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WATCHTOWER, 1991 - "HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT RELIGION"


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16 hours ago, Witness said:

The anointed "Israel" resides in the WT and JWs know it.    That is the only difference about this organization than say, Mormonism.  The end prophesies concern God's holy people.

I also believe that true anointed persons make up a portion of the WTS. And I see no evidence that there would be any true anointed persons found among Mormons. I'm not trying to be a judge of who is and isn't a "true anointed" but I'm just giving an opinion based on evidence I've seen.

But this view of yours is a fairly unique view among ex-JWs (and the JW acquaintance of mine who is now an ex-elder). It's one of those things that probably made/makes no sense to "John Butler" and "4Jah2me" even though those accounts have often sided with your critiques, but have also been very vocal about not believing that "true anointed" are to be found among JWs.

When you say the anointed "Israel" resides in the WT, you also admitting that the truly anointed persons reside in the WT, but that they must also "get out of her." This means that the true anointed ("Israel") must pass through the WTS and then realize that they are in the wrong place and must get out of her. This also appears to associate the WTS directly with Babylon the Great.

But I admit that I still can't follow the logic:

How did the truly anointed "Israel" (God's people) get into the WTS in the first place? What attracted them? If they were attracted for good reasons, or necessary reasons, but must now come out, then the WTS acts as some kind of trap. There must be something special about the WTS that produces or attracts these anointed to stay in the first place. But if they continue to stay and don't come out, then whatever attracted them was a trap! If Satan is allowed to test them within the WTS then was it Satan who made this trap? Or do you think that the WTS is a good place for all anointed to pass through, assuming they also see that it is not a good place to stay, because they must get out of her? How long is the right amount of time to stay? What happens if whatever was supposed to to attract them to the WTS works, and gets them into the WTS, but they die just before realizing that they were also supposed to "get out of her."

If one looks at the Hebrew Scriptures as a pattern, then God's people (Jews/"Israel") were forced into exile in Babylon as a punishment. Many stayed in Babylon and survived as "Babylonians" for a few years. Some even thrived as Babylonian/Persian citizens for centuries, and the worldly comforts and economy of Babylon held them "captive" from restoring pure worship in Jerusalem with their fellow Jews.

This is why I don't think of Babylon the Great as a specific religion or group of false religions, but as a world of materialism and false ideologies of all kinds: the "world and its desire." This can definitely include all false religion (the general JW doctrine) but now that "location" is not the issue for pure worship, the idea of Babylon, Rome and Jerusalem must be spiritual concepts in Revelation:

(John 4:21-24) . . .Jesus said to her: “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, because salvation begins with the Jews. 23 Nevertheless, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshippers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for indeed, the Father is looking for ones like these to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit, and those worshipping him must worship with spirit and truth.”

Spiritually speaking, then, Sodom and Egypt, and Rome and Babylon have meanings in Revelation that are associated with their earlier "OT" counterparts. True Christians, whether heaven-bound or not, anointed or not, must get out of Babylon because she represents the "center" of a world of false religious beliefs, false ideologies, political associations, the commercial centers and ideologies. Like you, I believe this is happening now, because true Christians have conquered the world spiritually. As Jesus said, "I see Satan already fallen like lightning from heaven."

(John 16:33) . . .. In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage! I have conquered the world.”

(1 John 2:14-17) . . .because you are strong and the word of God remains in you and you have conquered the wicked one. 15 Do not love either the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him; 16 because everything in the world—the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life—does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world. 17 Furthermore, the world is passing away and so is its desire, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.

(1 John 5:4) 4 because everyone who has been born from God conquers the world. And this is the conquest that has conquered the world, our faith.

(Romans 8:37-39) 37 To the contrary, in all these things we are coming off completely victorious ["more than conquerors" KJV] through him that loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things now here nor things to come nor powers 39 nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I don't see anything in the context of Revelation's depiction of Babylon the  Great that would limit it to a specific religion. I see it as something much bigger. I see it as the way in which Christians should know that the last world empire (e.g., "Rome") has already fallen for them, spiritually.

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I don't think you're a bad example. I find your posts encouraging and I'm sure a lot of other people here do. I think some of the "complainers" may just be working out their own demons, or I hope they are. Jehovah knows we cause most of our problems just fine all by ourselves.

I have noticed that the desire to see God's promises fulfilled (nothing wrong with that of course), drives the human spirit to "predict" or "hope for" the end always in their life time. The pattern is clear: Russell hoped for the end in 1874 then 1914, Rutherford 1925, Franz 1975, the 80's GB by the end of the 20th century, today's GB between now and aprox. 2035. Each generation would say their children aren't going to make it to school....now those  children have children of their own...and g

One thing I've had hammered into me over the past decades of pioneering, studying w/mentally ill people, people who were out of jail, homeless people, professors of anthropology, teachers of farsi at the local mosque, chinese buddhists from hong kong (using me to practice english), professors of astrophysics, ranchers, ex-football champs, a hip hop artist and so-called normal people is that I'm not more worthy of survival than any of these. In fact many are arguably better people personalit

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

I studied with one family where the husband was a policeman, the wife took a year of studying and long late-night hours with me on the phone to help her overcome her smoking addiction. They were baptized together. Their two children were too young at the time, but one has been baptized since. This is a sad situation for me, because we love the family and have been close, but he is an elder now and realizes that I didn't believe in the 1914 chronology because of things he remembered in the way I studied it with him. He confirmed this by asking me directly, and has now asked that we have no more contact.

For a (former) job as a police officer, he needed a very good memory.
Today, for the (current) job of an elder, that is a good advantage.
But unfortunately, he lacks flexibility in thinking that would amortize two different views of 1914.
I wonder, how did you teach him that about 1914 that he accepted official teaching and yet could notice the difference (which has obviously worried him all this time) that made him remove you, today, from his list of friends?

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4 hours ago, xero said:

wasn't and still haven't been thoroughly convinced on some of these matters. (but is it important, when there IS a creator?)

I feel the same. I am completely convinced there is a creator and that he has revealed things he wants us to know in the Bible.  I believe that some of the things that we cannot seem to reconcile at the moment (pertaining to creation and scientific evidence, such as carbon dating, the supposed age of man and civilization, predators....etc.) will be revealed, and we will have that face palm moment as in "duh, of course"! 

4 hours ago, xero said:

but chasing this chronology is a collossal pit.

Ummm.....say no more. I have been wrapping my head around it for some time now, with the help of JWI. I still owe him a reply, actually, it will be more questions....

 

Thank you for sharing your experiences, very interesting and encouraging! 👍🤗

 

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

This is a sad situation for me, because we love the family and have been close, but he is an elder now and realizes that I didn't believe in the 1914 chronology because of things he remembered in the way I studied it with him. He confirmed this by asking me directly, and has now asked that we have no more contact.

Grrrrr, that is so sad, and I would say unnecessary. But of course we are not masters of an other's conscience, so no one can judge him for that (I am not saying you are ) and say it was totally unnecessary. But, the ironic thing is, how was his conscience formed? Was it through the Bible, or was it through the interpretation and understanding of some men who have erred in the past over a number of things? It's obviously the latter, and that's the sad frustrating, and unnecessary part.  I know, I know....I'm preaching to the choir...

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12 hours ago, JW Insider said:

But this view of yours is a fairly unique view among ex-JWs (and the JW acquaintance of mine who is now an ex-elder). It's one of those things that probably made/makes no sense to "John Butler" and "4Jah2me" even though those accounts have often sided with your critiques, but have also been very vocal about not believing that "true anointed" are to be found among JWs.

Um, hold on a minute JWI. You are wrong here and I've even said so on this forum. I have said that the GB, in my opinion, are not of the True Anointed. But as for others ............. 

At one time Tom was being sarcastic about my idea of a True Anointed, and he was saying where would they come from.

In reply I mentioned the large quantity of Partakers of the emblems in the Org.  I've never said they are not in there and I partly agree with @Witness  that the ones of the Anointed that are in the Org are being held back.

Add to this if you will that I've also made mention about the GB / Watchtower putting into in a magazine that the anointed should not gather together and that the GB said it would be working against the Holy Spirit... Why would i make mention of such if i didn't think that some Anointed ones were actually in the JW Org. 

What becomes more interesting is, that you and @xero believe that it is not of the utmost importance to be a JW. It will not 'get you saved'. Now building on this idea then, maybe it is not so important to be a JW in order to be of the True Anointed remnant.  What I'm suggesting is that some of the True Anointed are in the Org, and some are not.  If @Witness is a True Anointed (and it's not my place to judge) then this would comfirm what I'm saying. 

 

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12 hours ago, JW Insider said:

This is why I don't think of Babylon the Great as a specific religion or group of false religions, but as a world of materialism and false ideologies of all kinds: the "world and its desire." This can definitely include all false religion (the general JW doctrine) but now that "location" is not the issue for pure worship, the idea of Babylon, Rome and Jerusalem must be spiritual concepts in Revelation:

So then this could easily include the JW Org. materialism and false ideologies. 

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Xero: I enjoyed this. It brought back memories. Your experience is my experience, not the specifics, but the general outline.

5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I loved studying ... the "Is the Bible Really the Word of God?" book with university students.

This is a specific that is the same. To this day, that book is my favorite, dated though it must be by now..

I had two college chums, and I gave the book to both of them. I thought one would love it and one would hate it. I was right!

I was also wrong. The one I thought would like it hated it. The one I thought would hate it liked it.

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50 minutes ago, 4Jah2me said:

Um, hold on a minute JWI. You are wrong here and I've even said so on this forum. I have said that the GB, in my opinion, are not of the True Anointed. But as for others ............. 

I can explain myself, but I admit that I made a mistake here: I do accept that you have been fairly consistent for a long time in basic agreement with Witness on this point. And I admit that I exaggerated your position, and misrepresented the position you have been making very clear for well over a year, at least.

It's true that the account "4Jah2me" has been consistent about accepting the idea that the "True Anointed" are likely included among the JW Memorial partakers, but not limited to these persons. "John Butler" made some of the same points over a year ago, but did not start out that way, from what I remembered. Even "4Jah2me" would say things like what you said to Arauna recently under another topic: 

When you become wise enough to know that God & Christ are not part of the Watchtower / CCJW, then you will have spiritual wisdom. There are many JWs that agree that when judgement arrives, people will be judged as individuals, judged on their spiritual heart condition, NOT judged on whether they are a baptised JW or not. . . . Soon God through Christ, will show who the True Anointed are. Then we will get true interpretation of God's word.  The deeper things of the scriptures are for the True Anointed to understand because they have been anointed of God's Holy Spirit and because Christ died for them. Rev 5 v 9 & 10

I know that this on its own does not contradict what you are saying, but when I put it all together, you appear to expect a separate "perfect" organization run by True Anointed, which is not related to the CCJW, which you say God and Christ have nothing to do with.

About a year and a half ago, to Tom, you ("4J")said:

But there will be an Organisation that stands tall above all others. A pure and truthful organisation run by true Anointed. It will suffer persecution because it will be so pure and good and because it will serve God through Jesus Christ properly. It will give true direction and not have to keep changing its mind. 

Unlike the JW Org that is as deep in the sh-t as all other religions are right now. The JW Org is not recognisable as being high  above the others, it is not recognised for pure worship, it is seen as being just as filthy as all the others and seen as telling just as many lies too. Different lies of course but still lies.  . . .

So right now God does not have a reliable organisation, hence Judgement time must be a way off yet. 

Now, I know it's not really fair to pull up things you have said in the past, as if people can't expand and change their views. Also, I know that these statements can be reconciled with the idea that True Anointed exist within this organization. But I can show even more distancing from the CCJW by "John Butler."

At any rate, I'll repeat that I made a mistake here: I do accept that you have been fairly consistent for a long time in basic agreement with "Witness" on this point. And I see that I misrepresented your current position on this topic. Sorry.

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On 2/23/2021 at 2:13 PM, JW Insider said:

In any case, they all must think there is something very special about the WTS so that their energy goes against it instead of being equally shared among the problems of Mormons, Catholics, Scientologists, etc. 

Yes. This is another “booby prize” at first glance that turns out to be top prize at second..It is an indication that JWs have the truth: We have by far the best apostates.

No NT writer does not deal with the subject of apostasy. Two chapters of the Bible are devoted to it entirely. Unless the world has been won over by Christ (we all know the answer to that one) then the reality then should be the reality today. And nobody has more vociferous “apostates” than ours. We should be proud of them, for through them is our validation.

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12 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Yes. This is another “booby prize” at first glance that turns out to be top prize at second..It is an indication that JWs have the truth: We have by far the best apostates.

No NT writer does not deal with the subject of apostasy. Two chapters of the Bible are devoted to it entirely. Unless the world has been won over by Christ (we all know the answer to that one) then the reality then should be the reality today. And nobody has more vociferous “apostates” than ours. We should be proud of them, for through them is our validation.

Interesting observations. On the other hand it makes sense that there would be a greater enthusiasm for criticism among any group which claimed to have the truth. In fact I thought it quite idiotic as an atheist that anyone promoting their particular brand of faith didn't consider their brand of faith to be "the truth".

Now you'd be hard pressed to find a Catholic apostate, or a Lutheran apostate....

I remember on the matter of exploring religions a statement by the unitarians in leo rosten's "religions of america" - "You might be a Unitarian and not even know it!"

My thoughts are, then apparently being Unitarian is meaningless.

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      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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