizia eterna. Saltiamo comunque il particolare della città e ammettiamo la possibilità di aver capito male proseguendo il nostro esame. Diciamo che fu stabilita la giustizia eterna quando Gesù pagò il riscatto versando il suo sangue in sacrificio e che Israele non c’entri nulla in tutto ciò. Molte traduzioni, come abbiamo visto, non condividono le parole “tenere in vigore il patto” e infatti riportano “stabilire un patto” o un’alleanza o “stipulare un patto”. Anche se patto e alleanza possono essere sinonimi, di certo sono molto diverse le espressioni “tenere in vigore” o “stipulare”. La prima espressione presuppone l’esistenza di un patto pre-esistente mentre la seconda menziona un patto appena fatto o nuovo di zecca. Ovviamente coloro che partono dal principio che il messia menzionato nei versetti precedenti sia proprio IL Messia, si sono dovuti chiedere “quale patto” Egli potesse stipulare con quel popolo che l’aveva appena ucciso. Quindi il patto diventa il patto Abraamico e la traduzione più congeniale non può essere “stipulare” ma “tenere in vigore”. In realtà anche accettando questa possibilità avremmo dovuto trovare scritto che il Messia avrebbe tenuto in vigore il patto per “un’altra” o “ancora una settimana” e non semplicemente per una settimana. Al limite avremmo dovuto leggere che il patto sarebbe stato “prolungato” per una settimana… ma non si legge nulla di tutto ciò in nessuna traduzione. Comunque il problema non riguarda semplicemente stabilire quale sia la traduzione più corretta (che cambierebbe comunque le cose) ma stabilire chi è il soggetto che “tiene in vigore” o “stipula un patto”. Dalla punteggiatura presente nella TnM non è molto chiaro ma sembra che sia “il Messia” a farlo. Il versetto 26 finisce così: “E il popolo di un condottiero che verrà distruggerà la città e il luogo santo, la cui fine arriverà come con un’inondazione. Sino alla fine ci sarà guerra; è stata decretata la devastazione”. Quindi il versetto 27 continua… ““Lui terrà in vigore il patto per i molti per una settimana, e alla metà della settimana farà cessare sacrificio e offerta”. “Lui terrà in vigore il patto”: lui chi? Colui che è stato ucciso dopo le 62 settimane (versetto 26a) oppure il condottiero di quel popolo che sarebbe arrivato e avrebbe distrutto la città e il luogo santo? (versetto 26b). La domanda è lecita perché la CEI traduce così: “il popolo di un principe che verrà distruggerà la città e il santuario; la sua fine sarà un'inondazione e, fino alla fine, guerra e desolazioni decretate. Egli stringerà una forte alleanza con molti per una settimana e, nello spazio di metà settimana, farà cessare il sacrificio e l'offerta” lasciando intendere che è questo principe, ovvero il principe che comanda questo esercito distruttore, a stipulare una “forte alleanza”, una sorta di trattato di pace. Pur scegliendo la versione più congeniale ai nostri preconcetti, che l’intendimento sia completamente sbagliato è dimostrato dalla storia stessa perché, come abbiamo detto, neppure l’avvenimento finale può dirsi adempiuto. Con il massimo della semplicità l’opera citata “conclude” la spiegazione della profezia con la conversione di Cornelio, che sarebbe avvenuta nel 36 E.V. e questo chiuderebbe le 70 settimane. Quindi non si parla affatto della distruzione del Tempio, che avvenne 34 anni più tardi, tanto meno della distruzione di “colui che giace desolato” (chiunque sia per la TnM e qualunque cosa significhi). Questo è ragionevole? Questa profezia non includeva anche la devastazione del Tempio nonché la distruzione dello stesso devastatore? Non sorprende adesso capire perché la TnM traduca in maniera incomprensibile “colui che giace desolato” rendendo inverosimile applicare questa descrizione all’impero romano. La spiegazione lascia intendere che la stessa distruzione del tempio sarebbe avvenuta in un periodo al di fuori delle 70 settimane perché esse si concluderebbero nel 36! L’angelo Gabriele avrebbe parlato di 70 settimane le quali si concludono con “lui terrà in vigore il patto per i molti per una settimana” (stop) ma per quanto riguarda la parte che dice “sull’ala di cose ripugnanti arriverà colui che causa devastazione; ciò che è stato deciso sarà riversato su colui che giace desolato, fino alla completa distruzione” sarebbe avvenuto quando sarebbe avvenuto. Anche in un lontanissimo futuro… se prendiamo per assodato che “colui che giaceva desolato” era l’impero Romano. Per chi legge senza pregiudizi queste scritture, pur non comprendendo i soggetti implicati né il tempo dell’adempimento, il susseguirsi degli avvenimenti è chiaro e lineare: Lui terrà in vigore il patto per i molti per una settimana (ciò vale a dire che alla fine di questa settimana il patto scade o viene infranto) e alla metà della settimana farà cessare sacrificio e offerta. Sull’ala di cose ripugnanti arriverà colui che causa devastazione (ovvero alla fine della settimana quando ormai “il patto” è giunto al termine) ciò che è stato deciso sarà riversato su colui che giace desolato (ovvero, subito dopo aver infranto il patto – durato una settimana – egli stesso verrà eliminato) fino alla completa distruzione. Tutti gli avvenimenti descritti dall’angelo Gabriele dovevano iniziare con le prime sette settimane (dall’annuncio di partenza all’arrivo dell’unto) e concludersi nell’ultima settimana (con la distruzione del Tempio o della “città santa” e quindi la distruzione del devastatore). Questo lo capirebbe anche un bambino. Quindi, pur avendo forzato la data di inizio (il 455 a.E.V., in quanto gli ebrei non tornarono in patria quell’anno e non gettarono le fondamenta in quell’anno bensì nel 515 a.E.V. grazie all’editto di Ciro, autorizzato come unto di Geova) e pur avendo forzato la data “di mezzo” (il 406… data assolutamente inesistente in tutti i libri di storia) gli avvenimenti non possono combaciare a prescindere. Salvo spezzando la profezia, dimenticandosi della parte finale.   A questo punto dobbiamo essere onesti con noi stessi e scegliere. Alcuni dicono che quella delle 70 settimane è una “profezia errata” e la usano per “dimostrare” che il libro di Daniele racconti falsità. Altri, cercando di salvare capre e cavoli, dicono che è una profezia “ipotetica” dicendo che quelle cose si sarebbero adempiute se il popolo avesse o non avesse fatto determinato cose. In pratica alcuni dicono che Dio cambiò idea riguardo a questa profezia a motivo delle mutate condizioni generali, un po’ come accadde nel caso dei niniviti al tempo di Giona. Altri, come possiamo immaginare, continuano a negare l’evidenza insistendo sulla corretta interpretazione della propria organizzazione religiosa (che non riguarda nello specifico la WT ma le spiegazioni delle organizzazioni religiose in generale, le quali, non da meno della WT, giocano molto con le parole). Che dire di noi? La Bibbia si è sbagliata oppure Dio ha cambiato idea all’ultimo momento non facendo più avverare la profezia? Adesso che abbiamo compreso i termini dell’enigma, possiamo sperare di aver fatto il primo passo verso la comprensione oppure ci siamo allontanati ancora di più? Dobbiamo rinunciarci? L’enigma della 70 settimane sarà mai svelato? Se la Bibbia è davvero il Libro di Dio, le risposte devono trovarsi lì... no? Pur riconoscendo i nostri limiti, il prossimo articolo cercherà nella Bibbia la chiave per svelare questo millenario enigma – Daniele 12:10; 2 Timoteo 3:16, 17       Note in calce * Il libro "Prestate attenzione alle profezie di Daniele!" è edito dalla Watchtower   **Nel prossimo articolo si menzioneranno, tra le altre cose, le Scritture di Esdra e Neemia in genere utilizzate per dimostrare che la profezia delle 70 settimane dovrebbe partire dall’editto di Artaserse Longimano.  
    • By Witness
      The good news is not preached in all the world, as we understand it. 
      Paul talked about that being done, even in the first century. 
      He said of their work of preaching to the Jews; 
      "But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed:
      ‘Their sound has gone out to all the earth,
      And their words *to the ends of the world.’* Rom 10:18

      That word "world", really means, "land". Not all lands, are the whole world.

      Paul also said;
      Col.1: "5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, *as it has also in all the world*"

      He was saying that the gospel was already heard, in the whole land.
      Verse 23 continues; "and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was *preached to every creature under heaven*, of which I, Paul, became a minister."
      Paul did not preach to the whole world. Yet he says that the gospel was preached to "every creature under heaven".
      Rev.14: 6 says; "Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach **to those who dwell on the earth**—to *every nation, tribe, tongue, and people"*.
      We may think from this, that everyone in the world is being referred to.
      But notice that the great crowd is described in the same way...

      "9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, **of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues,** standing before the throne and before the Lamb...) (Rev.7)

      Is the Great Crowd, the whole planet? No.
      Look at how the anointed priests and kings of God are described....

      "9 And they sang a new song, saying:
      “You are worthy to take the scroll,
      And to open its seals;
      For You were slain,
      And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
      **Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation**,
      10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
      And we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev.5)

      They are not the whole world either.
      So they too, are described as "from all nations", but they are not the whole world.
      When Rev.14:6 tells us that the good news will be preached "to all those who dwell on the earth"... the word that was translated "earth", also means, a particular land and is occupied by people.
      In Revelation, the "earth" is not the "sea".
      The "sea" represents those who do not know God (see Isa.57:20). 
      The Land that does know God, and claims to worship him, and that land is translated into the word "Earth" (God's occupied land).
      So again, the good news is not toward the whole world, but toward God's people.
      Even though the gospel opened up to Gentiles of all nations, who were also added to God's people, notice that they also *become Jews, in their spirit*...

      "28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but *he is a Jew who is one inwardly*; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God." (Rom.2)
      Do you see that those of all nations, become spiritual Jews?

      Gal.3:28-29 agrees;
      "28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And **if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed**, and heirs according to the promise."
      If you become the seed of Abraham... you become a spiritual Hebrew.

      Rom.4: "16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham"
      So then,
      who did Jesus say we would be preaching to, and trying to reach with the truth?

      He said;
      "22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures *to the end* will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, **you will not have completed preaching to the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes."** (Matt.10)
      Did you notice who Jesus said, would be getting preached to?
      "The cities/towns, of Israel".
      What are the towns of Israel? 
      Jesus named them, in Revelation 1:11...
      "...“What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
      The message being sent out to the "towns of Israel", is the opened scroll of Revelation. To understand that message, is good news....

      Rev.1: "3 Happy is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near."
      So from all this, we see that the good news is not preached to the whole planet, as JWs teach. Jesus said that we would not even finish preaching to "the towns of Israel" before he would return. The good news that is trying to reach God's people, is the true and full interpretation of the book of Revelation. That message reveals the truth, about who is wicked, and who is faithful. That is good news to those who have been slandered and thrown out as wicked, because they are the ones to receive the kingdom. Those who raised themselves up, will be humbled and condemned.        Pearl Doxsey, 4 womaninthewilderness
       

    • Guest Kurt
      By Guest Kurt
      Here's something you may not have seen, from the JW archives, a countdown to Armegeddon as we once believed would occur in oct 1914. Our brothers used this to help them keep track on their faith. Just a bit of JW history.
    • By Anna
      Something I thought might be relevant since we are studying the God's Kingdom book. Not long ago, in a WT article, it was mentioned in reference to the "Kingdom being preached in all the inhabited earth" that this will not mean that literally everyone on Earth would have heard about the Kingdom before Armageddon starts.
      When one does a bit of mathematics (not my forte) and calculates the percentage of current Jehovah's Witnesses in comparison to the World's population we arrive at 0.1%. This is a very small percentage indeed. (8 million JW to 8 billion population)
      If we were to assume some averages, and use the United States as a fair example, then we can assume the ratio of 1 publisher to roughly around 400. This seems a fair number since "only a few are the ones finding the road to life". However, as we know, there is practically a non existent ratio when it comes to India and China, two of the world's countries with a population of over 1billion each (the majority of whom have never heard of the Bible, never mind Jehovah's Witnesses).  If we would assume the same ratio of 1:400, then this would immediately create over 3 million Witnesses in each of the two countries, i.e. over 6 million in India and China alone, bringing the total of JWs to over 14 million. If we were to also add 650 thousand in Indonesia, 485 thousand from Pakistan, and 402 thousand from Bangladesh that adds another 1.5 million bringing the total to over 15 million, almost doubling the Witnesses today.
      If we go by the fact that all people are equal in Jehovah's eyes, and that no nation is above another when it comes to salvation, and that all people are basically the same, then we have to assume that there are people in those countries who, if given the chance, would embrace the truth and put themselves on Jehovah's side and create that ratio of 1:400.
      With that in mind, it is evident that either there is going to have to be a lot of preaching done, verging on the miraculous, in order to bring in over 7 million new Witnesses within the allotted time of the "Generation", or, Jehovah will judge their hearts and allow nearly HALF of the people, (agnostics or believers in false Gods) entry into the new world without them even needing to know him.
      Or, is "this Generation" a lot longer than we think.....
      Any scriptural thoughts?
       
    • By Brother Rando
      Being a student of Prophecy and intently studying the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1914 is only the beginning of the end. “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. ?All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress.” (Matthew 24:7-8)
      In 1914 the world as we know it, has entered into its death throes.  God’s Kingdom would slowly begin crushing all kingdoms of the earth. (Daniel 2:44)  Those inhabiting the earth would enter into an ‘allotted amount of time of distress'. “During that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of your people. And there will occur a time of distress such as has not occurred since there came to be a nation until that time. And during that time your people will escape, everyone who is found written down in the book.” (Daniel 12:1)
      What is causing this ‘time of distress’?  “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled ?but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven.” (Rev 12:7-8)  “Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.” (Rev 12:12)  Here’s an important teaching from Jesus Christ, he stated, “For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” (Matthew 24:37)  Did you catch that?  So the presence of the Son of man will be.  Jesus Christ has been ruling from Heaven since 1914 and he compared his presence like the days of Noah!  Few people understand this, but the Days of Noah lasted 120 years. (Genesis 6:3)  Jesus continues, “For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, ?and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” (Matthew 24:38-39)  Folks, the presence of the Son of man is now 103 years from 1914 and counting.  Yet, the World is taking no note.
      The Last Days must reach their full time allotted, which is 120 years.  1914 + 120 = 2034.   Since the Great Tribulation is Spiritual, many will  fall away from the faith. But it’s during this time period that the one’s separated to the right hand of Christ, will come out of the Great Tribulation as Survivors.  In response one of the elders said to me: “These who are dressed in the white robes, who are they and where did they come from?” (Rev 7:13)
      So right away I said to him: “My lord, you are the one who knows.” And he said to me: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Rev 7:14)  “Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” (Matthew 24:42)
      Armageddon is an act of undeserved kindness of removing the wicked by means of the second death.  Soon, those outside our interior rooms will be dying the second death in the same manner as Adam and Eve. 
       
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    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      Everything we read about the "70-Week" prophecy reported in the book "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy!" (Chapter 11) is worthy of attention and demonstrates how accurate and reliable the word of God is even when pronouncing prophecies very distant in time. The historical accuracy and the numerous Scriptural references that gave weight and authority to the whole speech were also evident. Anyone who approaches the Word of God without preconceptions can not but be struck by this demonstration of power and wisdom on the part of God. The explanation of the 70 weeks is unexceptionable but can be said to be the same as other prophecies? What about those calculations on which many of us have based the hopes of a lifetime and that clashed with the criticism of the majority? We are talking about 1914. Is this also a prophecy of Daniel? Was this also treated with the same marvelous accuracy of the seventy weeks we have just read? Although it may not be easy, we try to be truly objective because understanding or not understanding the prophecy, like the rest of God's Word, can make much difference to our eternal future - John 17: 3; 2 Thessalonians 1: 8   WHAT DID OF 1914?   The book "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy" on pages 85 to 97 explains in detail the dream of Nebuchadnezzar and the 7-time prophecy asserting that it indicates the coming of the Kingdom of God in 1914. It would therefore be profitable to take the book and compare it with what will be read below. Does Nebuchadnezzar's dream really prophesy the coming of the Kingdom of God in 1914?   THAT'S IT? Let's try to examine what is written in the book without prejudices. At a first reading it seems that Jehovah God wanted to give a lesson of humility to Nebuchadnezzar, which happened. The "seven times", at least for him, were seven years and this is confirmed by the whole story. Reading all this without preconceptions, it does not seem that we should look for other explanations more or less hidden. However, let us take the thesis that "the tree indicates a dominion and a sovereignty much greater than those of the king of Babylon. It symbolizes the universal sovereignty of Jehovah, the King of the heavens, especially with respect to the earth ". This means, first of all, that the Kingdom of God is comparing, in a certain way, to the kingdom of Babylon and this strides with many biblical passages describing Babylon as the greatest enemy of God's people. It also means that the "vigilante" (ie an angel of Jehovah) decides to overthrow the Kingdom of God and this is, to say the least, strange. Some will object that we must not look for similarities in every aspect of the prophecy but also decide which part of the prophecy must have a second fulfillment and which one could be arbitrary enough. After all, we have no other scriptural references to show us which details to focus on and which to leave out. So it is being said that the prophecy of the tree applies entirely to Nebuchadnezzar while only a small part would apply to the Kingdom of God. For the prophecy of the "seventy weeks" we did not need to break the prophecy to try to understand who was applied or if it applied to more than one person because the subject was clear and recognizable from the beginning. On the contrary, all the 7-day prophecy is built on a single verse that is what it says ... "The tree grew and became strong, and its same height finally reached the heavens and was visible to the end of the whole earth" (Daniel 4:11). Meanwhile, the writing says that the tree "becomes visible" to the end of the earth and not that "embraces the end of the earth" and the meaning is very different. The aforementioned book says: "the great tree represents the 'domain that reaches the end of the earth', which embraces the whole realm of mankind. Thus it symbolizes the universal sovereignty of Jehovah, particularly in relation to the earth. - Daniel 4:17 ". "Reaching the end of the earth" means that it extends the domain to the end of the earth while "being visible to the end of the earth" means that it is known, famous. AnyhowÂ… is not it a bit fragile, let's say risky, to build a series of prophecies (all linked together) on this single explanation? Note that the specification "particularly in relation to the earth" is due to the fact that the universal sovereignty of Jehovah is, indeed, universal, for which the tree should have been seen not only in the whole earth but throughout the universe. By specifying, instead, "in relation to the earth", we can exclude the skies from the vision and take the application for good. Anyway, we should ask a question. Is the fact that the tree reaches the heavens or the end of the earth itÂ’s a demonstration or even an indication of the fact that we are talking about the Kingdom of God? We always leave the Bible to enlighten us. Notice what Jehovah told Ezekiel in reference to the Pharaoh. Ezekiel 31: 1-8 says Â… “In the 11th year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the word of Jehovah again came to me, saying: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  “Son of man, say to Phar?aoh king of Egypt and to his hordes,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ‘Whom are you like in your greatness?  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  There was an As·syr?i·an, a cedar in Leb?a·non,With beautiful branches like a shady thicket, lofty in stature;Its top was among the clouds.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  The waters made it grow big, the deep springs of water caused it to grow high. Streams were all around where it was planted;Their channels watered all the trees of the field.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  That is why it grew taller than all the other trees of the field. Its boughs multiplied, and its branches grew longBecause of the abundant water in its streams.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  All the birds of the sky nested in its boughs,All the wild animals of the field gave birth under its branches,And all the populous nations were dwelling in its shade.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  It became majestic in beauty and in the length of its branches,For its roots went down into abundant waters.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  No other cedars in the garden of GodHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. could compare to it. None of the juniper trees had boughs like it,And none of the plane trees could match its branches. No other tree in the garden of God could rival its beauty”. Do we note some similarities with the vision of Nebuchadnezzar? Both are compared to tall and mighty trees. Both reach high heights, up to the sky in fact the expressions "reach the heavens" or "reach the clouds" are equivalent - Compare Job 22:14; Isaiah 14:14; Daniel 7:13 Of both we notice the big difference with the other trees. Of both it is said that all the flying creatures and all the wild beasts find food and shelter. Now if we apply the principle that the tree that "reaches the clouds" must represent the Kingdom of God, then even the Egyptian empire should be an antitype of the Kingdom. Unfortunately, however, in this story there is no mention of the "times" and consequently it is not possible to count anything. If you think it's ridiculous that the Egyptian empire will represent the Kingdom of God, why should it be acceptable to the Babylonian empire? Jehovah goes on to say ““Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘Because itHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. became so tall, lifting its top among the clouds, and its heart became arrogant because of its height, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  I will hand it over to the mighty ruler of the nations.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. He will surely act against it, and I will reject it for its wickedness”. The Pharaoh was exalted, just as Nebuchadnezzar did, and for this reason God decided to humiliate him - Matthew 23:12 Nebuchadnezzar escaped with seven years of madness while Pharaoh's empire was besieged. Also this verse remarks the fact that God takes away and gives "the kingdom to whom he wills" (and in this case He gave the kingdom of Pharaoh to the "despot of nations"). Ezekiel 31: 12-14 continues Â… “And foreigners, the most ruthless of the nations, will cut it down, and they will abandon it on the mountains, and its foliage will fall in all the valleys, and its branches will lie broken in all the streams of the land.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. All the peoples of the earth will depart from its shade and abandon it. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  All the birds of the sky will live on its fallen trunk, and all the wild animals of the field on its branches.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  This is so that no tree near the waters should grow so tall or lift up its top among the clouds and that no well-watered tree may reach up to them in height. For they will all be given over to death, to the land down below, along with the sons of mankind, who are going down into the pit.Â’. Even this tree is cut down and humiliated (Jehovah will do this through the king of Babylon). Because of the many similarities with the kingdom of Egypt, are we really certain that the tree that "reached the heavens" refers to the Kingdom of God?   When we talk about 1914, are we really like the Bereans? Or are we "Bereans" only when we have to refute the doctrines of Christianity?   There is another interesting detail that should make us reflect. The Bible compares the heavens to governments, be they human or celestial. Applying this concept to the tree that reaches the heavens and whose other trees do not stand comparison with it, it would simply mean that this tree has the kingdom over the other (smaller) kingdoms and of Babylon the Great is said to have " the kingdom over the kings of the earth "- Revelation 17:18 The only legitimate parallel that you can do with Babylon, without fear of taking corners, is related to Babylon the Great because it is the parallelism that makes the Bible. Indeed, all the world empires mentioned in the Scriptures had, for a time, the kingdom over the other kingdoms. Cyrus, in fact, said of himself ... "I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, legitimate king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four extremities (of the earth), son of Cambyses (Ka-am -bu-zi-ia), great king, king of Anzan, nephew of Cyrus ,. . . descendant of Teispe,. . . of a family (that) has always reigned ". (Ancient Near Eastern Texts, edited by J. B. Pritchard, 1974, p.37). Undoubtedly humility was not a characteristic appreciated by the Persians as well as by the Babylonians but in fact the kingdom had power over the other known kingdoms (so to be called "king of the four ends of the earth") and so it could be said that its height had reached the heavens and was visible or known to the ends of the earth. In the story of Ezekiel and in that of Daniel there is no reference, just anyone, to the Kingdom of God, on the contrary ... both accounts mention a judgment from God on enemy nations, proud and violent. Any chronological calculation should respect the subject in being and in fact this part of the Scripture is very different from what is said about the "seventy weeks" - Daniel 9: 24-27 In the account of Daniel chapter 9, one speaks clearly of the Messiah (see Daniel 9:25) and it is not necessary to read what is not written. Anyone who wanted to be polemical could discuss the start date from which to count the "weeks" or even the adduct method * (one day for a year) but certainly we can not discuss the subject in existence (the Messiah). It could also be absurd to discuss who the Messiah really was (which Jews are still discussing) but certainly we can not argue that Daniel chapter 9 speaks of the arrival of the Messiah! Instead, Daniel chapter 4 speaks of Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom, while all the "understanding" concerning the Kingdom of God is built on four lines in the book "Pay attention to Daniel's prophecies!" That read: "But the great tree represents the domain that reaches the end of the earth, which embraces the entire kingdom of mankind. Thus it symbolizes the universal sovereignty of Jehovah, particularly in relation to the earth. - Daniel 4:17 "(chapter 6, page 87 of the Italian edition of the book). Does not this seem like a very firm statement with a very weak base? Let us try not to tell Daniel 4:17 what he does not really say because it is enough to know the basic rules of grammar so as not to be distracted by the subject. The subject is Nebuchadnezzar and God makes him understand that, because of the fact that he is exalted, he would have taken away his kingdom and given it to whoever He had wanted (exactly as He did to Pharaoh). In practice the one who really rules is the Creator and the other kingdoms exist only because He allows it - Compare Romans 13: 1 So there is no reason to believe that the tree (that is, one of the many governments that Jehovah has permitted in the history of mankind), actually represents the Kingdom of God. If someone wants to imply that the fact that God mentions His dominion is indicative that the tree itself represents His dominion (and is an incredible semantic acrobatics) then we can take the story reported in 2 Kings 19: 14-19 and do it same reasoning. “Hez·e·ki?ah took the letters out of the hand of the messengers and read them. Hez·e·ki?ah then went up to the house of Jehovah and spread themHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. out before Jehovah.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  And Hez·e·ki?ah began to prayHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. before Jehovah and say: “O Jehovah the God of Israel, sitting enthroned aboveHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. the cherubs,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. you alone are the true God of all the kingdoms of the earth.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. You made the heavens and the earth. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Incline your ear, O Jehovah, and hear!Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Open your eyes,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. O Jehovah, and see! Hear the words that Sen·nach?er·ib has sent to taunt the living God. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  It is a fact, O Jehovah, that the kings of As·syr?i·a have devastated the nations and their lands.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  And they have thrown their gods into the fire, because they were not godsHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. but the work of human hands,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. wood and stone. That is why they could destroy them. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  But now, O Jehovah our God, please save us out of his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are God, O Jehovah.” Hezekiah knew very well that Jehovah was "the true God of all the kingdoms of the earth" and he prayed that Sennacherib would be stopped in his intent to destroy Jerusalem. We know very well what was the answer of Isaiah which last part reads Â… “Because your rage against meHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and your roaring have reached my ears.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. So I will put my hook in your nose and my bridleHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. between your lips,And I will lead you back the way you came.” - 2 Kings 19:28 If we did the same reasoning as for chapter 4 of Daniel, then we might suppose that the "reign of Sennacherib" was also an antitype of the kingdom of God because he too had to learn (at his own expense) that Jehovah is "the true God of all. the kingdoms of the earth "or, in other words, "dominates over all mankind ". Unfortunately, even in this story there are no numbers, days, weeks or months to be calculated and therefore no reason to read "the coming of the kingdom of God" even where no mention is made of it. Is it possible that the strong desire to see the prophecies fulfill has influenced the intention and therefore pushed to read what was not actually written? This means that if you really want to see a second fulfillment of the story reported in Daniel chapter 4, you should respect the subject in being and that is Babylon. It is likely that the story of Daniel is simply telling the humiliation of Nebuchadnezzar and that the "seven times" mean only seven years but we can not be categorical. In this regard it is useful to reflect on the fact that even the humiliation of the Pharaoh, reported in Ezekiel, could have a second fulfillment as Jehovah says that he will "shake the nations" and this could be a reference to the Armageddon war.   So, without fixing ourselves too much with a specific date, in case the story of Daniel wanted to show us a second fulfillment of the prophecy, the report is actually saying: "Babylon will fall, will remain inactive for seven times and then rise again". This can only bring our mind back to the last mention that the Bible makes of Babylon - Revelation 17:5 The clues about Babylon the Great brought us to the nation of Israel so the question we should ask ourselves is ... "From what year we should start counting the 2520 years (ie 360 * 7) until we see the rebirth (if any) of Babylon? " From the story of Daniel the possible dates from which to count the seven times are two: 1) Since Nebuchadnezzar has had the vision or has fallen into "misfortune" (in fact, Daniel says "the tree is you" - Daniel 4: 20-22) 2) From the death of Nebuchadnezzar (if Nebuchadnezzar represents the kingdom of Babylon, his death is the moment when the tree is "knocked down" but it is to be noted that there is no reference to this in the narration of Daniel who, indeed, he says that the kingdom would be assured - Daniel 4:26) As far as the first hypothesis is concerned, it is impossible to have an accurate date because neither the Bible nor the secular history tells us in which year Nebuchadnezzar was expelled from his kingdom. This happened, obviously, after 597 a.E.V. (year in which Nebuchadnezzar brings the first Jewish prisoners to Babylon according to the secular date, there is a difference of 20 years with that of the slave who, in fact, puts 617 a.E.V.) and within 570 a.E.V. (if Nebuchadnezzar dies in 562 BCE - always according to the secular date - and the period of "captivity" lasts 7 years and the kingdom is returned to him presumed to have reigned for at least a year, 570 is the last useful year) . However in the first four chapters of Daniel we mention Daniel, Sadrac, Mesac and Abednego first as children (Daniel 1: 3, 4) and later as robust men (Daniel 3:12, 27) and all this before Nebuchadnezzar has the famous dream tree. This means that, from their deportation until the day when the king erected the image of gold, at least 15, 20 years passed. So if the Jews came to Babylon in 597 a.E.V. but they pass 20 years before the construction of the golden idol and having taken for good the secular date (562 a.E.V) it is possible to restrict the period from 577 a.E.V. up to 570 a.E.V. Obviously they are only estimates but the important date is the maximum time limit (570 a.E.V) so if from the deportation until the construction of the image had passed 15 years instead of 20, the starting date would be 582 a.E.V. but the last possible useful date would always be 570 a.E.V. The eventual rebirth of Babylon, if Daniel is talking about this, would have happened between 1943 E.V. (2520-577) and 1950 E.V. (2520-570). To reinforce this hypothesis there would also be the fact that the narration of his expulsion is the last story reported to Nebuchadnezzar. Few verses later, in fact, we no longer speak of him but of Baldassarre (Daniel chapter 5). It is reasonable to conclude, therefore, that Nebuchadnezzar had the vision in the last years, perhaps during the last decade of his reign.   The second hypothesis concerns the death of Nebuchadnezzar, which takes place, according to the secular sources, in 562 a.E.V. According to the slave, in 582 a.E.V. (see the book "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy" chapter 7, page 99). Counting 2520 years we arrive at 1958 E.V. in the first case and to 1938 E.V. in the second case.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. "Babylon will fall, remain inactive for seven times and then rise again"   What does recent history tell us? If, as we have seen, Babylon the Great is the nation of Israel, this would corroborate the first hypothesis. The first hypothesis places the rebirth of Babylon between 1943 and 1950. Indeed, the "resurrection" of Israel took place in May 1948.   Knowing the fixation of human beings for dates and calculations, however, it is prudent to pay attention to the most important things. The secular dates can not be secure, based on findings and comparisons more or less incomplete, and certainly we can not base our faith on this - 2 Corinthians 5: 7 What would happen if the 597 a.E.V., as well as 607 or 537 or any other date on which we based much of the biblical prophecies (without there being a real reason for doing so) tomorrow proved to be completely wrong? The consequences could be very serious and not just from a human point of view - Amos 3: 1, 2 We must not take Jehovah's mercy for granted, so we must be cautious in our statements. Since we have no certainty that the "seven times" do not simply represent seven years, we should not lose ourselves in these speculations. Is not the most important thing to understand the identity of Babylon the Great? Those who have truly studied the Bible without preconceptions have understood that Babylon the Great is indeed Israel and this has understood it regardless of dates and calculations. This is a crucial aspect of prophecy because it is the clues that guide us in the subjects and times in which we are living, such as road signs, and not the calculations - Compare Matthew 24:32, 33 and 2 Timothy 3: 1-5 and do a contrast with Matthew 24:36 There is no temporal indication for the killing of the two clothed witnesses (see Revelation chapter 11) but we know that they are revealed at the end of the war. We know that the city called "Sodom and Egypt" is Babylon the Great, hence Israel, and as a result we also know which nation and events to watch carefully. That the Bible actually prophesises the year of his "resurrection" or not, is certainly interesting but not fundamental for those who believe that it is indeed the inspired Word of God. Fundamental, if anything, will be "get out of it" when the UN prepares to destroy it.   * However the Bible confirms the "one day for a year" method and also that this was the same method used by God's people - Ezekiel 4: 6; Luke 3:15 ** The Bible allows us to be "fully competent" then all the speeches made on 607 a.E.V. pro and contra, they are absolutely useless. Nebuchadnezzar's dream, as we have seen, has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God    
    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      We are now very close to the great tribulation!
      A brother of the betel was concluding his speech when he made the following comment: " Be intensely busy with the word of God," I would like listening very carefully. We who are in Betel we are privileged to work with the faithful and discreet slave and with the body of directors and I wish know you how he feels the body of directors about the time we live now in this system of things.
      The faithful slave feels that it is already happened to the Matthew 24:14 prophecy: "quest for good news the kingdom's be preached in all the inhabited earth."
      What does the party later this word? He says that ... then the end will come.
      He knew you that there are only three countries in the world where there are no Jehovah's Witnesses?
      ONLY 3 countries!
      Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan ...
      This does not mean that there does not reach the in our literature to but just that there are not Jehovah's Witnesses. I had mentioned earlier to some friends and they wanted to know why there are no Jehovah's Witnesses in these countries. I 'll tell you the reason.
      Jehovah does not send his people to any place where he knows that van there! * (See footnote)
      But in these three countries the good news have already been published (I guess it refers to the fact that literature is still available).
      Matthew 14, Luke 21, Mark 13, as well as Revelation 6: these words are ending (?)
      So what is the biblical prophecy that still has to fulfill?
      You know what?
      The read for you.
      See Revelation 17: 15-17 - (read the prophecy)
      The faithful slave is waiting for the day Jehovah will put this thought into their hearts.
      This is the next prophecy that must be fulfilled. For those who know what it means, this will cause the great tribulation.
      Once this is fulfilled , the door will be closed (in a spiritual sense).
      Whatever thing you did, you can not go back.
      "I could have done this or that if I had more time."
      Now is the time!
      How will you spend the time you stay?
      For what are you working or are you committed ?
      - in higher education?
      - you are struggling to get more money and material goods?
      - you are engaged in the distractions of the world?
      Or are you undertake to favor the kingdom.?
      We do things urgently, we try to be quick! (Story running on facebook between of various witnesses of Jehovah accounts)
        I want to point out that the aforementioned text is the translation of the translation of a translation and then of specific phrases may have been distorted sense. Apart from that, however, the general sense of the discourse is clear. Assuming that they are not the ravings of some overzealous brother (which still brings out what they believe, more or less openly, many Jehovah's Witnesses), the meaning is as follows. The prophecies have almost all been fulfilled.  
      The preaching was completed.  
      We are just waiting for the fall of Babylon the Great.  
        Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Our expectations are really in harmony with God's Word?   That's it? Some brother more in later years and with a good memory will recall that statements like these (views from different angles) have already been made in the past. Without wishing to be too argumentative, beyond the past mistakes, it is clear that sooner or later you have to get to the point where it will begin the great tribulation, will fall Babylon the Great, and you will enter the Millennial Kingdom. The fact we were wrong in the past, more than once, this in itself does not prove that you're wrong again. Could it really be so and definitely not wrong to keep alive the sense of urgency - compare Matthew 24:42; Revelation 16:15 Beyond, however, the "hint" that each of us can have, the only thing we should do is search the scriptures to try to understand "what extent we are old" in reference to biblical prophecy. It is true: if we take the writing of Matthew 24:14 and we make an analysis of the presence of our brothers in the world, probably we would come to the same conclusion of the aforesaid brother in the introduction of this article (always assuming that the report is credible). The question, however, end here? Being such an important subject, it would be no need to also examine other scriptures to see if you dial a credible framework or if "something is not right"? Moreover, as the same "slave" has admitted, they are not inspired and therefore we would like to build on something more than a simple "I want you to know how you feel the governing body about the time we live in." The Bible is not "imperfect spiritual food", does not lend itself to corrections or rewards, does not change with time and definitely do not mind - John 17:17; Romans 3: 4; James 1:17; Titus 1: 2 Obviously you are not suggesting that the interpretations of this blog are infallible; far from it. You simply want to emphasize that the Bible is always to have the last word and so we must look for answers there, not in our desires or people that we value - Matthew 4: 4 Some do not even accept the possibility that even those who are taking the lead can go wrong (as if they were human beings). For some to question the statement "slave" is an indication of lack of respect and submission but this is a myopic view of the situation. We know that many times the people of God fed wrong expectations about the future and about the will of God - compares Isaiah 28: 14-19 They were the people of God but this, in itself, did not guarantee the protection and the priests themselves, more often, showed a complete ignorance of the Scriptures - John 3:10 This also happened with good intentions and the best people - compares 1 Samuel 16: 7 Considering the biblical past, trying to see what the Bible says to beyond the proclamation and to everyone who comes , is not it the best? - 1 Thessalonians 5:21; Romans 15: 4; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 The Lord Jesus Christ himself, the one who was the wisest of all men , and that he could speak of his own initiative, not perhaps did the same? - Matthew 4: 4-10 Questioning certain statements (not for bias, of course) is not a lack of respect towards the index "slave"; on the contrary, it shows profound respect for the one true authority of God's Word - Psalm 31: 5; Acts 17:11 Let us examine the claim that the prophecies would almost all be fulfilled, and we just have to wait the fall of Babylon the Great. The officer says that understanding God's Kingdom was established in heaven in 1914, by 1918 the heavens were purified, in 1919 the heavenly resurrection began (as well as the purification of the people of God) and so on. Perhaps there is some error in this generalization also because of the constant "adjustments" (adjustments that change the periods of a few months, ever the concepts) but roughly this is what you believe.

      In this article you will see just how the logic and writing can corroborate or invalidate these ideas. The official explanation identifies the slaughtered head of death Revelation 13: 3 as the Anglo-American empire. It is true that the book that lists this explanation (the Revelation Its Grand Climax) has now been withdrawn but there is nothing new on the horizon that, until there is a different explanation, this is the ultimate understanding accepted. As we saw this explanation is problematic because the Anglo-American empire, according to official explanations, is the "king of the South" described in the Bible book of Daniel. However in Daniel is the king of the north to win the last war, and so it is obvious that something is not right - Daniel 11: 40-45 Of course we can not say that Daniel and Revelation contradict, does not it? To focus with Daniel Revelation there are only two possibilities. Or the Anglo-American empire is actually the king of the north ** (see note below) or head slaughtered to death that you see in Revelation can not be the Anglo-American empire. Does not it seem logical reasoning? How can the Anglo-American empire (and be the king of the south) if Daniele does understand that the last ruling king, or what will be defeated by Michele, is the king of the north? In Revelation we do not see another political power that defeats the beast that ascends from the sea. After the Great War (which can also have multiple stages), do not talk about other human wars in Revelation, right? - 1 Thessalonians 5: 3 The last war we are talking about and who participates in this beast is against the God Almighty - Revelation 16: 10-14, 16 The conclusion is logical. Apart from the fact that the end will come when the preaching has reached "all the inhabited earth" before this you will see the clash between the king of the north and the king of the south. And must win the king of the north, of course. In the last World War he has probably won the king of the north as well as to assert that "we just have to wait over the fall of Babylon the Great"? Absolutely no. The last king of the north was the Third Reich and, during the battle against the king of the south (the Anglo-American empire, in fact) it came out defeated. This is a prophecy that still has not been fulfilled and it is more than enough to establish that it is not enough that the preaching arrivals in these last three remaining countries. Among other things, the writing of Matthew 24:14 does not give any basis for determining how long the good news has to take place in a given country in order to receive adequate testimony. If tomorrow our brothers  they come in those nations and begin to preach ... how much time would pass until God considered adequate and sufficiently complete that testimony? The answer is simple: we do not know . However, although that has yet to burst the war between the king of the north and king of the south, it is conceivable that in the meantime there are other prophecies that have to be fulfilled or are being fulfilled, is not it? As we have seen in several previous articles before the war should emerge a certain persecution of brothers (you have tribulation, but is not yet the great tribulation ) because the king of the north must start to suppress the daily sacrifice (the preaching work ) until you get to completely suppress it - see Daniel 8: 10-12, 24, 25 In our recent past, the preaching work was perhaps suppressed completely, which it did by means of the king of the north? According to the prophecy, and this must be done only during the last years of the scheme of things it must have a last impulse - compares Revelation 10:11; 14: 6, 7 E 'at this point that the preaching work will reach the ends of the earth, and this will happen very quickly - Zechariah 4: 6 The total suppression of preaching did not happen even during the Second World War and certainly did not happen in all countries; Also this leaves well understand that it is a prophecy to come. There is much more to say but the above should be sufficient, even for those who disagree with the explanations of this blog, to reflect that the Great, "you can not expect only the fall of" Babylon. Who has respect for the Bible itself to be shaped by it. Of course what has been said does not want to show that the end will come "who knows when." In contrast, recent international events suggest that we are far ahead in the end time  All the events described above will occur in a very short time so when we can really begin to come to "raise high head" - Luke 21:28 Those who have lifted up their heads in 1914 all died with a stiff neck but when these things begin to take place (such as the war between the king of the north and king of the south) we can do it peacefully because of this incident until the actual fall of Babylon the Great (which will not be the world empire of false religion ) will spend a maximum of ten years. So us ensure that our expectations are in harmony with the Word of God not to be disappointed - Isaiah 28:16 Us ensure that our expectations are in harmony with the Word of God to be prepared for what's to come and not discouraged - 2 Peter 1:19; Proverbs 24:10 Us ensure that our expectations are in harmony with the Word of God, ultimately, for our lives - Matthew 7:24, 25     Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. The Bible traces the path. It will not lead to disappointment.   Footnote. * The translation was not very clear. ** From previous articles we saw that the Anglo-American empire is indeed the king of the south.
    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      "Yes, in her was found the blood of prophets and of holy onesHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and of all those who have been slaughtered on the earth.” - Revelation 18:24
       
      If Babylon the Great is the modern nation of Israel, why does the book of Revelation say that "in her was found the blood of all those who were slaughtered on the earth"?
      Obviously the objection is that if Israel exists only since 1948, it can not be responsible for all the blood spilled!
      To answer this question we must understand when the Revelation and the context of this writing are fulfilled.
      In the meantime, it is useful to reflect on the words of Our Lord when, addressing precisely to the scribes and the hypocritical Pharisees of that nation, he said: “Serpents, offspring of vipers,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. how will you flee from the judgment of Ge·henʹna?For this reason, I am sending to you prophetsHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and wise men and public instructors.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Some of them you will killHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and execute on stakes, and some of them you will scourgeHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. in your synagogues and persecuteHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. from city to city, so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous AbelHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. to the blood of Zech·a·riʹah son of Bar·a·chiʹah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation" - Matthw 23:33-36
      Now we know that when the Lord said "this generation" did not mean something strange, like a generation that intersects with another generation or such absurdity.
      Jesus pronounced those words in 30 AD. about, and those words came true in 70 CE, that is about forty years later.
      Nobody asked himself "what the Lord really meant" when he said "this generation" because it was clear what he meant.
      This also applies to the "sign of His presence" and should make each of us reflect when, trying to hide a series of errors and wrong intentions, we try to make Scripture say what it does not say.
      However, in this context, the question we should ask ourselves is "Why does the Lord impute crimes from Abel to the scribes and the Pharisees?"
      Obviously Abel was not killed by a scribe or a Pharisee!
      At the time of Abel, the nation of Israel did not even exist!
      Why, then, this condemnation?
      This could be one of the reasons that led to think that "Babylon the great" was the world empire of false religion because the Pharisees could not be guilty of the death of Abel or of "all those slaughtered on earth".
      However this hypothesis is absurd because could also be made the opposite objection.
      If when Jesus condemns those who are guilty of the blood of "all those who have been slaughtered on earth" meant this phantom "world empire of false religion" because, instead, the judgment strikes only on Israel? - compare Luke 21:22
      The judgment fell into "that generation" and fell right on Jerusalem, exactly as the Lord said.
      Why, then, did this condemnation starting with the murder of Abel?
      This is because God considers those who have "known God" to be especially responsible, yet they commit unspeakable crimes - Amos 3: 2
      What other nation in the world has had a "special relationship" with the Creator of the universe so that they have a greater responsibility for their mistakes? - compare Matthew 11: 21-24; 12: 38-41
      It is also very important to consider people's heart condition - Matthew 5: 21-22
      Although these scribes and Pharisees were not directly responsible for the death of Abel or all those who had been killed until that day, they had clearly manifested the same mental attitude of Cain and for this reason they were already subject to judgment - John 8 : 44-47; 1 John 3:12 However, the legitimate next objection could be "Why should God condemn Israel again, since it has already paid for its mistakes in 70 AD?"
      As said at the beginning, to answer this question we must understand when the biblical book of Revelation is fulfilled.
      Every time we read Revelation 18:24 we understood that it was to pay for all the blood spilled since the beginning of time but it does not.
      Indeed, Revelation is fulfilled on the day of the Lord - Revelation 1:10
      So the blood that is imputed to Babylon the Great is all the blood that will be shed on the Lord's day and not from the beginning of time.
      This should make us reflect on the period in which the day of the Lord really begins, namely a period in which there must also be Israel, not before.
      If Israel exists only since 1948, the day of the Lord can not start on any other previous date.
      It can start at a later date, not necessarily in 1948, but it certainly can not begin sooner.
      However we will deepen this "bold statement" in a future article.
      Why will Babylon the Great be held responsible for all the blood shed on earth during the day of the Lord?
      Because this nation will be the main cause of the clash between the king of the north and the king of the south - Daniel 11:40
      The king of the north (Russia) either directly or through one of his allies, will find himself in a situation where he will be forced to attack Israel.
      This attack, predicted in the Scriptures, will become the expedient to bring into play the two great world powers.
      These will be the wars that foretold the Lord as an unmistakable sign of His presence - Matthew 24: 6
      The first and second world wars, though terrifying, have nothing to do with what we have been taught.
      It will be the next wars to identify the "day of the Lord" - Revelation 6: 3, 4
      God is not responsible for these wars but Babylon the Great.
      This will be the main reason why it will be destroyed, but this will not happen during this attack (now close).
      Babylon the Great will continue to exist until the last moment of the world system.
      Towards the end of the great tribulation (not at the beginning), Babylon the Great, or the nation of Israel that will continue to exist until the end of the third world war, will be finally destroyed.
      This event will start the armageddon war.
      Look carefully at world events.

      The next article will see another characteristic of Babylon the Great and this will also help us to identify it as the nation of Israel.
    • By Jack Ryan
      referring to CHAPTER 18 “My Great Rage Will Flare Up” in the new book:
      and in the first picture? at top of study. Mom, Dad and daughter are at the table reading - praying while Gramps is keeping a watchful eye on the streets for recon angel forces ? Perhaps a few cherub paratroopers dropping behind the lines?
    • By Jack Ryan
      Would we just drop dead? Would it be painful? Would we suffer? Would we know? If we die wouldn’t our sins be forgiven anyways cause if not that makes god a liar. No one ever talked About how we would all die
      Arrow to the chest by Jesus on a mighty steed?
    • By Jack Ryan
      Will God kill billions of children?
    • By Jack Ryan
      Panic and escape scene in Moncalieri, but it is the film of Jehovah's Witnesses
      Stampa Newspaper:
      La Stampa (meaning The Press in English) is an Italian daily newspaper published in Turin, Italy. It is distributed in Italy and other European nations. It is one of the oldest newspapers in Italy
    • Guest Nicole
    • By Jack Ryan
      The Bible clearly shows where it is written that he himself says he does not. Only the Father knows.
    • By Jack Ryan
      Watchtower, Study Edition, March 15th, 2015
      Loyally Supporting Christ’s Brothers
      Link: https://wol.jw.borg/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2015207
      This article is a doozy. It has many points of interest that carefully play on words, and emotionally manipulate the reader. It really is something.
      Pay special attention to paragraphs 6, 7, 9, 10, 17, and 18.
      These paragraphs clearly highlight anyone who is not an active JW will be judged a goat and be killed. Also, spectacularly, those paragraphs point that if you want to be judged a sheep, meaning to not be killed by God imminently, you need to a)recognize the divine authority of the Governing Body, b) obey the organization unquestioningly, c) preach to recruit new members, and d) give financially to the organization.
      This article sealed the deal for me. I'm sorry but only a cult would wield the fear of divine destruction to demand divinity status, loyalty, obedience, and money.
      Some more source material:
      Gods Kingdom Rules!
      Chapter 21, Paragraph 17
      Link: https://wol.jw.borg/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102014263#h=25
      Here we are told that the goats, who are comprised of everyone from kings to slaves, will be sent to everlasting cutting off.
      This material is great for discussing how a God of Love could murder billions:
      Watchtower, December 1st, 2005
      Armageddon - A Happy Beginning
      Link: https://wol.jw.borg/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2005881?q=armageddon&p=par
      This wonderful article is a real gem. It compares the murder of billions of human beings, including children, to a home owner exterminating pests. I kid you not. They use the word pest when describing the destruction of people. Real people.
    • By Jesus.defender
      Past tense since the watchtower predicted armageddon so many times?
       
      1877 'The End Of This World; that is the end of the gospel and the beginning of the millennial age is nearer than most men suppose; indeed we have already entered the transition period, which is to be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation Dan. 12:3." (N.H. Barbour and C.T. Russell, Three Worlds, and the Harvest of This World, p. 17).
       
      1888 "In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that the date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the Scriptures, it will prove; Firstly, that at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, Thy Kingdom come, will obtain full, universal control, and that it will then be set up, or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions." (The Time Is At Hand, 1888, p. 76, 77)
       
      1889 "Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878, and that the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14) which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced. The gathering of the armies is plainly visible from the standpoint of God's word." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, The Time Is At Hand, 1889 Ed., p. 101. The 1915 Edition of this texts changed "A.D. 1914" to read 'A.D. 1915')
       
      1894 "Seventeen years ago people said, concerning the time features presented in Millennial Dawn, They seem reasonable in many respects, but surely no such radical changes could occur between now and the close of 1914: if you had proved that they would come about in a century or two, it would seem much more probable. What changes have since occurred, and what velocity is gained daily? 'The old is quickly passing and the new is coming in.' Now, in view of recent labor troubles and threatened anarchy, our readers are writing to know if there may not be a mistake in the 1914 date. They say that they do not see how present conditions can hold out so long under the strain. We see no reason for changing the figures-nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." (Zion's Watchtower, Can It Be Delayed until 1914? C. T. Russell July 15, 1894, Also in Watchtower Reprints, l894 p. 1677)
       
      1894 "A few more years will wind up the present order of things, and then the chastened world will stand face to face with the actual conditions of the established Kingdom of God. And yet the course of the Church is to be finished within the space of time that intervenes." (Watchtower p. 56, 1894)
       
      1894 "We see no reason for changing the figures - nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." (Watchtower July 15, 1894, p 266; p 1677 reprints)
       
      1917 'There will be no slip-up...Abraham should enter upon the actual possession of his promised inheritance in the year 1925' (Watchtower Oct. 15, 1917, p. 6157)
       
      1918 "Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection." (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, p. 89)

      1920 '...we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected' (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p. 88)

      1920 '...we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected' (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p. 88)
       
      1966 "According to this trustworthy Bible chronology six thousand years from man's creation will end in 1975, and the seventh period of a thousand years of human history will begin in the fall of 1975 C.E Six thousand years of man's existence on earth will soon be up, yea within this generation. The rein of Christ...to run parallel with the 7th millennium ..." (Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, 1966, p. 29-30)
       
      1966 "Discussion of 1975 overshadowed about everything else. 'The new book compels us to realise that Armageddon is, in fact, very close indeed,' said a conventioneer." (Watchtower 15/10/1966, p 629)
       
      1968 "Why Are You Looking Forward To 1975?" … "What about all this talk concerning the year 1975? Lively discussions, some based on speculation, have burst into flame during recent months among serious students of the Bible. Their interest has been kindled by the belief that 1975 will mark the end of 6,000 years of human history since Adam's creation. The nearness of such an important date indeed fires the imagination and presents unlimited possibilities for discussion." (Watchtower, Aug. 15, 1968, p. 494)




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    • Eric Ouellet

      Apprenons à connaître et accomplissons les voies de Jéhovah 
      “ Fais-moi connaître tes manières agir, [...] pour que je te connaisse. ” — EXODE 33:13.

      MOÏSE avait été élevé dans la maisonnée de Pharaon et instruit dans la sagesse prisée par la noblesse égyptienne. Cependant, il savait qu’il n’était pas égyptien : ses parents étaient hébreux. Alors qu’il était dans sa quarantième année, il alla rendre visite à ses frères, les fils d’Israël. La vue d’un Égyptien en train de maltraiter un Hébreu lui fut insupportable : il tua l’Égyptien. Moïse choisit d’épouser la cause du peuple de Jéhovah, persuadé que Dieu se servait de lui pour délivrer ses frères (Actes 7:21-25 ; Hébreux 11:24, 25). Lorsque l’incident vint à se savoir, la maison royale d’Égypte considéra Moïse comme un hors-la-loi, et il ne dut son salut qu’à la fuite : pour être utilisé par Jéhovah, il lui faudrait d’abord apprendre à mieux connaître Ses voies (Exode 2:11-15). Mais se laisserait-il enseigner ? — Psaume 25:9.
      Au cours des 40 années suivantes, Moïse vécut en exil et fut berger. Au lieu de s’aigrir du fait que ses frères hébreux ne l’avaient apparemment pas reconnu à sa juste valeur, il accepta cette situation permise par Dieu. De nombreuses années passèrent sans que personne ne semble prêter attention à lui, mais Jéhovah le façonnait. Plus tard Moïse écrirait, non de son propre chef, mais sous l’influence de l’esprit saint de Dieu : “ Or, Moïse était de beaucoup le plus humble de tous les hommes vivant sur la terre. ” (Nombres 12:3). Jéhovah l’a effectivement utilisé en lui confiant des responsabilités extraordinaires. Si, nous aussi, nous cherchons l’humilité, Jéhovah nous bénira. — Sophonie 2:3.
      Chargé d’une mission
      Un jour, près du mont Horeb, dans la péninsule du Sinaï, un ange parla à Moïse au nom de Jéhovah. “ Vraiment, j’ai vu là détresse  de mon peuple qui est en Égypte, lui dit-il, et j’ai entendu leur cri de plainte de ceux qui les poussent aux travaux forcés. Je connais bien les douleurs "qu’ils subissent". Aussi je descends pour les délivrer de la main des Égyptiens et pour les faire monter de ce pays vers un pays bon et vaste, vers un pays ruisselant de lait et de miel. ” (Exode 3:2, 7, 8). Dans cette perspective, Jéhovah avait une mission à confier à Moïse, mission à remplir, cette fois, selon Ses instructions.
      L’ange de Jéhovah ajouta : “ Maintenant viens ; que je t’envoie vers Pharaon, et fais sortir d’Égypte mon peuple les fils d’Israël. ” Moïse hésita. Il ne se sentait pas à la hauteur, et en cela il n’avait pas tort. Toutefois, Jéhovah lui fit cette promesse : “ Je serai avec toi. ” (Exode 3:10-12). Jéhovah allait lui accorder le pouvoir d’accomplir des signes miraculeux attestant qu’il était bien son messager. Aaron, le frère de Moïse, l’accompagnerait et lui servirait de porte-parole. Et puis Jéhovah leur enseignerait quoi dire et quoi faire (Exode 4:1-17). Moïse s’acquitterait-il fidèlement de cette mission ?
      Au début, les anciens d’Israël crurent Moïse et Aaron (Exode 4:29-31). Mais, peu après, “ les préposés des fils d’Israël ” les accusèrent de les avoir fait “ sentir mauvais ” devant Pharaon et devant ses serviteurs (Exode 5:19-21 ; 6:9). Tandis qu’ils sortaient d’Égypte, les Israélites frissonnèrent en voyant les chars égyptiens à leur poursuite. Avec devant eux la mer Rouge et derrière eux les chars de guerre ils se crurent pris au piège, et le reprochèrent encore à Moïse. Quelle aurait été votre réaction ? Les Israélites ne possédaient aucun bateau, et pourtant, conformément aux instructions de Jéhovah, Moïse leur ordonna de lever le camp. Dieu fit alors reculer les eaux de la mer Rouge. Le fond de la mer s’étant asséché, Israël put traverser. — Exode 14:1-22.
      Une préoccupation plus importante que la délivrance
      Lorsqu’il avait exposé sa mission à Moïse, Jéhovah avait souligné l’importance de Son nom. Il était capital de respecter ce nom et Celui qu’il représente. Moïse lui ayant demandé Son nom, Jéhovah avait répondu : “ Je deviendrai, ce que je décide. ” Moïse devait aussi dire aux fils d’Israël : “ Jéhovah le Dieu de vos ancêtres, le Dieu d’Abraham, le Dieu d’Isaac et le Dieu de Jacob, m’a envoyé vers vous. ” Jéhovah avait ajouté : “ C’est là mon nom pour des temps indéfinis et c’est là mon mémorial de génération en génération. ” (Exode 3:13-15). Aujourd’hui encore, Jéhovah est le nom par lequel Dieu est connu de ses serviteurs sur toute la terre. — Isaïe 12:4, 5 ; 43:10-12.
      Face à Pharaon, Moïse et Aaron transmirent leur message au nom de Jéhovah. Mais Pharaon leur répondit avec arrogance : “ Qui est Jéhovah pour que j’obéisse à sa voix en renvoyant Israël ? Je ne connais pas du tout Jéhovah ; d’ailleurs je ne renverrai pas Israël. ” (Exode 5:1, 2). Pharaon avait beau se révéler impitoyable et fourbe, Jéhovah ordonna à Moïse de lui délivrer message après message (Exode 7:14-16, 20-23 ; 8:1, 2, 20). Moïse voyait bien que Pharaon était irrité. Était-il vraiment judicieux de retourner le voir encore et encore ? Israël rêvait de liberté ; Pharaon s’obstinait à la lui refuser. Qu’auriez-vous fait à la place de Moïse ?
      Moïse délivra de nouveau un message, par ces mots : “ Voici ce qu’a dit Jéhovah le Dieu des Hébreux : ‘ Renvoie mon peuple pour qu’il me serve. ’ ” Dieu dit également : “ J’aurais déjà pu avancer ma main pour te frapper, toi et ton peuple, par la peste, afin que tu sois effacé de la terre. Mais, en fait, c’est pour cela que je t’ai laissé exister : c’est pour te faire voir ma force et afin qu’on proclame mon nom dans toute la terre. ” (Exode 9:13-16). Compte tenu de ce qu’il réservait à l’impitoyable pharaon, Jéhovah se proposa de faire la démonstration de sa puissance d’une manière telle qu’elle servirait d’avertissement à tous ceux qui le défient ; à Satan le Diable, entre autres, celui que Jésus Christ surnomma plus tard “ le chef du monde ”. (Jean 14:30 ; Romains 9:17-24.) Comme prédit, le nom de Jéhovah fut proclamé sur toute la terre. Grâce à sa patience, les Israélites furent préservés, et une foule immense et bigarrée se joignit à eux pour l’adorer (Exode 9:20, 21 ; 12:37, 38). Depuis lors, la proclamation du nom de Jéhovah a permis à des millions d’autres personnes d’embrasser le vrai culte.
      En relation avec un peuple difficile
      Les Hébreux connaissaient le nom divin. En effet, lorsqu’il s’adressait à eux, Moïse employait ce nom. Mais ils ne firent pas toujours preuve du respect qui convient envers Celui qui le porte. Peu après que Jéhovah les eut délivrés miraculeusement d’Égypte, que se passa-t-il quand les Israélites ne trouvèrent pas rapidement d’eau potable ? Ils murmurèrent contre Moïse. Ensuite, ils se plaignirent de la nourriture. Moïse les avertit que ce n’était pas seulement contre Aaron et lui qu’ils murmuraient, mais contre Jéhovah lui-même (Exode 15:22-24 ; 16:2-12). Au mont Sinaï, Jéhovah donna au peuple la Loi dans un déploiement de manifestations surnaturelles. Pourtant, les Israélites désobéirent en adorant un veau d’or qu’ils avaient fabriqué, tout en prétendant donner “ une fête pour Jéhovah ”. — Exode 32:1-9.
      Quelle ligne de conduite Moïse devait-il adopter face à un peuple que Jéhovah lui-même qualifiait de peuple au cou raide ? Moïse adressa à Jéhovah cette requête : “ S’il te plaît, si j’ai trouvé faveur à tes yeux, fais-moi connaître tes voies, s’il te plaît, pour que je te connaisse, afin que je trouve faveur à tes yeux. ” (Exode 33:13). Aujourd’hui, les surveillants chrétiens qui prennent soin des Témoins de Jéhovah font paître un troupeau bien plus humble. Ce qui ne les empêche pas de faire cette même prière : “ Fais-moi connaître tes voies, ô Jéhovah ! Enseigne-moi tes sentiers. ” (Psaume 25:4). La connaissance des voies de Jéhovah leur permet de traiter des situations d’une manière conforme à sa Parole et à sa personnalité.
      Ce que Jéhovah attend de son peuple
      Ce que Jéhovah attendait de son peuple, il le révéla d’abord oralement au mont Sinaï. Moïse reçut plus tard deux tablettes de pierre sur lesquelles étaient écrits les Dix Commandements. Tandis qu’il descendait de la montagne, il vit les Israélites en train d’adorer le veau en métal fondu. Sous le coup de la colère, il brisa les tablettes en les jetant par terre. Jéhovah écrivit de nouveau les Dix Commandements, sur des tablettes que Moïse avait cette fois-ci taillées lui-même (Exode 32:19 ; 34:1). Ces commandements n’avaient pas changé par rapport à la première fois. Moïse devait en tenir compte dans ses manières d’agir. Dieu a aussi bien fait comprendre à Moïse quel genre de personne Il est, pour lui montrer comment devait se conduire son représentant. Les chrétiens ne sont pas sous la Loi mosaïque, mais dans ce que Jéhovah a dit à Moïse on trouve de nombreux principes fondamentaux qui n’ont pas changé et qui demeurent valables pour tous Ses adorateurs (Romains 6:14 ; 13:8-10). Examinons-en quelques-uns.
      Accorder à Jéhovah un attachement exclusif. La nation d’Israël était présente lorsque Jéhovah déclara qu’il exigeait un attachement exclusif (Exode 20:2-5). Pour en avoir eu de nombreuses preuves, les Israélites savaient que Jéhovah est le vrai Dieu (Deutéronome 4:33-35). Jéhovah établit clairement qu’il ne tolérerait aucune forme d’idolâtrie ou de spiritisme de la part de ses serviteurs. Peu importaient les pratiques des autres nations. L’attachement à Dieu n’était pas une simple formalité : tous devaient aimer Jéhovah de tout leur cœur, de toute leur âme et de toute leur force vitale (Deutéronome 6:5, 6). Cela devrait se remarquer dans leurs paroles, dans leur conduite, à vrai dire dans chaque aspect de leur vie (Lévitique 20:27 ; 24:15, 16 ; 26:1). Jésus Christ fit, lui aussi, clairement comprendre que Jéhovah exige un attachement exclusif. — Marc 12:28-30 ; Luc 4:8.
      Obéir strictement aux commandements de Jéhovah. Les Israélites avaient besoin qu’on leur rappelle qu’en concluant une alliance avec Jéhovah ils avaient fait le vœu de lui obéir strictement. Ils bénéficiaient d’une grande liberté individuelle, mais, dans les domaines où Jéhovah leur avait donné des commandements, ils étaient tenus d’y obéir pleinement. Ce faisant, ils montreraient leur amour pour Dieu et en retireraient des bienfaits, eux et leurs descendants, car toutes les exigences de Jéhovah étaient pour leur bien. — Exode 19:5-8 ; Deutéronome 5:27-33 ; 11:22, 
      Accorder la priorité aux choses spirituelles. Les Israélites ne devaient pas laisser la satisfaction de leurs besoins physiques détourner leur attention des activités spirituelles. Ils ne devaient pas axer leur vie uniquement sur des objectifs profanes. Jéhovah délimita une période hebdomadaire qu’il déclara sacrée, période destinée exclusivement aux activités liées au vrai culte (Exode 35:1-3 ; Nombres 15:32-36). Il fallait également prendre le temps d’assister, chaque année, à de saintes assemblées décrétées par Jéhovah (Lévitique 23:4-44). C’était là l’occasion de se remémorer les actes de puissance de Jéhovah, de se rappeler ses voies et de lui exprimer sa gratitude pour toute sa bonté. En exprimant son attachement à Jéhovah, le peuple augmenterait sa crainte et son amour pour lui, et cela l’aiderait à marcher dans ses voies (Deutéronome 10:12, 13). Les principes salutaires contenus dans ces instructions sont bénéfiques aux serviteurs de Jéhovah encore aujourd’hui. — Hébreux 10:24, 25.
      Une juste appréciation des qualités de Jéhovah
      Autre chose allait aider Moïse à traiter correctement le peuple : une bonne connaissance des qualités de Jéhovah. En Exode 34:5-7 on lit que Dieu passa devant la face de Moïse en proclamant : “ Jéhovah, Jéhovah, Dieu miséricordieux et compatissant, lent à la colère et abondant en bonté de cœur et en vérité, conservant la bonté de cœur à des milliers, pardonnant la faute et la transgression et le péché, mais en aucun cas il n’accordera l’exemption de punition, faisant venir la punition pour la faute des pères sur les fils et sur les petits-fils, sur la troisième génération et sur la quatrième génération. ” Prenez le temps de méditer sur ces paroles. Demandez-vous : ‘ Quel sens revêt chacune de ces qualités ? Comment Jéhovah les a-t-il manifestées ? Comment les surveillants chrétiens peuvent-ils les mettre en œuvre ? Comment chacune d’elles devrait-elle influencer notre manière d’être ? Arrêtons-nous simplement sur quelques exemples.
       
      Jéhovah est un “ Dieu miséricordieux et compatissant ”. Si vous possédez l’ouvrage de référence Étude perspicace des Écritures, pourquoi ne pas lire ce qui est dit sous l’entrée “ Miséricorde ” ? Où bien, faites des recherches à ce sujet à l’aide de la bibliothèque Jw.org. Servez-vous des outils de recherche pour trouver des versets qui traitent de la miséricorde. Vous constaterez que la miséricorde de Jéhovah non seulement permet parfois un allégement de la punition, mais s’accompagne d’une tendre compassion. Elle pousse Dieu à prendre des mesures pour apporter le soulagement à son peuple. La preuve en est que Dieu combla les besoins physiques et spirituels des Israélites durant leur périple vers la Terre promise (Deutéronome 1:30-33 ; 8:4). Jéhovah fit preuve de miséricorde à l’égard de ses serviteurs d’autrefois : il leur accorda son pardon lorsqu’ils commirent des fautes. À combien plus forte raison devrions-nous nous témoigner de la compassion aujourd’hui ! — Matthieu 9:13 ; 18:21-35.
      La miséricorde de Jéhovah est associée à la compassion. Si vous possédez un dictionnaire, lisez la définition de “ compatissant ”. Puis rapprochez-la de versets qui montrent que Jéhovah est compatissant. Dans la Bible, la compassion manifestée par Jéhovah est teintée d’un intérêt plein d’amour pour les défavorisés au sein de son peuple (Exode 22:26, 27). Quel que soit le pays, les étrangers, mais aussi d’autres personnes, se trouvent parfois désavantagés. En enseignant à ses serviteurs d’autrefois l’impartialité et la bonté à l’égard des étrangers, Jéhovah leur rappela expressément qu’eux aussi avaient été étrangers, en Égypte (Deutéronome 24:17-22). Qu’en est-il de nous, qui forme le peuple de Dieu aujourd’hui ? En faisant preuve de compassion nous contribuons à nous unir et à attirer d’autres personnes vers le culte de Jéhovah. — Actes 10:34, 35 ; Révélation 7:9, 10.
      Cependant, l’empathie à l’égard des gens d’autres nations ne devait pas passer avant l’amour pour Jéhovah et pour ses normes morales. Les Israélites avaient d’ailleurs reçu la consigne de ne pas adopter les coutumes des nations voisines, ni leurs traditions religieuses, ni leur conduite immorale (Exode 34:11-16 ; Deutéronome 7:1-4). Cela s’applique à nous aujourd’hui encore. Nous sommes censés être un peuple saint, comme notre Dieu, Jéhovah, est saint. — 1 Pierre 1:15, 16.
      Afin que Moïse ait une juste appréciation de Ses voies, Jéhovah lui a fait clairement comprendre que, s’il n’approuve pas le péché, il est néanmoins lent à la colère. Il laisse aux gens le temps d’apprendre ses exigences et de s’y conformer. Dès lors qu’il y a repentance, Jéhovah pardonne le péché, même s’il n’exempte pas de la punition pour les fautes graves. Il a prévenu Moïse que la conduite des Israélites aurait une incidence, bonne ou mauvaise, sur les générations à venir. S’ils comprennent bien les voies de Jéhovah, ses serviteurs seront moins tentés de lui attribuer la responsabilité de situations dans lesquelles ils se sont placés eux-mêmes, ni de conclure qu’il tarde à agir.
      Si vous souhaitez approfondir votre connaissance de Jéhovah et de ses voies, continuez à faire des recherches et à méditer lorsque vous lisez la Bible. Examinez attentivement les aspects fascinants de la personnalité de Jéhovah. Réfléchissez dans la prière à la façon de l’imiter et de mieux conformer votre vie à son dessein. Il vous sera ainsi plus facile d’éviter les pièges, d’entretenir de bonnes relations avec vos frères et sœurs qui suivent la Parole de Dieu comme guide d'action, de pensée, de sagesse et d’aider d’autres personnes à connaître et à aimer notre Dieu majestueux.
      Le peuple de la terre que Dieu uni ensemble à son amour véritable sont tous ceux qui chaque jour, lisent la Parole de Dieu et inclus dans leur coeur la sagesse essentielle venant de Jéhovah le Très Haut. Chaque serviteur de Dieu se purifie intérieurement d'une eau purifiante que garde chaque serviteur à l'affût des danger de ce monde et qu'il modèle ses pas vers la voie que Dieu lui à donner pour préserver l'espoir de la promesse de notre Dieu.

      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Mettez votre confiance en Jéhovah
       
      Ouvrons nos bibles en Psaumes 37:3,4 regardons un conseil de notre Dieu Jéhovah:
      “Aie confiance en Jéhovah et fais le bien; (...) délecte-toi en Jéhovah.” — PSAUME 37:3, 4.
      AU PREMIER siècle de notre ère, les chefs religieux juifs prétendaient adorer Dieu, mais ils n’avaient pas confiance en lui: ils violaient ses commandements et persécutaient ses représentants (Matthieu 15:3; Jean 15:20). En conséquence, "leur maison fut abandonnée" par Jéhovah (Matthieu 23:38). En l’an 66, les armées romaines détruisirent Jérusalem et son temple, ce qui entraîna la mort d’un grand nombre de chefs religieux et de leurs disciples. Cependant, les personnes qui avaient confiance en Jéhovah furent protégées, car elles avaient suivi l’avertissement de ses porte-parole et elles étaient allées se réfugier dans un lieu sûr. — Matthieu 24:15-22; Luc 21:20-24.
      En ces derniers jours du système de choses,  mettons-nous notre confiance en Jéhovah, le vrai Dieu? Obéissons-nous à ses commandements et fesons-nous sa volonté, ou bien imiton-nous les chefs religieux du Ier siècle que Dieu abandonna? Quelle mode de vie avons-nous de besoin à notre époque, pour espérer bénéficier de la protection divine parce que nous avons confiance en Jéhovah et que nous agissons pour le bien’? — Psaume 37:3.
      Il y a plusieurs années, le pape Jean-Paul II a déclaré que “la survie de l’humanité tout entière était gravement menacée”. Il a mis l’accent sur “les résultats qu’obtiennent divers groupements religieux lorsqu’ils s’unissent pour tenter de conjurer cette menace”. C’est la volonté de Dieu, a-t-il dit, que les responsables religieux “travaillent ensemble” à “la paix et [à] la réconciliation”. Toutefois, si telle est sa volonté, pourquoi Dieu n’a-t-il pas béni les efforts qui sont accomplis en ce sens depuis des siècles? Parce que ces religions ne mettent pas véritablement leur confiance dans le moyen que Dieu a prévu pour instaurer la paix: son Royaume céleste (Matthieu 6:9, 10). Au lieu de cela, elles accordent leur soutien à la politique et aux guerres des nations. En conséquence, au cours des guerres, les croyants d’une nation ont tué les croyants d’une autre nation, et ils ont même tué certains de leurs coreligionnaires. Ainsi, des catholiques ont tué des catholiques, des protestants ont tué des protestants, et il en fut de même dans bien d’autres religions. Cependant, de véritables frères spirituels peuvent-ils s’entre-tuer, tout en prétendant servir Dieu?
      Jésus a établi le critère d'un mode vie qui apporte l'Amour et la protection de son Père,  lorsqu'ils a dit à ses disciples: “Je vous donne un commandement nouveau: que vous vous aimiez les uns les autres, et que, comme je vous ai aimés, vous aussi aimez les uns les autres. Par là tous saurons que vous êtes mes disciples: si vous avez de l’amour entre vous.” (Jean 13:34, 35). Par conséquent, ceux qui pratiquent le vrai mode de vie spirituel doivent s’aimer les uns les autres. Il s’agissait "d’un commandement nouveau”, car Jésus a déclaré: “Que, comme je vous ai aimés, vous aussi vous vous aimiez les uns les autres.” Jésus était disposé à se dessaisir de sa vie pour ses disciples; et ceux-ci doivent être prêts à faire de même: non pas ôter la vie à leurs compagnons dans la foi, mais sacrifier si nécessaire leur vie. C’est en ce sens que ce commandement était nouveau, car la Loi mosaïque n’allait pas si loin.
      Voici ce qu’on peut lire dans la Parole de Dieu: “Si quelqu’un déclare: ‘J’aime Dieu’, mais qu’il haïsse son frère, c’est un menteur. En effet, celui qui n’aime pas son frère, qu’il a vu, ne peut pas aimer Dieu, qu’il n’a pas vu. Et voici le commandement que nous tenons de lui: que celui qui aime Dieu aime aussi son frère.” (1 Jean 4:20, 21). Grâce à cet amour, ceux qui placent leur confiance en Jéhovah connaissent une véritable unité internationale. Paul déclare, en effet, en 1 Corinthiens 1:10: “Je vous exhorte, frères, (...) à parler tous en parfait accord, et à ce qu’il n’y ait pas de divisions parmi vous, mais que vous soyez étroitement unis dans le même esprit et dans la même pensée.” — Voir 1 Jean 3:10-12.
      Selon une encyclopédie (The World Book Encyclopedia), 55 millions de personnes ont été tuées lors de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, exceptés les Témoins de Jéhovah, des membres de toutes les grandes religions ont pris part à ce massacre. Aucune de ces vies humaines n’a été ôtée par un témoin de Jéhovah, car les témoins ont obéi au commandement de s’aimer les uns les autres et ils ont refusé de prendre part aux guerres des nations. Nombre d’entre eux ont été livrés au martyre en raison de leur neutralité, mais ils avaient pu dire, reprenant les paroles de l’apôtre Paul: ‘Nous sommes purs du sang de tous les hommes.’ — Actes 20:26.
      L’aumônier catholique appartenant à l’unité qui a lâché la bombe atomique sur le Japon en 1945 a récemment déclaré: “Depuis 17 siècles, l’Église présente la guerre sous un jour respectable. Elle fait croire aux gens qu’il s’agit là d’une honorable profession chrétienne. Ce n’est pas vrai. On nous a endoctrinés. (...) Jésus n’a jamais enseigné le dogme de la guerre juste. (...) Rien dans la vie ou l’enseignement du Christ ne laisse supposer que s’il est condamnable d’utiliser la bombe atomique pour réduire en cendres les humains, il n’est pas condamnable de le faire au moyen du napalm ou d’un lance-flammes.”
      Voici ce qu’on pouvait lire dans un quotidien londonien (Catholic Herald): "Les premiers chrétiens (...) respectaient scrupuleusement les paroles de Jésus et refusaient, même au prix de leur vie, de se laisser enrôler dans l’armée romaine. L’Histoire du monde aurait-elle été différente si l’Église était restée attachée à ce principe? (...) Si, aujourd’hui, les Églises toutes ensemble condamnaient la guerre (...), et qu’ainsi tous leurs membres se sentent tenus d’être, comme les premiers chrétiens, des objecteurs de conscience, la paix régnerait sur la terre. Toutefois, nous savons que cela n’arrivera."
      Les multiples religions du monde ont donc gravement transigé avec les lois de Dieu. Elles n’ont pas montré plus de confiance que les Pharisiens. “Publiquement ils déclarent connaître Dieu, mais ils le renient par leurs œuvres, car ce sont des gens détestables, désobéissants et non approuvés pour quelque œuvre bonne que ce soit.” (Tite 1:16). En conséquence, comme il avait abandonné le judaïsme hypocrite du Ier siècle, de même, à notre époque, Dieu a abandonné ces religions qui agissent contre les lois morales de Dieu. — Matthieu 15:9, 14.
      Ceux qui ont confiance en Jéhovah survivront
      Ne mettez pas votre confiance dans les solutions humaines aux problèmes du monde. Bien plutôt, confiez-vous en Celui qui peut tenir ses promesses (Josué 23:14). Voyez, par exemple, les événements qui se sont produits au VIIIe siècle avant notre ère, aux jours du roi Ézéchias de Juda. À son sujet, la Bible déclare: “Il faisait ce qui est droit aux yeux de Jéhovah.” (2 Rois 18:3). À l’époque d’Ézéchias, l’imposante Puissance mondiale assyrienne se dressa contre Jérusalem. Le porte-parole de Sennachérib, roi d’Assyrie, vint exiger la reddition de Jérusalem. Il déclara: “Voici ce qu’a dit le roi: ‘Qu’Ézéchias ne vous trompe pas, car il ne peut vous délivrer de ma main! Et qu’Ézéchias ne vous fasse pas vous confier en Jéhovah.’” — 2 Rois 18:29, 30.
      Que fit Ézéchias? La Bible nous dit: “Ézéchias se mit à prier devant Jéhovah et dit: ‘Ô Jéhovah, Dieu d’Israël, qui es assis sur les chérubins, toi seul tu es le vrai Dieu de tous les royaumes de la terre. Tu as fait, toi, les cieux et la terre. Incline ton oreille, ô Jéhovah, et entends. Ouvre tes yeux, ô Jéhovah, et vois, et entends les paroles de Sennachérib, qu’il a envoyées pour provoquer le Dieu vivant. (...) ô Jéhovah, notre Dieu, s’il te plaît, sauve-nous de sa main, pour que tous les royaumes de la terre sachent que toi, ô Jéhovah, tu es Dieu, toi seul.’” — 2 Rois 19:15-19.
      Jéhovah a entendu cette prière et a envoyé le prophète Ésaïe auprès d’Ézéchias pour lui dire: “Voici ce qu’a dit Jéhovah au sujet du roi d’Assyrie: ‘Il n’entrera pas dans cette ville, et il n’y lancera pas de flèche, et il ne se présentera pas devant elle avec un bouclier, et il n’élèvera pas contre elle un rempart de siège.’” Ézéchias devait-il rassembler une armée pour affronter l’Assyrie? Non, il devait placer sa confiance en Jéhovah; et c’est ce qu’il fit. Que se passa-t-il? “L’ange de Jéhovah sortit et abattit dans le camp des Assyriens cent quatre-vingt-cinq mille hommes.” En outre, Sennachérib fut châtié pour avoir défié Jéhovah et ses serviteurs; en effet, il fut plus tard assassiné par ses propres fils. Ainsi, conformément à la parole de Jéhovah, pas une flèche ne fut lancée contre Jérusalem. — 2 Rois 19:32-37.
      Alors que doivent faire les gens de toutes les nations pour survivre à la fin de l’actuel système de choses?
      Des événements semblables vont se produire à notre époque. Ceux qui se confient en Jéhovah survivront aux attaques et à la destruction du monde. “Ceux qui connaissent ton nom se confieront en toi, car tu ne quitteras assurément pas ceux qui te cherchent, ô Jéhovah!” (Psaume 9:10). Néanmoins, avant de détruire ce monde cruel, Jéhovah invite tous les humains sincères à s’approcher de lui pour trouver la sécurité. Ceux qui acceptent son invitation constituent une “grande foule” de personnes qui “viennent de la grande tribulation” et qui sont issues de toutes les nations. Ces personnes survivront à la fin du système de choses actuel parce qu’elles ont confiance en Jéhovah et le servent “jour et nuit”. — Révélation 7:9-15.
      La “grande foule” répond à l’appel qui retentit de plus en plus puissamment dans le monde entier, conformément à la prophétie consignée en Ésaïe 2:2, 3: “Et il adviendra sans faute, dans la période finale des jours, que la montagne de la maison de Jéhovah [son véritable culte] se trouvera solidement établie (...). Et assurément de nombreux peuples iront et diront: ‘Venez et montons à la montagne de Jéhovah (...) et il nous instruira de ses voies, et nous marcherons dans ses sentiers.’”  verset 4 dit: “Et ils devront forger leurs épées en socs de charrue et leurs lances en cisailles à émonder. Une nation ne lèvera pas l’épée contre une nation, et ils n’apprendront plus la guerre.”
      Un bel avenir
      Jéhovah offre le plus bel avenir qu’on puisse imaginer à ceux qui mettent leur confiance en lui. Lorsqu’il remplacera les vieilles structures de la société par de nouvelles, les humains qui vivront sur la terre ne connaîtront ni la crainte, ni la méfiance, ni la misère, ni l’injustice, ni le crime. Il n’y aura plus de guerres ou d’avortements pour priver les humains de la vie. Révélation 21:4 promet même que “la mort ne sera plus; ni deuil, ni cri, ni douleur ne seront plus”, cela pour toujours.
      Comme Jésus l’a promis, avec le temps la terre deviendra un paradis (Luc 23:43). Ceux qui mettent leur confiance en Jéhovah pourront vivre éternellement dans ce Paradis, car la mort disparaîtra. Les paroles de Michée 4:4 se réaliseront: “Ils seront assis chacun sous sa vigne et sous son figuier, et il n’y aura personne qui les fasse trembler.” Vous imaginez-vous vivre dans une société où vous pourriez avoir confiance en tout le monde? Pourquoi en sera-t-il ainsi? Parce que, comme le dit Ésaïe 54:13, “tous tes fils seront des personnes enseignées par Jéhovah, et la paix de tes fils sera abondante”.
      Toutefois, la confiance que les millions de Témoins de Jéhovah portent à Dieu leur procure dès aujourd’hui des bienfaits. Par exemple, les serviteurs de Jéhovah ont moins de risques de contracter le cancer du poumon parce qu’ils obéissent à ses lois et à ses principes relatifs au tabac. Vivant dans un milieu moralement pur, ils sont moins menacés par l’épidémie mondiale des maladies sexuellement transmissibles, telles que le SIDA. Parce qu’ils ne se droguent pas, ils sont à l’abri de maladies que de nombreux toxicomanes par voie intraveineuse ont contractées, maladies qui peuvent altérer les facultés mentales et entraîner la mort. Étant donné qu’ils n’acceptent pas de transfusions sanguines, les serviteurs de Jéhovah sont bien mieux protégés contre les maladies véhiculées par le sang. Chaque année, aux États-Unis, l’une de ces maladies, l’hépatite virale, tue ou lèse de façon permanente plus de dix mille personnes ayant reçu du sang.
      Même si certains de ceux qui se confient en Jéhovah meurent à cause de leur âge, de la maladie ou bien des suites d’un accident, Jéhovah viendra à leur secours. Il les ramènera à la vie par le moyen de la résurrection. C’est pourquoi l’apôtre Paul nous encourage à ‘avoir confiance, non pas en nous-mêmes, mais dans le Dieu qui relève les morts’. — 2 Corinthiens 1:9.
      Jéhovah soutiendra toujours ses serviteurs fidèles
      Souvenez-vous que “le monde entier gît au pouvoir du méchant”, Satan le Diable (1 Jean 5:19). Par conséquent, si vous vous confiez en Dieu, Satan et le monde qu’il domine s’opposeront à vous; ils essaieront de saper votre foi en vous ridiculisant ou en vous persécutant, comme ils l’ont fait à Jésus. Après qu’il eut été cloué sur le poteau de supplice, “les passants parlaient de lui en mal, hochant la tête et disant: ‘(...) Si tu es fils de Dieu, descends du poteau de supplice!’ Pareillement les prêtres en chef aussi se moquaient de lui, ainsi que les scribes et les anciens, et disaient: ‘Il en a sauvé d’autres; il ne peut pas se sauver lui-même! (...) Il a mis sa confiance en Dieu; qu’Il le délivre maintenant, s’Il veut de lui.’” — Matthieu 27:39-43.
      Trois jours après ces événements, Dieu a délivré Jésus en le ressuscitant d’entre les morts. Les moqueurs de la génération d’alors ont été quant à eux massacrés ou emmenés en esclavage par les armées romaines. Puisque le Christ, en sa qualité de Roi du Royaume céleste de Dieu, présidera à la résurrection, si ces individus sont ressuscités, il leur faudra se soumettre à celui-là même dont ils se seront moqués 2 000 ans auparavant! Oui, Jéhovah défend ses serviteurs, qui diront: “En Dieu j’ai mis ma confiance. Je n’aurai pas peur. Que peut me faire l’homme tiré du sol?” — Psaume 56:11.
      Voici ce que Jéhovah déclare à propos de ses serviteurs: “Béni l’homme valide qui met sa confiance en Jéhovah, et dont Jéhovah est devenu l’assurance! Et certes il deviendra comme un arbre planté près des eaux, qui envoie ses racines près du cours d’eau; et il ne verra pas quand la chaleur arrivera, mais son feuillage restera touffu. Et dans l’année de la sécheresse il ne s’inquiétera pas, et il ne cessera pas de produire du fruit.” Il dit également: “Maudit l’homme valide qui met sa confiance dans l’homme tiré du sol et qui fait de la chair son bras, et dont le cœur se détourne de Jéhovah! Et assurément il deviendra comme un arbre solitaire dans la plaine déserte et il ne verra pas quand le bien arrivera.” — Jérémie 17:5-8.
      En ces temps décisifs, donc, "ayons confiance en Jéhovah et faisons le bien; résidons sur la terre et agissons avec fidélité. De plus, délectons-nous en Jéhovah, et il nous donnera les demandes de notre cœur". (Psaume 37:3, 4.) Que soient exaucées les demandes que vous ferez, entre autres celle de goûter le don de la vie éternelle dans le monde nouveau et juste promis par Dieu, Celui en qui nous pouvons avoir confiance!

      · 0 replies
    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Bonjour Eric, merci pour cet exposé sur Hanna, Bonne journée. Michel
      ENTRETIEN AVEC DIEU.pptx
      · 3 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      LA FOI D'HANNA ENVERS DIEU APPORTE SA RÉCOMPENSE
      UNE femme de foi adresse une prière à Jéhovah. Convaincue que c’est Dieu qui l’a relevée de la poussière, transformant son abattement en exultation, elle le loue à haute voix.
      Cette femme, c’est Hanna. Qu’est-ce qui explique son spectaculaire changement d’état d’âme ? Pourquoi est-elle à présent si joyeuse ? En quoi ce qu’elle a vécu peut-il nous être utile ? Intéressons-nous à son histoire.
      Une famille sous pression
      Hanna est l’une des deux femmes d’Elqana, un Lévite de la région d’Éphraïm (1 Samuel 1:1, 2a ; 1 Chroniques 6:33, 34). Bien que n’entrant pas dans le dessein originel de Dieu pour l’humanité, la polygamie est autorisée et réglementée sous la Loi mosaïque. Elle est néanmoins une source fréquente de discorde. La vie de cette famille, qui pourtant adore Jéhovah, en témoigne.
      Hanna est stérile, tandis que Peninna, l’autre femme d’Elqana, a plusieurs enfants. Peninna se comporte en rivale. — 1 Samuel 1:2b.
      Pour une Israélite, la stérilité est un déshonneur, et même un signe de la défaveur divine. Mais, dans le cas de Hanna, rien n’indique que son incapacité de procréer soit liée à la désapprobation de Dieu. Peninna ne la console pas pour autant ; elle se prévaut au contraire de son statut de mère pour l’humilier.
      Au sanctuaire de Jéhovah
      Malgré ces tensions, la famille entreprend le voyage annuel en direction du sanctuaire de Jéhovah, à Shilo, pour y offrir des sacrifices. L’aller-retour de quelque 60 kilomètres se fait vraisemblablement à pied. Cet événement doit être particulièrement pénible pour Hanna. En effet, Peninna et ses enfants reçoivent plusieurs portions du sacrifice de communion, alors que Hanna, elle, n’en reçoit qu’une seule. Peninna trouve là une opportunité supplémentaire de la blesser et de la mettre dans l’embarras ; il semble que Jéhovah ait “ fermé sa matrice ”, et elle ne manque pas de le lui rappeler. Tous les ans, c’est le même calvaire. Tous les ans, Hanna pleure et cesse de manger. Ces voyages qui normalement devraient la mettre en joie la plongent dans une profonde détresse. Hanna se rend néanmoins chaque année au sanctuaire de Jéhovah. — 1 Samuel 1:3-7.
      Voyez-vous en quoi Hanna est un bel exemple ? Comment réagissez-vous lorsque vous êtes déprimé ? Vous isolez-vous et évitez-vous les contacts avec vos compagnons chrétiens ? Ce n’est pas ce qu’a fait Hanna. Les rassemblements avec les adorateurs de Jéhovah étaient pour elle une habitude de vie. Même face à des circonstances éprouvantes, il devrait en être de même pour nous. — Psaume 26:12 ; 122:1 ; Proverbes 18:1 ; Hébreux 10:24, 25.
      Elqana tente de réconforter Hanna et il l’amène à exprimer ses sentiments profonds. “ Hanna, pourquoi pleures-tu et pourquoi ne manges-tu pas ? Pourquoi ton cœur a-t-il mal ? lui demande-t-il. Est-ce que je ne vaux pas mieux pour toi que dix fils ? ” (1 Samuel 1:8). Peut-être n’a-t-il pas conscience de la malveillance de Peninna. Et peut-être Hanna préfère-t-elle se taire plutôt que de se plaindre. Quoi qu’il en soit, cette femme spirituelle se tourne vers Jéhovah dans la prière pour retrouver la paix intérieure.
      Le vœu de Hanna
      Les sacrifices de communion étaient consommés dans le sanctuaire. Après avoir quitté la salle à manger, Hanna prie Dieu (1 Samuel 1:9, 10). “ Ô Jéhovah des armées, implore-t-elle, si tu ne manques pas de regarder l’affliction de ton esclave et si vraiment tu te souviens de moi, si tu n’oublies pas ton esclave et si vraiment tu donnes à ton esclave un descendant mâle, oui je le donnerai à Jéhovah pour tous les jours de sa vie, et le rasoir ne viendra pas sur sa tête. ” — 1 Samuel 1:11.
      La prière de Hanna est précise. Elle demande un fils, et elle fait le vœu que cet enfant sera toute sa vie un naziréen de Dieu (Nombres 6:1-5). Ce vœu nécessite l’approbation de son mari, et certaines actions ultérieures d’Elqana montrent qu’il approuve l’engagement pris par sa chère femme. — Nombres 30:6-8.
      À cause de la manière dont Hanna prie, le grand prêtre Éli la croit ivre. Il voit effectivement ses lèvres frémir, mais il ne l’entend pas parler. C’est qu’en fait Hanna prie dans son cœur, avec ferveur (1 Samuel 1:12-14). Imaginez ce qu’elle ressent lorsque le grand prêtre l’accuse d’être ivre ! Pourtant, elle lui répond respectueusement. Comprenant alors que Hanna était en train de prier “ dans l’abondance de [son] inquiétude et de [son] dépit ”, il lui dit : “ Que le Dieu d’Israël accorde ta requête. ” (1 Samuel 1:15-17). Sur ces paroles, Hanna s’en va ; elle mange et “ son visage ne par[aît] plus soucieux ”. — 1 Samuel 1:18.
      Que nous enseigne tout cela ? Lorsque nous prions Jéhovah à propos de nos inquiétudes, nous pouvons lui exprimer ce que nous ressentons et lui adresser des requêtes sincères. Si nous avons fait tout notre possible pour résoudre le problème, alors nous devrions laisser les choses entre ses mains. C’est ce qu’il y a de mieux à faire. — Proverbes 3:5, 6.
      Après une prière fervente, il est fréquent que des serviteurs de Jéhovah ressentent une sérénité comparable à celle que Hanna a éprouvée. Voici ce qu’a écrit l’apôtre Paul au sujet de la prière : “ Ne vous inquiétez de rien, mais en tout, par la prière et la supplication avec action de grâces, faites connaître vos requêtes à Dieu ; et la paix de Dieu, qui surpasse toute pensée, gardera vos cœurs et vos facultés mentales par le moyen de Christ Jésus. ” (Philippiens 4:6, 7). Après nous être déchargés de notre fardeau sur Jéhovah, nous devons le laisser s’en occuper. Puis, comme dans le cas de Hanna, il n’y a plus lieu de s’inquiéter. — Psaume 55:22.
      Un fils “ prêté ” à Jéhovah
      Dieu se tourne alors vers Hanna. Peu après, elle porte un enfant. Elle met au monde un garçon (1 Samuel 1:19, 20). C’est l’une des rares fois où la Bible fait état de la responsabilité de Dieu dans la naissance de l’un de ses serviteurs. L’enfant d’Elqana et de Hanna, Samuel, deviendra effectivement le prophète de Jéhovah, un prophète qui jouera un rôle important dans la mise en place de la monarchie d’Israël.
      Il est certain que Hanna parle de Jéhovah à Samuel dès sa petite enfance. Mais oublie-t-elle le vœu qu’elle a fait ? Absolument pas ! “ Dès que le garçon sera sevré, je devrai l’amener ; il devra paraître devant Jéhovah et habiter là pour des temps indéfinis ”, déclare-t-elle. Et en effet, une fois l’enfant sevré — peut-être à l’âge de trois ans ou un peu plus —, elle l’amène au sanctuaire, comme elle l’avait promis. — 1 Samuel 1:21-24 ; 2 Chroniques 31:16.
      Après avoir offert un sacrifice à Jéhovah, Hanna et son mari présentent Samuel à Éli. Hanna tient certainement la main de son petit garçon lorsqu’elle dit à Éli : “ Pardon, mon seigneur ! Par la vie de ton âme, mon seigneur, je suis la femme qui se tenait près de toi, en ce lieu, pour prier Jéhovah. C’est à propos de ce garçon que je priais, pour que Jéhovah m’accorde ma requête, ce que je lui demandais. Et moi, à mon tour, je l’ai prêté à Jéhovah. Oui, tous les jours qu’il sera, c’est quelqu’un de demandé pour Jéhovah. ” Ainsi commence, pour Samuel, une vie au service de Dieu. — 1 Samuel 1:25-28 ; 2:11.
      Le temps passe ; bien sûr Hanna n’oublie pas son fils. Les Écritures relatent : “ Sa mère avait coutume de lui faire un petit manteau sans manches, et elle le lui montait, d’année en année, quand elle montait avec son mari pour sacrifier le sacrifice annuel. ” (1 Samuel 2:19). Hanna prie sans aucun doute pour Samuel. Tous les ans, lorsqu’elle lui rend visite, elle l’encourage à coup sûr à demeurer fidèle dans son service pour Dieu.
      Pendant l’une de ces visites, Éli bénit les parents du garçon. Il déclare à Elqana : “ Que Jéhovah t’assigne une descendance de cette femme, à la place du prêt qui a été prêté à Jéhovah. ” C’est ainsi que le couple est récompensé par la naissance de trois autres fils et de deux filles. — 1 Samuel 2:20, 21.
      Quel formidable exemple pour les parents chrétiens ! Beaucoup de mères et de pères se montrent, eux aussi, disposés à prêter, figurément parlant, leurs enfants à Jéhovah ; en effet, ils les encouragent à entreprendre une forme de service à plein temps, même si cela implique que leur fils, ou leur fille, vive loin d’eux. De tels parents aimants méritent des louanges pour les sacrifices qu’ils font. Jéhovah les récompensera.
      Une prière qui déborde de joie
      Comme Hanna est heureuse, elle que la stérilité affectait tant autrefois ! Les Écritures ne contiennent que peu de prières faites par des femmes. Mais, en ce qui concerne Hanna, elles en rapportent deux. La première expose ses sentiments alors qu’elle est humiliée et affligée. La seconde exprime son exultation et son action de grâces ; elle commence par ces mots : “ Oui, mon cœur exulte en Jéhovah. ” Hanna se réjouit ensuite que ‘ même la stérile ait mis au monde ’. Et elle loue Jéhovah, celui “ qui élève [...], qui relève le petit de la poussière ”. Vraiment, il est celui qui “ de la fosse aux cendres [...] fait remonter le pauvre ”. — 1 Samuel 2:1-10.
      Cet épisode de la vie de Hanna, dont le récit a été inspiré par Dieu, montre que les imperfections, voire la malveillance, des autres peuvent nous blesser. Toutefois, nous ne devons pas permettre à ce genre d’épreuves de nous priver de notre joie de servir Dieu. Jéhovah est, par excellence, Celui qui entend la prière, qui répond aux appels à l’aide de ses fidèles et qui les délivre de l’affliction. Il leur accorde une paix profonde et de nombreuses autres bénédictions. — Psaume 22:23-26 ; 34:6-8 ; 65:2.

      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      1 Samuel 2 : 1-10
      Hannah pria Dieu en ces mots:
      Mon cœur se réjouit au sujet de Jéhovah
      ma force grandit grâce à Jéhovah.
      Ma bouche s’ouvre toute grande contre mes ennemis,
      car je me réjouis de tes actes sauveurs.
      Il n’y a personne qui soit saint comme Jéhovah,
      il n’y a personne qui soit comme toi,
      il n’y a pas de rocher comme notre Dieu.
      Arrêtez de parler avec orgueil ;
      que rien d’arrogant ne sorte de votre bouche,
      car Jéhovah est un Dieu qui sait tout
      et il juge les actions avec justice.
      Les arcs des hommes forts sont brisés,
      mais les hommes faibles reçoivent de la force
      Ceux qui mangeaient bien doivent trouver du travail pour avoir du pain,
      mais les affamés ne souffrent plus de la faim.
      La femme stérile a donné naissance à sept fils,
      mais celle qui avait beaucoup de fils est devenue stérile.
      Jéhovah tue et il garde en vie,
      il fait descendre dans la Tombe et il en fait remonter.
      Jéhovah fait devenir pauvre et il fait devenir riche,
      il abaisse et il élève.
      Il relève le petit de la poussière
      et fait remonter le pauvre du tas de cendres
      pour les faire asseoir avec les princes
      et leur offrir une place d’honneur.
      À Jéhovah appartiennent les fondations de la terre ;
      sur elles, il pose le monde
      Il veille sur les pas de ses fidèles,
      mais les méchants seront tués dans l’obscurité,
      car ce n’est pas par la force que l’homme triomphe. 
      Jéhovah anéantira ceux qui combattent contre lui ;
      pour exprimer sa colère, il fera gronder le tonnerre dans le ciel.
      Jéhovah jugera jusqu’aux extrémités de la terre,
      il donnera du pouvoir à son roi et il fera grandir la force de son oint.
       
       
       


      · 1 reply
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