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Inspired Choices? Jesus Picked Judas; Governing Body Picked Raymond Franz;


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1 minute ago, Anna said:

What would you say to Jesus when he handpicked Judas Iscariot as one of his 12 Apostles?

People always seem to harp back to 2000 years ago, to try to make a defence for the GB. 

Different times, different situations.

Judas allowed himself to be misled by the devil, but it also seems it was necessary that the betrayer came from within. 

Maybe you should have quoted this bit as well. "Yet he gets kicked out by the other members of the GB for being an apostate."

Because it seems Raymond Franz didn't betray God or Jesus Christ.

Knowledge of such things is way over my head of course, so I don't know who was right in God's viewpoint.

But it does give a person reason to distrust the GB if RF wasn't found guilty of any real wrongdoing. 

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“At some point”. Yes, he prayed because he said he did nothing but what the Father told him.  John 5:30; 8:28.  Since God knows all things, do you believe He would keep Judas as the betrayer a secret from Jesus, letting him find out on his own?   You are saying Jesus had no ability given him by God, to read the heart of man. Scriptures say otherwise.  John 2:23-25; 6:64  Judas was chosen as a betrayer.  It sounds like your saying that Jesus was in the dark about who of the 12, would betray him u

You appear to be placing the GB on the same level as Jesus Christ, which I agree that they have accomplished this.  Jesus altered the Jewish teaching because its leaders spoke as their "father", Satan.     Is anyone allowed to alter Jesus' teachings?     Can you give me scriptural verification that the GB is God's coordinated earthly rule? The Watchtower has corrupted the decrees of God – His Word. God’s “laws” are the source of life which Jesus brought us as, “The Word”. J

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.  John 12:4-6 Do you really believe it took Jesus that long to find out that Judas was corrupt?  Jesus, who knew the hearts of men? Here's another example:

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25 minutes ago, FelixCA said:

Then you challenge God’s sovereignty and superiority. I would have to ask, who are you to challenge God? Are you Satan as the inference implies? Hitler was an evil man as a youth. That darkened heart continued to increase over the embarrassment of having his country lose a war and having Jews gain some control over the motherland. Therefore, the Hitler analogy is inadequate in how someone would blame an organization or society. Seems like an overreach bordering on mental instability.

 

Are you foreign that you do not understand English properly ? No disrespect if you are, but it would give me reason to know why you misinterpret  everything i  write.

It was / is the wicked angels, that is the devil and his demons,  that challenge God's sovereignty not me. I just stated the case....  

Hitler could not have done any of the wicked deeds without the majority of Germany backing him.  The  Germans may not have backed him because they wanted to, but maybe out of fear. Just as JW's serve the GB through the Elders, out of fear. 

Just as people come on here , this forum, but use pseudonyms, out of fear of being found out by the Elders.

Felix i see you are using the GB's idea of suggesting people are mentally unstable. Typical Watchtower doctrine. 

Sorry Admin but I'm just answering Felix. Perhaps Felix should start another topic of should i just ignore him ?  

But let's get back on topic. A question 

Is it a disfellowshipping offence to read Raymond Franz books, or to own them ? 

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2 hours ago, Witness said:

We have full evidence that the disciples were inspired by Spirit. John 20:22;  Rom 8:5,9; 1 Cor 2:10  We don't have that evidence with the GB who must alter teachings continually.   We don't hear how the Spirit directs them, but that they are not "inspired"; so, instead, we hear how the GB put their heads together to come up with new decrees.  There is no comparison to the apostles.  Why make it?  

Are you suggesting, Jesus didn’t alter the Jewish teaching? At what point does denigrating the GB by you and Butler amount to ethical thinking. A person that opposes God’s coordinated earthly rule and one that renounces their own faith have zero credibility to any conversation.

So far, I see conflict as Raymond Franz had about CHANGE. Although the change he had in mind was becoming the next President of the Watchtower, and when that didn’t happen, apostasy grew within.

As a living sacrifice, shouldn’t we make a change? Romans 12:1-2

Shouldn’t we be renewed day by day? 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Whereas those that oppose authority defy God.

Romans 13:2

2Consequently, the one who resists authority is opposing what God has set in place, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

There seems to be some confusion about the great commission. Matthew 28:19-20 and the rule we each have with our personal abilities. Mark 16:15 what it means to preach thought-out the world. Acts 1:8 and who has what capabilities and responsibilities. 

 

Ephesians 4:11-16 King James Version (KJV)

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

 

Those that refuse to obey the instructions left by Christ cannot be called a Christian. Jesus appointed the apostles but God gave them the Holy Spirit just as it was given to Christ. Jesus appointed the laborers for the harvest Luke 10, but God gave them the Holy Spirit.

Did Jesus defy the prevailing authority? Matthew 23:2-4

Therefore, let’s put that authority nonsense to rest once and for all. What is a flock without a shepherd? Acts 20:28 who are the overseers, the sheep? I can think of several things not to listen to such lofty arguments. 2 Corinthians 10:5

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1 hour ago, FelixCA said:

Are you suggesting, Jesus didn’t alter the Jewish teaching? At what point does denigrating the GB by you and Butler amount to ethical thinking.

You appear to be placing the GB on the same level as Jesus Christ, which I agree that they have accomplished this.  Jesus altered the Jewish teaching because its leaders spoke as their "father", Satan.  

  Is anyone allowed to alter Jesus' teachings?  

 

1 hour ago, FelixCA said:

A person that opposes God’s coordinated earthly rule and one that renounces their own faith have zero credibility to any conversation.

Can you give me scriptural verification that the GB is God's coordinated earthly rule?

The Watchtower has corrupted the decrees of God – His Word. God’s “laws” are the source of life which Jesus brought us as, “The Word”. John 1:1 His teachings incorporate every decree God expects us to follow. The WT leaders “judge” and “measure” according to the decrees of men.

 

The “Pharisaical” leaders of the WT cannot interpret the decrees of God since they have come as false “christs”, lording it over anointed and all in the organization. Matt

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  They expect obedience to them and their decrees, and not to Jesus Christ and his Word, which comes from God.

" Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The WORDS I speak to you I DO NOT SPEAK ON MY OWN. The Father who lives in Me does His works." John

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“Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For I assure you: Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all things are accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commands AND TEACHES PEOPLE TO DO SO, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, UNLESS YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS SURPASSES THAT OF THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matt

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-20

"You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you."   Deut 4:2

1 hour ago, FelixCA said:

Those that refuse to obey the instructions left by Christ cannot be called a Christian.

That's right.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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1 hour ago, Witness said:

Can you give me scriptural verification that the GB is God's coordinated earthly rule?

The Watchtower has corrupted the decrees of God – His Word. God’s “laws” are the source of life which Jesus brought us as, “The Word”. John 1:1 His teachings incorporate every decree God expects us to follow. The WT leaders “judge” and “measure” according to the decrees of men.

So far scripture stipulates those that can take the lead. You seem to fail in wanting to acknowledge their needs to be a party responsible in any given organization as instructed by Jesus. A faithful servant, reputable men, shepherd of a flock. All these are found in scripture you seem to dismiss. The ancients had prophets as guides. Christianity was guided by Christ and instructed to do the same throughout the world. With responsible people in the lead. Why defy Jesus instructions and God’s laws. 2 Timothy 4:3-4

What part of Christ words in Acts 20:28-30 fails you. These are the inspired words of God through John 1:1

Then it is yourself that are altering Jesus teachings. Then you should consider placing yourself in the same category as the GB. It’s dishonest to claim scripture as a convenience. 1 John 4:1-6

Therefore, can you give me verification the Watchtower GB is NOT God’s coordinated helpers on earth as God's will is in heaven?

On the rest, it appears the interpretation you give on scripture is misguided. Can anyone listen to a corrupter of God's word? Once again, wouldn’t that put you in the same category as these “Pharisaical leaders” you hate? Matthew 16:11-12

It appears the same problem Raymond Franz had after confusing scripture with his own personal desire.

All that the GB is about is written in scripture. In effect, the Watchtower constitution. What, is your constitution and doctrine when having people understand scripture the incorrect way for personal gain. Therefore, no one is adding to Christ instructions aside from those that hate a fellow Christian Colossians 2:4

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1 hour ago, FelixCA said:

What part of Christ words in Acts 20:28-30 fails you.

I have no problem at all with it.  I do not lay down new decrees for men to obey as the GB is known for, and admits to doing.  (Check with Anthony Morris about this)  This is "distorting the truth" - Christ's truth.

Felix the Cat carried around a Magic Bag of Tricks.  I'll just say this; no further comment, Allen Smith.  :)

 

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@JW Insider Thank you, I could not link to this so this is a great help, and those last few comments I would not want to have missed. 

@FelixCA you mentioned," With responsible people in the lead."

So not the GB then :) 

Quote " Therefore, can you give me verification the Watchtower GB is NOT God’s coordinated helpers on earth as God's will is in heaven? " 

By their works you will know them.  Evidence proves the GB are not God's true servants. 

  

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@FelixCA  "All that the GB is about is written in scripture."    Ah yes, offering children to Molech.  

Quote "Whereas those that oppose authority defy God. " 

Well the Pope has authority in the eyes of many. The Archbishop also has authority in the eyes of many. 

And your GB has authority in the eyes of a few. 

So you see, your comment means nothing at all. You are lost. 

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 God gave his intelligent creation freedom of choice. Jehovah made a beautiful angel in heaven along with myriads of others, he decided to become a resister of Jehovah's purpose later on and is called Satan. Jesus picked Judas, Judas changed afterwards. Governing body picked Raymond Franz, etc etc  Everyone intelligent creation can change.

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42 minutes ago, Melinda Mills said:

 God gave his intelligent creation freedom of choice. Jehovah made a beautiful angel in heaven along with myriads of others, he decided to become a resister of Jehovah's purpose later on and is called Satan. Jesus picked Judas, Judas changed afterwards. Governing body picked Raymond Franz, etc etc  Everyone intelligent creation can change.

You have been taught well. You are good at twisting things to your own purpose just like the GB does. 

But you have chosen a very sly way to accuse Raymond Franz. 

And anyway if you believe the GB are who they pretend to be, wouldn't God have chosen Franz, or possibly Jesus chosen Franz ?

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    • By The Librarian
      Special Notice: This is a controversial page. The views expressed by Raymond Franz are his alone and do not represent the views of this website or it's readers. It is included here for historical and archival reasons in holding with the truth of the events of the early 1980's - The Librarian
      Raymond Victor Franz (May 8, 1922 – June 2, 2010) was a member of the Governing Body of 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  from 20 October 1971 until 22 May 1980,[1][2] and served at the organization's world headquarters for fifteen years, from 1965 until 1980. Franz claimed the request for his resignation and his subsequent disfellowshipping resulted from allegations of his apostasy from the faith.[3] Franz wrote two books that related his personal experiences with the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and his views on Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  teachings.
      He was the principal author of the book Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  which was replaced in 1988 by the Insight on the Scriptures

      Watch Tower career
      Franz was born in 1922. His uncle, Frederick Franz, was influential in the religion's development, practices and doctrines.[4] His father associated with the Bible Student movement (from which 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  developed) and was baptized in 1913. Raymond joined the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  in 1938, and became a baptized member in 1939.[5]

      In 1944 Franz graduated from Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , the religion's school for training missionaries,[6] and temporarily served the organization as a traveling representative in the continental U.S. until receiving a missionary assignment to Puerto Rico in 1946. Franz became a representative of Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  throughout the Caribbean, traveling to the Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic, at least until 1957 when Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  were banned in the Dominican Republic by dictator Rafael Trujillo.[7] At the age of 37 Franz married his wife, Cynthia, who joined him on missionary work. Both returned to the Dominican Republic in 1961 to evangelize for four more years before taking up work at Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .[8]

      Franz began working in the organization's writing department and was assigned to collaboratively write Aid to Bible Understanding, the first religious encyclopedia published by Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . On 20 October 1971 he was appointed as a member of the Governing Body.[9] In his personal memoir Franz said that at the end of 1979 he reached a personal crossroad:
       
      Frustrated by what he viewed as the Governing Body's dogmatism and overemphasis on traditional views rather than reliance on the Bible in reaching doctrinal decisions, Franz and his wife decided in late 1979 they would leave the international headquarters.[11]
       

      TIME magazine February 22, 1982
      Expulsion
      In March 1980 Franz and his wife took leave of absence from the world headquarters for health reasons and moved to Alabama, where he took up laboring work on a property owned by a fellow Witness. The following month a committee of the Governing Body raised concerns over the spreading of "wrong teachings" emanating from headquarters staff and began questioning headquarters staff on their beliefs. Staff were also questioned about comments Franz had made that may have contradicted Watch Tower doctrine.[12][13] The 15 March 1980 issue of 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  issued a statement of regret that its assertions of probability of Armageddon arriving before 1975 had "apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of expectation already initiated."[14] It told disappointed Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , "including persons having to do with the publication of the information that contributed to the buildup of hopes centred on that date" to "concentrate on adjusting his viewpoint".[15] This statement, which placed blame for the disappointment about 1975 on Raymond Franz and his writing committee, precipitated a purge of that committee and eventual disfellowshipping of its sometime Chairman.[16] On May 8 1980 Franz was told that he had been implicated as an apostate.[17] He was called back to Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  on May 20 for two days of questioning[18] by the Chairman's Committee. Franz claimed the discussion concerned allegations that some Witnesses were meeting privately to discuss various teachings of the Watch Tower Society that may have constituted apostasy.

      On 21 May 1980 Franz was called to a Governing Body session, questioned for three hours about his Bible viewpoints and commitment to Watch Tower doctrines[2][19] and agreed to a request to resign from the Governing Body and headquarters staff. Franz refused the Watch Tower Society's offer of a monthly stipend as a member of the "Infirm Special Pioneers".[20] The Governing Body investigation resulted in the disfellowshipping of several other headquarters staff.[21][22][23]

      On 1 September 1980 the Governing Body distributed a letter to all Circuit and District overseers stating that apostates need not be promoting doctrines to be disfellowshipped. The letter stated that individuals who persisted in "believing other doctrine despite scriptural reproof" were also apostatizing and therefore warranted "appropriate judicial action".[18][24]

      On 18 March 1981 Franz's employer in Alabama submitted a letter of disassociation from Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . A Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  article on 15 September 1981 announced a change of policy on disassociation, directing that those who formally withdrew from the religion were to be treated by Witnesses as a disfellowshipped wrongdoer.[25] Franz, who continued to socialize with his employer, was summoned to a judicial hearing on 25 November and disfellowshiped for disobeying the edict.[2][26][27] Determined to set the record straight, not only with respect to his having been disfellowshiped, but with respect to larger doctrinal issues, in 1982 he sent Heather and Gary Botting proofs of his upcoming book Crisis of Conscience so that they could chronicle the more widespread discord within the Watch Tower Society.[28] They wrote regarding Franz's contribution to their expose on the Witnesses that his recommendations "undoubtedly strengthened the veracity of the text; we were impressed by his insistence on both fairness and frankness with respect to representing the view of the Watch Tower Society."[29] Following his disfellowshiping, Franz published two books—Crisis of Conscience (1983) and In Search of Christian Freedom (1991)—presenting detailed accounts of his experiences as a Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , a Governing Body member, and his experiences throughout various levels of the organization.

      Franz was ultimately disfellowshipped for having dinner with his employer, a disassociated brother. See also 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. Death
      On 30 May 2010, at age 88, Franz fell and suffered a brain hemorrhage.[30] He died on 2 June 2010.[30]

      References
      "Announcements", Our Kingdom Ministry, August 1980, page 2, "This is a notification that Raymond Victor Franz is no longer a member of the Governing Body and of the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  family as of May 22, 1980." "Witness Under Prosecution", Richard H. Ostling, Anne Constable, Time Magazine, February 22, 1982. "Church Told to Break Privacy, Report 'Sinner'", by John Dart, Los Angeles Times, August 27, 1987. Part 1."Church Told to Break Privacy, Report 'Sinner'", part 2. Rogerson 1969, p. 66 Franz 2002, p. 11 "Gilead’s 61st Graduation a Spiritual Treat", The Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , November 1, 1976, page 671. Franz 2002, p. 16 Franz 2002, pp. 19, 20 Franz 2002, p. 31 Franz 2002, p. 273 Franz 2002, p. 274,275 Penton 1997, pp. 119–121 Franz 2002, p. 298,299 p. 17 pp. 17-18 The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses, pp. 48-49, 158-163 Franz 2002, pp. 312, 313 Beverley 1986, p. 71 Franz 2002, p. 331 Franz 2002, p. 332 Penton 1997, p. 121 Botting & Botting 1984, p. 161 "Branch Letter", Our Kingdom Ministry, August 1980, "We are saddened to report at this time that five members of the Bethel family, and a few others in the New York city area have recently been disfellowshiped. There has been some apostasy against the organization and the promoting of sectarian divisions in some of the congregations of God’s people. (Titus 3:9-11) Living as we are in times difficult to deal with, it should not be surprising that such things occur. The first-century congregation also experienced deviations as we well know from our reading of the Holy Scriptures.—1 Tim. 1:20; 4:1; 2 Tim. 2:17, 18; 1 Cor. 15:12, 13; Acts 20:29, 30." Protecting the Flock, Watch Tower Society letter to district and circuit overseers, September 1, 1980, part 1. Protecting the Flock, Part 2. "Disfellowshiping — How to View It", The Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , September 15, 1981, page 23, "One who has been a true Christian might renounce the way of the truth, stating that he no longer considers himself to be one of Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  or wants to be known as one. When this rare event occurs, the person is renouncing his standing as a Christian, deliberately disassociating himself from the congregation ... Persons who make themselves 'not of our sort' by deliberately rejecting the faith and beliefs ofHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  should appropriately be viewed and treated as are those who have been disfellowshiped for wrongdoing." Franz 2002, pp. 357–369 "Expelled Witnesses Claim Group is Ingrown", Miami News, March 19, 1983. the Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses, pp. 161-63 The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses,p. xxiii "Obituary". Legacy.com. Bibliography
      Beverley, James A. (1986). Crisis of Allegiance. Burlington, Ontario: Welch Publishing Company. ISBN 0-920413-37-4. Botting, Heather; Botting, Gary (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. Franz, Raymond (2002). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Penton, M. J. (1997). Apocalypse Delayed (2nd ed.). University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. ISBN 0-0945-5940-6. External Links
      Richard N. Ostling (February 22, 1982), Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Time magazine. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  at Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Tras pasar 11 años dentro de los testigos de Jehová, un exmiembro de la secta religiosa decidió huir de la organización y emprender un viaje de cinco años a través de toda Rusia y el espacio postsoviético.
      Iván Shiriáyev, que es oriundo de la ciudad de Kamyshin (Volgogrado, Rusia), se ganó el prestigio y reconocimiento de los testigos de Jehová durante sus 11 años como miembro de la organización religiosa. No obstante, un día decidió abandonar la secta y dejar atrás tanto la doctrina que predicaba, como a su esposa, devota a las creencias de aquella.
      "Siempre dudaba de si estaba siguiendo el camino correcto", reveló Shiriáyev en una entrevista concedida al portal The Village. Durante su membresía en la secta el hombre apenas tuvo tiempo para analizar sus dudas en profundidad, ya que dedicaba casi todo el tiempo libre –lo cual no era poco teniendo en cuenta que trabajaba unas pocas horas al día, justo lo necesario "para ganarse el pan y la leche"– a oraciones, predicación y actividades de la organización. La salida de la secta empezó a fraguarse con el libro 'Crisis de conciencia' del exmiembro del cuerpo gobernante de los testigos de Jehová Raymond Franz.
      Shiriáyev llevaba más de un año considerando la idea de salir de la secta. Las obras de Franz, "probablemente la persona más temible en el universo después de satán [para los testigos de Jehová]", le ayudaron a entender cómo funciona la organización.
      Un día cotidiano en el seno de la secta
      Un día típico de un testigo de Jehová empieza con la lectura del folleto 'Examinando las Escrituras diariamente' y con oraciones, explica el exmiembro de la organización. El trabajo de la vida mundana no adquiere mucha importancia para los testigos, que tratan de dedicarle el menor tiempo posible. La ocupación principal es predicar. "Sirves varias horas, vuelves a casa, te preparas para una reunión y te vas a la cama", señala Shiriáyev.
      Cuando estaba en las filas de la secta, las reuniones tenían lugar dos o tres veces a la semana y contaban con la participación de unas 30 personas. "Entre los testigos siempre te sientes culpable, por eso muchos padecen depresión", indica. Los miembros de la secta constantemente se enfrentan a la pregunta de si podrían hacer más y 'robar' tiempo de asuntos menos importantes para dedicarse aún más a su misión.
      Convencidos de que el Armagedón se acerca y solo 144.000 personas se dirigirán al cielo después de la muerte mientras el resto se queda en la Tierra, los testigos de Jehová tienen como objetivo principal divulgar este acontecimiento a todo el mundo. Y la predicación es la forma principal de lograr este fin.
      Cada mes los miembros de la secta presentan un informe donde indican cuántas horas han servido y cuántos materiales religiosos han difundido. "Existen miembros experimentados que, por ejemplo, predican no menos de 70 horas al mes", comenta Shiriáyev, quien ejerció a lo largo de ocho años. También existe un sistema de incentivos y castigos que pueden estimular tanto el crecimiento en la jerarquía de la secta, como la privación de los privilegios. El castigo más duro es la expulsión.
      En cuanto al perfil de los miembros, la mayoría de los testigos de Jehová son personas sin estudios superiores (la educación superior no es bienvenida en la organización). En las reuniones solo el 20% son hombres. El resto son mujeres jóvenes, mujeres con niños y ancianas, menciona Shiriáyev. El matrimonio civil está prohibido y los matrimonios con personas ajenas a la organización no están bien vistos.
      La fuga
      La escapada de este ciudadano ruso fue radical: simuló su muerte. Dejó una nota de despedida señalando que había seguido el camino de su padre (que se suicidó tres años atrás) y se esfumó. Se fue a su casa de campo con un magnetófono, una manta y una lancha neumática. Tras encontrar la embarcación en un sótano entre basura, sus familiares se dieron cuenta de que Shiriáyev estaba vivo e iniciaron su búsqueda a nivel federal.
      El hombre pasó nueve meses de vida ordinaria, utilizando su pasaporte en los nuevos puestos de trabajo que desempeñó y no fue consciente de que lo buscaran. Lo encontraron por casualidad en un puesto de control en la región de Amur, cuando fue detenido probablemente al sospecharse de que había participado en saqueos en unas aldeas que sufrieron inundaciones.
      Desde entonces dejó de ser objeto de búsquedas. "Nadie –ni mi mujer, ni los decanos– se esforzó en encontrarme", señaló Shiriáyev. Solo un amigo suyo, extestigo también, trató de avanzar en su búsqueda. "Así me di cuenta de que no tenía amigos", explicó el prófugo.
      La expulsión
      Shiriáyev constató de manera escrita que ya no quería seguir siendo testigo de Jehová y se presentó a la reunión de la secta donde la noticia fue anunciada oficialmente con un traje de boda para celebrarlo. Paralelamente, su matrimonio fracasaba.
      Una vez al año acude a la celebración anual de los testigos, la Conmemoración de la muerte de Jesús o Cena del Señor, con una cazadora que lleva la inscripción 'apóstata abyecto'. "Los que me conocen se apartan de mí de un salto: ¿cómo puede salvarse un renegado? Pero para mí es una actuación anual", explica Shiriáyev. Entre las ventajas de su membresía en los testigos de Jehová señala las destrezas adquiridas en en el terreno de la comunicación y los discursos públicos y que ha aprendido a vivir con modestia.
      El viaje
      El 27 de octubre de 2012 Shiriáyev abandonó su casa y empezó a viajar haciendo autostop.
      Tras su viaje por Rusia, Ucrania y Bielorrusia ha visitado numerosas ciudades. De las 1.122 localidades rusas que planea visitar ya ha estado en 360 de ellas. Se ha hecho agnóstico, viaja con una mochila que pesa 20 kilos y no cuenta con patrocinadores influyentes: utiliza sus propios medios para cubrir los gastos. Trabaja de obrero, de vez en cuando recibe alimentos, ropa y otras donaciones de desconocidos y pasa las noches básicamente en sitios donde no tiene que pagar la estancia: en casas de otros viajeros, monasterios o paradas de transporte. Su viaje de cinco años todavía no ha terminado y no tiene claro qué le deparará el futuro.

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    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

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

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

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    • Darlene  »  T.B. (Twyla)

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

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

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