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Thanks so much for getting all this together, so I don't need to!

1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

WT could have used a bit of editing or proofreading on this last one, because the wording appears to emphasize the idea that they are all male.]

Hahaha, yes indeed! xD

 

1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

Does this mean that there is a specific legal sense involved in Jesus’ role as Mediator? Yes. . . .
Clearly, then, the new covenant is not a loose arrangement open to all mankind. It is a carefully arranged legal provision involving God and anointed Christians.  . . . The people of all nations who have the hope of everlasting life on earth benefit even now from Jesus’ services. Though he is not their legal Mediator, for they are not in the new covenant, he is their means of approaching Jehovah. Christ said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) All who will gain life on earth must direct their prayers to Jehovah through Jesus. (John 14:13, 23, 24) Jesus also serves as a compassionate High Priest who is able to apply in their behalf the benefits of his sacrifice, allowing them to gain forgiveness and eventual salvation.—Acts 4:12; Hebrews 4:15.

So really, from reading the above, I don't understand why people would think the other sheep could NOT approach Jehovah through Jesus. It seems quite clear that they can, all it is saying is that the other sheep are not in the covenant and so in that sense Jesus is not their mediator, but as the scriptures say people of all nations can, actually not just can but must go through Jesus. Unfortunately the first article from 79, although saying pretty much the same thing, was not as clear, so I can see how it could have caused a stir, especially this statement: "However, by their associating with the “little flock” of those yet in that covenant they come under benefits that flow from that new covenant". This could have been misunderstood to mean the anointed and not Jesus mediate for the other sheep when they pray. But praying through Jesus as a mediator, and Jesus being a mediator of the covenant are two different things.This is where the problem I think happened. The other sheep knew they were not in the covenant, and that was ok, but when it looked like this could affect their approaching Jehovah, that is when it got worrying.  It just goes to show though, that one really needs to check for oneself "if this is so". 

P.S. When I mentioned this issue to my mother in-law, who is 86, she came back as a flash with "Oh, but the other sheep still have to approach Jehovah through Jesus". So simple and scriptural.:)

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I understand Ph.2:9-11 to indicate that every intelligent creation will be subject to Christ.  As Ps 37:29 speaks of righteous ones living forever on earth, so this constitutes one destiny. Obviously, a heavenly hope is held out in the Scripture also (Heb.3:1), so this relates to the other destiny. 

I would agree that this refers to an earth-based destiny. Earlier I made a list of some topics that were more often used during a time when the Watch Tower publications often took a special note of the differences between the spirit-anointed class and those who were not spirit-anointed. As you might recall, Matthew 5:5 was often included in this same type of discussion. I should have included it. I became a publisher in 1962 according to my Publishers Record Card and I remember my firs

We have no inherent right to approach Jehovah due to our sinful nature and his holiness. I think it's just as easy to read that this was the very purpose and meaning of Jesus' mediatorship -- the exact same purpose of the ransom. Only by imputing undeserved righteousness on all Christians, covering over our sins, does Jesus make it possible for all of us to approach Jehovah's throne of Majesty through prayer. This was the argument being made by some of the "murmurers" in 1979. This was the reaso

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13 hours ago, Anna said:

P.S. When I mentioned this issue to my mother in-law, who is 86, she came back as a flash with "Oh, but the other sheep still have to approach Jehovah through Jesus". So simple and scriptural.

We have no inherent right to approach Jehovah due to our sinful nature and his holiness. I think it's just as easy to read that this was the very purpose and meaning of Jesus' mediatorship -- the exact same purpose of the ransom. Only by imputing undeserved righteousness on all Christians, covering over our sins, does Jesus make it possible for all of us to approach Jehovah's throne of Majesty through prayer. This was the argument being made by some of the "murmurers" in 1979. This was the reason that F W Franz seemed about to yell at all of us at the breakfast table one morning in November 1979. It wasn't yelling so much as loud and deep sarcasm when he said that people who questioned it would just "merge everyone together and make Jesus Christ the mediator of every Tom, Dick and Harry!"

From this and other things he said all through that week at breakfast, I believe he was concerned that the anointed were losing their "specialness." He seemed to take it very personally, and it must have been for this reason that a lot of people who knew him continued to act like this doctrine was his own private interpretation. The idea, as summarized to me in a gossipy way by someone who was very close to him, was that people used to trust his every word when he was Vice-President, and as soon as he was about to become President (1977, while I was at Bethel) he seemed to take it very personally that the very office of President was losing its meaning. He indicated in his September 1975 talk that the office of President was about to become the office of a mere "figurehead" or of a "do-nothing-President" as he called it. He said this during one of those times that he publicly fought against the idea of a "Governing Body" and simultaneously cast aspersions on those who wanted leadership by "committees" (in the same talk).

Please excuse the excessive background info that follows, but I think it helps make a point about why some people thought FWF was so personally tied to this doctrine:

Separately, I happened to learn that FWF reacted with similar consternation apparently from early 1978 right up through 1980 over some comments ("a few letters") questioning his latest book "Our Incoming World Government -- God's Kingdom" (1977). The book had claimed some prophetic date fulfillments around the 1920's that merely confused most of us, I think, but some evidently had a real problem with it. He sounded angry that anyone thought they had a right to question it. I thought his attitude was a little bit like saying "Who do they think they are?" but I think that what he actually said was more like "This is exactly what they [the publishers] need right now . . . it's a time to be studying these things, and not a time to be questioning these things!" The reason I had come to him was that I had brought him a couple of "footnote" questions while proofreading the "God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years" (ka) book and he somehow thought my question was tied to some of these letters he had gotten (or heard about) since the time of the "World Government" book study in 1978. This "interview" was around April 1980 and I figured from what he said that we might actually re-study the "World Government" book even though I was then under the impression that we were going to re-study the ka book again.

There had been a scramble to replace the Congregation Book Study book because, although we had studied the "World Government" book in 1978, three or four of the last five books since then had been written by so-called "apostates" even though you wouldn't know it with titles like:

  • "Life Does Have a Purpose" [January - June 1979]
  • "Is This Life All There Is?"  [July - December 1979]
  • "Making Your Family Life Happy" [January - June 1980]
  • "Choosing the Best Way of Life" [July - December 1980]
  • "Commentary on the Letter of James" [scheduled book study use cancelled]

The primary writers of the books listed above were mostly dismissed from Writing and from Bethel by mid-1980.

As I know you know, we don't talk about the authors of the publications, but the last three books FWF had been widely associated with personally were "The Nations Shall Know" [Ezekiel, 1971] "God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years" ("ka") [WTS history, 1973] and the "Incoming World Government" [1977].

We rarely studied a book twice, but we did study the "Nations"/"Ezekiel" book twice (72 & 75), and of course the "ka" book ended up being studied twice, too, and it took all of 1981 to do it. (In 1983 we re-studied the "Man's Salvation" book from back around 1975, although I had never known whether FWF authored it.)

Anyway, ka won out over the "apostate" James commentary which we never studied at the book study, although I do remember giving several "Instruction talks" from it. The "Choosing" book had been considered even more blatantly apostate, but slipped through.

Although the decision to re-use the ka book in 1981 had already been made, and presses were already re-printing it for a couple months to gear up for the book study, the "World Government " book did come up again in the month before the ka book came back. Just notice what the primary point to highlight was supposed to be (in the quotes below). It was a theme that several people had been able to pick up on over and over again from FWF, from his talks and in personal conversation. There was a strong hint that Christ's "brothers" were not expected to be "sheeplike" as if there was a difference between "sheep" and "brothers." This sometimes comes across in other expressions that the Governing Body still use mostly in private conversations like: "the publishers need this" or with expressions that refer to the rest of us as "the rank and file."

*** km 11/80 p. 2 Meetings to Help Us Make Disciples ***
Ask all to bring book Our Incoming World Government—God’s Kingdom to meeting next week. Prepare from page 162, paragraph 6, through page 166, paragraph 16.

*** km 11/80 p. 2 Meetings to Help Us Make Disciples ***
Discussion by qualified teacher with congregation of highlights of material in Our Incoming World Government—God’s Kingdom, page 162, paragraph 6, through page 166, paragraph 16. Highlight difference in position, but unity of work done by King’s “brothers” and “sheep” class. ...

Paragraphs 11-13: Read Matthew 25:37-40. Whom did Jesus refer to as “my brothers”? How do “sheep” show their support of the King’s “brothers”? What circumstances have the King’s “brothers” had to endure?
Paragraphs 14, 15: How are the sheeplike Kingdom supporters rewarded? What must each one do to show he is a Kingdom supporter? See also page 173, paragraph 31.
Paragraph 16: How do “sheep” “inherit the Kingdom”? How is hope of the King’s “brothers” different?

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, JW Insider said:

We have no inherent right to approach Jehovah due to our sinful nature and his holiness. I think it's just as easy to read that this was the very purpose and meaning of Jesus' mediatorship -- the exact same purpose of the ransom. Only by imputing undeserved righteousness on all Christians, covering over our sins, does Jesus make it possible for all of us to approach Jehovah's throne of Majesty through prayer. This was the argument being made by some of the "murmurers" in 1979. This was the reason that F W Franz seemed about to yell at all of us at the breakfast table one morning in November 1979. It wasn't yelling so much as loud and deep sarcasm when he said that people who questioned it would just "merge everyone together and make Jesus Christ the mediator of every Tom, Dick and Harry!"

From this and other things he said all through that week at breakfast, I believe he was concerned that the anointed were losing their "specialness." He seemed to take it very personally, and it must have been for this reason that a lot of people who knew him continued to act like this doctrine was his own private interpretation. The idea, as summarized to me in a gossipy way by someone who was very close to him, was that people used to trust his every word when he was Vice-President, and as soon as he was about to become President (1977, while I was at Bethel) he seemed to take it very personally that the very office of President was losing its meaning. He indicated in his September 1975 talk that the office of President was about to become the office of a mere "figurehead" or of a "do-nothing-President" as he called it. He said this during one of those times that he publicly fought against the idea of a "Governing Body" and simultaneously cast aspersions on those who wanted leadership by "committees" (in the same talk).

Please excuse the excessive background info that follows, but I think it helps make a point about why some people thought FWF was so personally tied to this doctrine:

Separately, I happened to learn that FWF reacted with similar consternation apparently from early 1978 right up through 1980 over some comments ("a few letters") questioning his latest book "Our Incoming World Government -- God's Kingdom" (1977). The book had claimed some prophetic date fulfillments around the 1920's that merely confused most of us, I think, but some evidently had a real problem with it. He sounded angry that anyone thought they had a right to question it. I thought his attitude was a little bit like saying "Who do they think they are?" but I think that what he actually said was more like "This is exactly what they [the publishers] need right now . . . it's a time to be studying these things, and not a time to be questioning these things!" The reason I had come to him was that I had brought him a couple of "footnote" questions while proofreading the "God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years" (ka) book and he somehow thought my question was tied to some of these letters he had gotten (or heard about) since the time of the "World Government" book study in 1978. This "interview" was around April 1980 and I figured from what he said that we might actually re-study the "World Government" book even though I was then under the impression that we were going to re-study the ka book again.

There had been a scramble to replace the Congregation Book Study book because, although we had studied the "World Government" book in 1978, three or four of the last five books since then had been written by so-called "apostates" even though you wouldn't know it with titles like:

  • "Life Does Have a Purpose" [January - June 1979]
  • "Is This Life All There Is?"  [July - December 1979]
  • "Making Your Family Life Happy" [January - June 1980]
  • "Choosing the Best Way of Life" [July - December 1980]
  • "Commentary on the Letter of James" [scheduled book study use cancelled]

The primary writers of the books listed above were mostly dismissed from Writing and from Bethel by mid-1980.

As I know you know, we don't talk about the authors of the publications, but the last three books FWF had been widely associated with personally were "The Nations Shall Know" [Ezekiel, 1971] "God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years" ("ka") [WTS history, 1973] and the "Incoming World Government" [1977].

We rarely studied a book twice, but we did study the "Nations"/"Ezekiel" book twice (72 & 75), and of course the "ka" book ended up being studied twice, too, and it took all of 1981 to do it. (In 1983 we re-studied the "Man's Salvation" book from back around 1975, although I had never known whether FWF authored it.)

Anyway, ka won out over the "apostate" James commentary which we never studied at the book study, although I do remember giving several "Instruction talks" from it. The "Choosing" book had been considered even more blatantly apostate, but slipped through.

Although the decision to re-use the ka book in 1981 had already been made, and presses were already re-printing it for a couple months to gear up for the book study, the "World Government " book did come up again in the month before the ka book came back. Just notice what the primary point to highlight was supposed to be (in the quotes below). It was a theme that several people had been able to pick up on over and over again from FWF, from his talks and in personal conversation. There was a strong hint that Christ's "brothers" were not expected to be "sheeplike" as if there was a difference between "sheep" and "brothers." This sometimes comes across in other expressions that the Governing Body still use mostly in private conversations like: "the publishers need this" or with expressions that refer to the rest of us as "the rank and file."

*** km 11/80 p. 2 Meetings to Help Us Make Disciples ***
Ask all to bring book Our Incoming World Government—God’s Kingdom to meeting next week. Prepare from page 162, paragraph 6, through page 166, paragraph 16.

*** km 11/80 p. 2 Meetings to Help Us Make Disciples ***
Discussion by qualified teacher with congregation of highlights of material in Our Incoming World Government—God’s Kingdom, page 162, paragraph 6, through page 166, paragraph 16. Highlight difference in position, but unity of work done by King’s “brothers” and “sheep” class. ...

Paragraphs 11-13: Read Matthew 25:37-40. Whom did Jesus refer to as “my brothers”? How do “sheep” show their support of the King’s “brothers”? What circumstances have the King’s “brothers” had to endure?
Paragraphs 14, 15: How are the sheeplike Kingdom supporters rewarded? What must each one do to show he is a Kingdom supporter? See also page 173, paragraph 31.
Paragraph 16: How do “sheep” “inherit the Kingdom”? How is hope of the King’s “brothers” different?

 

 

 

Thanks for the insight into the goings on at Bethel, JW. Always an interesting read. Funnily enough my mother in law met Br. Franz before she got baptized. She told me that years ago there were no official questions for baptism, so when she met Br. Franz, he just asked her a couple of questions and then said "nothing is preventing you from getting baptized", and that was that.

I remember the Ka book very well, (not it's contents mind) I was only young but I remember the yellow cover, and the blue writing. It was the first book I remember underlining (although I didn't really have a clue). My mom had shortly come into the truth and this was when we started going to meetings, so really this was her first book at the book study too. Isn't it funny, all those years ago, and now I am talking to the person who proof read it! I don't remember re-studying it in 81 though. I am aware that the commentary of James was written by his nephew, but before I knew that I always wondered why we never studied it. I know this is off topic, but what was in the Choosing book that was apostate?

17 hours ago, JW Insider said:

"merge everyone together and make Jesus Christ the mediator of every Tom, Dick and Harry!"

Funny. I guess he took it personally instead of relying on Christ to judge who he was going to be the mediator for. It seems like the present members of the GB are a lot more humble.....

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2 hours ago, Anna said:

I know this is off topic, but what was in the Choosing book that was apostate?

If this comes up in another thread I'll try to cover the answer to your question there.

2 hours ago, Anna said:

Isn't it funny, all those years ago, and now I am talking to the person who proof read it! I don't remember re-studying it in 81 though.

I was not a "spelling & grammar" proofreader. Several others, mostly sisters, handled that. They caught a lot of other little things, too, but they would rarely question a point of claimed fact. I was just another set of eyes focused on the "nerdier" issues. I often found places where the wrong font slipped in, or an em-dash matched with an en-dash, or where a short re-write changed a page number reference in an Index or TOC. I would also look up the original sources for the quotes and make sure the single/double and ellipses were correct, and whether reference footnotes were on the right page. There are still a couple of mistakes that remained because they were not considered serious enough to redo the plates for a 1980 printing. There are probably 5 errors of fact, but not all of them were actually questioned at the time.

Here was one of the items I questioned:

*** ka chap. 17 p. 346 par. 31 The “Slave” Who Lived to See the “Sign” ***
31 From this it is clearly seen that the editor and publisher of Zion’s Watch Tower disavowed any claim to being individually, in his person, that “faithful and wise servant.” He never did claim to be such.*

I knew that the biography of Charles Taze Russell that the WTS published had actually said that Russell really did claim in private to be "in his person, that 'faithful and wise servant.'" But that wasn't the problem, and I didn't really question that. What I questioned was the little asterisk (*) after it, because it pointed to the following at the bottom of the page:

*** ka chap. 17 The “Slave” Who Lived to See the “Sign” ***
[Footnotes]
See the book The Battle of Armageddon, published in 1897, page 613, under the heading “Dispensing of Food to the Household.—Matt. 24:45-51; Luke 12:42-46.”

The problem with this particular footnote is that this was the first primary reference where Brother Russell changed his mind about the "faithful slave." Up until a few months before this book was printed in 1897, Russell taught that the "faithful slave" was the entire household of Christians, but this particular reference was the one where Russell first began to make the argument that it really must be a single individual, not a class, and that if "he" failed in his duty he would be replaced with another single individual. And of course, from that time on he published contributed articles and letters in the Watch Tower that addressed himself as "that Servant" and "the Faithful and Wise Servant" in addition to calling some of his writings, "Meat in Due Season."  During his lifetime, after 1897 until his death, he also allowed himself to be referenced as "the faithful and wise servant" at Bible Student conventions. Of all the references to use in support of the claim in the paragraph on page 346 of ka, this was by far the worst choice outside of the Biography itself.

The other 4 errors that I'm aware of are even less relevant to the topic.

 

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

*** ka chap. 17 p. 346 par. 31 The “Slave” Who Lived to See the “Sign” ***
31 From this it is clearly seen that the editor and publisher of Zion’s Watch Tower disavowed any claim to being individually, in his person, that “faithful and wise servant.” He never did claim to be such.*

Haha, funny. I had a look at that, and in the paragraph prior, he quotes Br. Russell in the WT from 1881, where Russell says that the "little flock" IS the faithful and wise servant. However, as you say, in the book The Battle of Armageddon, as per the footnote under the asterisk, Br.Russell definitely insinuates that the faithful and wise servant is ONE person. Evidently and logically himself, although he never says so directly. I do not understand why Br. Franz didn't just leave the quote from the WT without referring to the Armageddon book. And you are right, in later years Br. Russell did view himself as the servant, although again, not directly. But from what I have read of the old Watchtowers, he wrote mainly in the third person anyway, so he would have never said "I am the servant". So how did Br. Franz react to your observation?

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10 hours ago, Anna said:

So how did Br. Franz react to your observation?

No reaction to that one in particular, but I did "read into" the non-reaction, perhaps unfairly, because after attempting to show him the next one, he made me feel like I was encroaching on his time, which always makes me nervous and makes me a bit flustered, wishing that I had put them in a different order or presented them all at once or something (I was only about 23). Then, I couldn't even get to the third one before he started talking about letters complaining about the book study, and how this never started happening until just two years ago. He told me, if I want, to send it (as if there was only one item) to Brother Dean Songer for him to decide if it was worth the trouble to change.

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On 12/18/2016 at 10:43 PM, Eoin Joyce said:
On 12/18/2016 at 0:17 PM, Ann O'Maly said:

How would the disciples have understood his words in Luke 24:39

That the Jesus they knew and loved had indeed been resurrected. Jesus exhibited the same spirit that he displayed at John 16:12-13. No need to subject his already buffeted disciples to terrifying manifestations such as those experienced earlier by Daniel when confronted with a spirit being (Da.10:8-9). Jesus did not find it necessary to overwhelm them with proof that he had been resurrected in the manner required to move the insolent Saul as later recorded at Acts 9:3-9.

You've not really answered the question. How would Jesus' disciples have understood him when he said, "it is I myself; touch me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as you see that I have"? 

Quote

Agreed, but would qualify this with a reference to 1 Cor.15:45 which says of Jesus: "The last Adam became a life-giving spirit."

 Well now, this presents a conundrum: How to harmonize Jesus' words with Paul's.

Quote

Agreed. However, pre-Christian believers will not enjoy a resurrection like Christ's.

But Heb. 11:16, 39, 40? In any case, we are still discussing Christian-era Christians.

Quote

(Not sure why you have Mighty God in parenthesis here?)

To be clear on who 'only Potentate' refers to when writing my comment.

Quote

However, your proposed view does not change the understanding of 1John 3:2 where Christians who will  "see him just as he is" will of necessity be unable to do so if resurrected as humans, flesh and blood.

Paul's term 'flesh and blood' is to be understood as an idiom describing man's present, corrupt-ed/-ible, mortal body, as opposed to the spirit-generated, incorruptible, immortal resurrection body. He's not saying that resurrected believers will no longer be human ... otherwise 'resurrection' (lit. 'standing up again') wouldn't be an appropriate word to describe what's supposed to happen. 

But continuing this line of discussion will lead us too far off topic about whether a subset of Christian-era believers will have a different sort of everlasting reward to other Christian-era believers. If all true Christians in the 1st century had been promised one kind of everlasting reward, how and when did that change? 

On 12/18/2016 at 10:43 PM, Eoin Joyce said:
On 12/18/2016 at 0:17 PM, Ann O'Maly said:

how did two different destinies for true Christian believers come about?

Compare Jesus words at Matt.16:17:

"flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but my Father in the heavens did"

How does Jesus' response to Peter's conclusion about Jesus being the Christ help answer my question? Or are you suggesting there was some divine revelation in post-biblical times?

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On 12/27/2016 at 9:12 PM, Anna said:

So, just a few simple questions, why did God create the earth in the first place?

According to the Bible, it was to be a home for His creation and humans were to take care of it.

Quote

Do you believe what Christendom does, that the earth was created as a testing ground for mankind, before they were allowed access into heaven?

No. I don't think all 'Christendom' believes that anyway. Maybe some churches do, if they also believe heaven is believers' final destiny and the earth will be destroyed by fire. Mainstream Christianity teaches that heavenly existence is the intermediate state, not the final one. The intermediate state is a little akin to the JW concept of being 'in God's memory' - the state between physical death and resurrection.

Quote

Is heaven the place where the angels were to mingle with humans who had experienced life on earth and then were given spiritual bodies to become like the other angels, who had never been human but were created already with a spiritual body? 

Sounds a bit 'gnostic' to me.

Quote

Or do you believe what the Mormons believe, that God created only angels who, in order to appreciate being an angel, were sent to the earth to experience evil?

No.

 ----------

(From another post.)

Quote

I am aware that the commentary of James was written by his nephew,

Ed Dunlap wrote that one, I understand.

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4 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

Mainstream Christianity teaches that heavenly existence is the intermediate state, not the final one.

Really? That is news to me. So what is the final one?

4 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

According to the Bible, it was to be a home for His creation and humans were to take care of it.

So do you think that purpose has changed?

4 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

Ed Dunlap wrote that one, I understand

Hmmm, ok. I was under the impression it was Raymond....

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22 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

it is I myself

These were Jesus words. The disciples present would have understood that it was indeed actually him, not a vision or some other type of manifestation. The form in which he presented himself was appropriate for the occasion.

22 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

To be clear on who 'only Potentate' refers to when writing my comment.

Well I certainly agree with the term "Mighty God" (Is. 9:6) applying to the 'only Potentate'.

22 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

How does Jesus' response to Peter's conclusion about Jesus being the Christ help answer my question? Or are you suggesting there was some divine revelation in post-biblical times?

Jesus words at Matt 16:17 can apply to any divinely provided insight into the true meaning of Scripture. For me, this differs from the revelation of new or additional material which has not occurred since the first Century. That is why I quoted Jesus words as a having a comparative rather than a direct application.

You obviously understand the concept of an earthy and heavenly resurrection as you are able to explain it quite adequately and with reference to the texts used to support that understanding. Whether you choose to accept or reject that understanding of the resurrections is a matter for you (or anyone else) on a  personal basis. As was the identification of Jesus as the Christ at Peter's time on earth. Peter chose to accept that identification. Others did not, although they no doubt could easily recount the events and explain the significance Christians of the time attached to them.

So what I am suggesting is that the correct understanding and application of Scripture is a divine revelation, attributable to the operation of God's Spirit. As for that matter is the resultant faith generated in those who accept the divine insight and make it their own. (Gal.5:22). However, I recognise that 'faith is not a possession of all people' (2Thess.3:2). This includes those who may well have an awareness of the knowledge, understanding and application of matters providing a basis for the excercise of faith in those so inclined, but who chose not to do so themselves.

23 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

But continuing this line of discussion will lead us too far off topic

Agreed and as I already suggested earlier.

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18 hours ago, Anna said:

Really? That is news to me. So what is the final one?

The resurrected, glorified body that Paul talks about - fit to live in the 'new heavens and new earth.' 

Unfortunately, some churches have over-emphasized the intermediate 'heaven' bit and parishioners have gone away with the impression that an ethereal existence in 'heaven' will be believers' final state - a concept that is more Gnostic in flavor than Christian.

These links will give you a quick overview and maybe help answer your other question about God's purpose:

    Hello guest!

    Hello guest!

    Hello guest!

 

 

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1 hour ago, Eoin Joyce said:
On 12/31/2016 at 3:05 PM, Ann O'Maly said:

it is I myself

These were Jesus words. The disciples present would have understood that it was indeed actually him, not a vision or some other type of manifestation. The form in which he presented himself was appropriate for the occasion.

And Jesus' words "a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as you see that I have" - how would the disciples have understood this? 

Quote

Well I certainly agree with the term "Mighty God" (Is. 9:6) applying to the 'only Potentate'.

That was not what I was suggesting, of course. I had in mind the term 'Mighty God' - as in Isa. 10:21 and Jer. 32:18 - applying to the 'only Potentate.' 

It looks like your next response is one of 'throwing in the towel' and pretty much saying that holy spirit will have to reveal to me the 'truth' as you see it so I can align with your, or present JW, interpretation. Yes, I understand the official JW concepts of earthly and heavenly resurrections for Christian-era Christians, but I question the validity of two separate destinies on scriptural grounds. (Acts 17:11, anyone?)

So far, the questions that are as yet left hanging in the air are:

  • Given that Paul likened Abraham's being declared righteous by faith to 1st century Christians' being declared righteous by faith, on what basis is there a tangible difference between being 'declared righteous as Jehovah's friend' (understood to be one Christian group of prospective recipients of God's saving grace) and 'declared righteous for life' (understood to be another group of Christians who are recipients of God's saving grace now and into eternity)?
  • If all true Christians in the 1st century had been promised one kind of everlasting reward, how and when did that change? 
  • And the sidebar that keeps being sidestepped: How would the disciples have understood Jesus' words "a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as you see that I have"? 

Anyway, if those questions provoke further private thought, reflection and research, even if one doesn't feel like discussing them at the moment, it's all good. :)

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    • Eric Ouellet

      Qu’est-ce que le Jour du Jugement ?

      La Bible dit que Dieu “ a fixé un jour où il va juger la terre habitée ”. (Actes 17:31.) Pour beaucoup, l’idée d’être soumis à un jugement, quel qu’il soit, est désagréable. Voyez-vous les choses ainsi ?
      SI C’EST le cas, rassurez-vous : le Jour du Jugement est une disposition pleine d’amour qui apportera de grands bienfaits à la famille humaine, y compris aux morts (Matthieu 20:28 ; Jean 3:16). Mais pourquoi est-il nécessaire ? Et que se passera-t-il réellement pendant ce “ jour ” ?
      Pourquoi le Jour du Jugement est nécessaire
      Lorsque Dieu a placé les humains sur la terre, il ne la destinait pas à n’être qu’un lieu d’épreuve en vue d’une existence dans un autre monde. Il a créé les humains pour qu’ils y vivent éternellement. Bien que parfaits physiquement et mentalement, Adam et Ève, le premier couple, se sont rebellés contre Dieu. Ils ont alors perdu la perspective de la vie éternelle pour eux-mêmes, et ont transmis le péché et la mort à tous leurs descendants. — Genèse 2:15-17 ; Romains 5:12.
      Le Jour du Jugement sera une période de mille ans durant laquelle les hommes auront la possibilité de retrouver ce qu’Adam et Ève ont perdu*. Remarquez que, selon Actes 17:31, cité plus haut, ce “ jour ” concerne les personnes qui vivent sur “ la terre habitée ”. Celles qui recevront un jugement favorable vivront sur la terre, éternellement et dans des conditions parfaites (Révélation 21:3, 4). Le Jour du Jugement contribue donc à l’accomplissement du dessein originel de Dieu pour l’homme et pour la planète.
      Le Juge que Dieu a établi est Christ Jésus. La Bible révèle qu’il va “ juger les vivants et les morts ”. (2 Timothée 4:1.) Qui sont “ les vivants ” qui seront jugés ? Comment les morts vont-ils revenir à la vie sur “ la terre habitée ” ?
      Jésus juge “ les vivants ”
      Nous sommes maintenant proches de la fin annoncée du présent système de choses, où Dieu va détruire tous les éléments de la société humaine corrompue et supprimer les méchants. Les personnes qui réchapperont seront “ les vivants ” qui seront jugés. — Révélation 7:9-14 ; 19:11-16.
      Durant la période de jugement qui durera mille ans, Christ Jésus ainsi que 144 000 hommes et femmes ressuscités pour vivre dans les cieux dirigeront la terre. Exerçant les fonctions de rois et de prêtres, ils dispenseront les bienfaits du sacrifice rédempteur de Jésus et amèneront progressivement les humains fidèles à la perfection physique et mentale. — Révélation 5:10 ; 14:1-4 ; 20:4-6.
      Pendant le Jour du Jugement, Satan et ses démons ne seront plus libres d’influencer l’activité humaine (Révélation 20:1-3). Toutefois, à la fin de ce “ jour ”, Satan sera autorisé à éprouver la fidélité de tous les humains alors en vie. Ceux qui resteront fidèles à Dieu passeront avec succès l’épreuve à laquelle Adam et Ève ont échoué. Ils seront jugés dignes de recevoir la vie éternelle sur la terre redevenue un paradis. Ceux qui décideront de se rebeller contre Dieu seront détruits pour toujours, de même que Satan et ses démons. — Révélation 20:7-9.
      Le jugement des “ morts ”
      On lit dans la Bible qu’au Jour du Jugement les morts “ se lèveront ”. (Matthieu 12:41.) Jésus a dit : “ L’heure vient où tous ceux qui sont dans les tombes de souvenir entendront sa voix et sortiront, ceux qui ont fait des choses bonnes, pour une résurrection de vie, ceux qui ont pratiqué des choses viles, pour une résurrection de jugement. ” (Jean 5:28, 29). Il n’est pas question ici des âmes désincarnées des défunts. Ces derniers sont totalement inconscients et n’ont pas d’âme qui survive à la mort (Ecclésiaste 9:5 ; Jean 11:11-14, 23, 24). Jésus relèvera sur la terre tous ceux qui se sont endormis dans la mort.
      Seront-ils jugés sur la base de ce qu’ils ont fait avant leur mort ? Non. Les Écritures enseignent que “ celui qui est mort a été acquitté de son péché ”. (Romains 6:7.) Ainsi, tout comme les survivants de la fin du système actuel, les ressuscités pour la vie sur la terre seront jugés “ selon leurs actions ” au cours du Jour du Jugement (Révélation 20:12, 13). En fonction de l’issue de leurs actions, leur résurrection se révélera aboutir soit à l’éternité, soit à la destruction. Nombre de ces ressuscités découvriront Jéhovah Dieu et ses exigences pour obtenir la vie. Ils auront la possibilité de se conformer à la volonté de Dieu et de recevoir la vie éternelle sur la terre.
      Aucune raison d’avoir peur
      Le Jour du Jugement ne sera pas seulement un temps d’instruction divine, mais aussi un temps où tous les vivants appliqueront ce qu’ils apprendront et en verront les bienfaits. Imaginez la joie que vous ressentirez quand vous retrouverez vos chers disparus et progresserez à leurs côtés vers la perfection !
      Imaginez la joie que vous ressentirez quand vous retrouverez vos chers disparus.
      Au terme du Jour du Jugement, Dieu permettra à Satan d’éprouver la fidélité des êtres humains. Il n’y a cependant pas lieu d’être inquiet ou d’avoir peur. Tous seront alors solidement armés pour faire face à cette dernière épreuve. Ainsi, le Jour du Jugement est une étape dans l’accomplissement du dessein divin qui effacera toutes les conséquences de la rébellion originelle contre Dieu dans le jardin d’Éden.

      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Chantons avec coeur et allégresse 
      Psaumes
      146 Louez Jah!
      Que tout mon être loue Jéhovah !
       2 Je veux louer Jéhovah toute ma vie.
      Je veux chanter des louanges à mon Dieu aussi longtemps que je vivrai.
       3 Ne mettez pas votre confiance dans les princes,
      ni dans un fils d’homme, qui est incapable de sauver.
       4 L’esprit de l’homme sort, l’homme retourne au sol ;
      ce jour-là, ses pensées périssent.
       5 Heureux celui qui a pour secours le Dieu de Jacob
      et dont l’espoir est en Jéhovah son Dieu,
       6 Celui qui a fait le ciel et la terre,
      la mer, et tout ce qui s’y trouve,
      celui qui reste fidèle pour toujours,
       7 celui qui garantit la justice aux spoliés,
      celui qui donne du pain aux affamés.
      Jéhovah libère les prisonniers ;
       8 Jéhovah ouvre les yeux des aveugles ;
      Jéhovah relève ceux qui sont courbés ;
      Jéhovah aime les justes.
       9 Jéhovah protège les résidents étrangers ;
      il soutient l’orphelin de père et la veuve,
      mais il contrecarre les projets des méchants
      10 Jéhovah sera Roi pour toujours,
      ton Dieu, ô Sion, de génération en génération.
      Louez Jah !

      · 0 replies
    • REDROCHA  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      Thank you Sister !!!!
      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      LES QUALITÉS D'UN BERGER ET LES ASSISTANTS DE L'ASSEMBLÉE 

      PREMIÈRE LETTRE DE TIMOTHÉE

      3 La parole suivante est digne de foi : Si un homme aspire à être un responsable, il désire une belle œuvre. 2 Il faut donc qu’un responsable soit irréprochable, mari d’une seule femme, modéré dans ses habitudes, réfléchi, ordonné, hospitalier, capable d’enseigner, 3 que ce ne soit pas un ivrogne ni un homme violent, mais un homme raisonnable, non querelleur, non ami de l’argent, 4 un homme qui dirige d’une belle façon sa propre famille, qui tienne ses enfants dans la soumission en toute dignité 5 (car si un homme ne sait pas diriger sa propre famille, comment prendra-t-il soin de l’assemblée de Dieu ?), 6 que ce ne soit pas un homme récemment converti, de peur qu’il se gonfle d’orgueil et tombe sous le coup de la condamnation portée contre le Diable. 7 D’autre part, il faut aussi qu’il reçoive un beau témoignage des gens extérieurs à l’assemblée, afin de ne pas tomber dans le déshonneur et dans un piège du Diable.
      8 De même, il faut que les assistants soient des hommes dignes, qu’ils n’aient pas un langage double, qu’ils soient modérés dans la consommation de vin, non avides d’un gain malhonnête, 9 attachés au saint secret de la foi avec une conscience pure.
      10 De plus, qu’ils soient d’abord mis à l’épreuve quant à leurs aptitudes ; puis, s’ils sont exempts d’accusation, qu’ils servent comme ministres.
      11 De même, il faut que les femmes soient dignes, non calomniatrices, modérées dans leurs habitudes, fidèles en toutes choses.
      12 Les assistants doivent être maris d’une seule femme et diriger d’une belle façon leurs enfants et leur propre famille. 13 Car les hommes qui servent d’une belle façon acquièrent une belle réputation et une grande confiancepour parler de la foi en Christ Jésus.
      14 Je t’écris ces choses, bien que j’espère venir bientôt chez toi, 15 pour que, au cas où je serais retardé, tu saches comment tu dois te conduire dans la maison de Dieu, qui est l’assemblée du Dieu vivant, colonne et soutien de la vérité. 16 Oui, il faut avouer qu’il est grand, le saint secret de l’attachement à Dieu : « Il a été manifesté dans la chair, a été déclaré juste dans l’esprit, est apparu aux anges, a été prêché parmi les nations, a été cru dans le monde, a été enlevé dans la gloire. »





      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Bergers, imitez les Grands Bergers
       
      Christ [...] a souffert pour vous, vous laissant un modèle pour que vous suiviez fidèlement ses traces » (1 PIERRE 2:21)

      QUAND un berger s’intéresse de près au bien-être de son troupeau, les moutons se portent bien. Selon un manuel sur l’élevage ovin, « l’homme qui se contente de mener le troupeau au pré puis n’y prête plus attention risque fort, en quelques années, d’avoir de nombreuses bêtes malades qui ne rapportent rien ». Par contre, quand les moutons reçoivent l’attention voulue, le troupeau prospère.
      La qualité des soins et de l’attention que les bergers du troupeau de Dieu prodiguent à chaque brebis dont ils sont responsables influera sur la santé spirituelle de toute la congrégation. Tu te souviens peut-être que Jésus a eu pitié des foules parce qu’« elles étaient dépouillées et éparpillées comme des brebis sans berger » (Mat. 9:36). Pourquoi se trouvaient-elles en si piteuse condition ? Parce que les hommes chargés d’enseigner la Loi de Dieu au peuple étaient durs, exigeants et hypocrites. Au lieu de soutenir et de nourrir les membres de leur troupeau, les guides spirituels d’Israël posaient sur leurs épaules de « lourdes charges » (Mat. 23:4).
      Les bergers chrétiens d’aujourd’hui, les anciens, ont donc une lourde responsabilité. Les brebis du troupeau sous leur garde appartiennent à Jéhovah ainsi qu’à Jésus, qui s’est présenté comme « l’excellent berger » (Jean 10:11). Les brebis ont été « acheté[e]s à un prix », que Jésus a payé avec son propre « sang précieux » (1 Cor. 6:20 ; 1 Pierre 1:18, 19). Jésus aime tellement les brebis qu’il a bien voulu sacrifier sa vie pour elles. Les anciens ne devraient jamais oublier qu’ils sont des sous-bergers sous la surveillance du Fils bienveillant de Dieu, Jésus Christ, « le grand berger des brebis » (Héb. 13:20).
      Comment les bergers chrétiens devraient-ils traiter les brebis ? Les membres de la congrégation sont exhortés à « obéi[r] à ceux qui [les] dirigent ». De leur côté, les anciens ne doivent pas « commande[r] en maîtres ceux qui sont l’héritage de Dieu » (Héb. 13:17 ; lire 1 Pierre 5:2, 3). Alors comment peuvent-ils diriger le troupeau sans le commander en maîtres ? Autrement dit, comment peuvent-ils répondre aux besoins des brebis sans abuser de l’autorité dont Dieu les a investis ?
      « IL LES PORTERA SUR SON SEIN »
      Parlant de Jéhovah, le prophète Isaïe a déclaré : « Comme un berger il fera paître son troupeau. De son bras il rassemblera les agneaux ; et sur son sein il les portera. Il conduira doucement celles qui allaitent » (Is. 40:11). Cette comparaison montre que Jéhovah se soucie des besoins des membres de la congrégation faibles et vulnérables. De même qu’un berger connaît les besoins particuliers de chaque brebis de son troupeau et se tient prêt à les combler, Jéhovah connaît les besoins des membres de la congrégation et est heureux de leur apporter le soutien voulu. À l’image d’un berger qui, si nécessaire, porte un agneau nouveau-né dans le pli de son vêtement, « le Père des tendres miséricordes » nous portera, ou nous consolera, quand nous serons durement éprouvés ou rencontrerons un besoin particulier (2 Cor. 1:3, 4).

      Quel exemple admirable pour un berger chrétien ! Comme son Père céleste, il lui faut être attentif aux besoins des brebis. S’il est au courant des difficultés qu’elles rencontrent et des besoins qui méritent une attention immédiate, il sera en mesure d’offrir l’encouragement et le soutien nécessaires (Prov. 27:23). Il doit donc bien communiquer avec ses compagnons chrétiens. Tout en respectant la vie privée de chacun, il s’intéresse à ce qu’il voit et entend dans la congrégation, avec amour, il se rend disponible pour « venir en aide aux faibles » (Actes 20:35 ; 1 Thess. 4:11).
      Parlons de la mentalité de bergers que Jéhovah a désapprouvés. Aux jours d’Ézékiel et de Jérémie, Jéhovah a dénoncé ceux qui auraient dû s’occuper de ses brebis, mais ne le faisaient pas. Quand personne ne surveillait les brebis, le troupeau devenait la proie de bêtes sauvages et se dispersait. Ces bergers exploitaient les brebis et, plutôt que de les faire paître, « ils se paissaient eux-mêmes » (Ézék. 34:7-10 ; Jér. 23:1). Le reproche que Dieu leur a fait est tout aussi valable pour les chefs de la chrétienté. Mais il souligne également combien il est important qu’un ancien s’occupe avec sérieux et amour du troupeau de Jéhovah.
      « JE VOUS AI DONNÉ L’EXEMPLE »
      En raison de l’imperfection humaine, certaines brebis peuvent être lentes à comprendre ce que le Berger suprême attend d’elles. Elles ne se conforment pas toujours à un conseil biblique ou ont un comportement trahissant un manque de maturité spirituelle. Comment les anciens doivent-ils réagir ? Ils devraient imiter la patience qu’a eue Jésus envers ses disciples quand ils cherchaient à savoir qui parmi eux serait le plus grand dans le Royaume. Au lieu de perdre patience, Jésus a continué à les enseigner et à leur donner des conseils bienveillants sur la pratique de l’humilité (Luc 9:46-48 ; 22:24-27). En leur lavant les pieds, il leur a fait une démonstration d’humilité, qualité que les surveillants chrétiens sont tenus de manifester (lire Jean 13:12-15 ; 1 Pierre 2:21).
      Le point de vue de Jésus sur le rôle du berger n’était pas le même que celui que Jacques et Jean ont un jour manifesté. Ces deux apôtres cherchaient à s’assurer une place en vue dans le Royaume. Mais Jésus a rectifié cet état d’esprit ainsi : « Vous savez que les chefs des nations dominent sur elles, et que les grands usent d’autorité sur elles. Il n’en sera pas ainsi parmi vous ; mais quiconque voudra devenir grand parmi vous sera votre serviteur » (Mat. 20:25, 26, Bible de Darby). Les apôtres devaient résister à l’envie de « commander en maîtres » leurs compagnons ou de « dominer sur » eux.
      Jésus tient à ce que les bergers chrétiens traitent le troupeau comme lui le traitait. Ils doivent être disposés à servir leurs compagnons, pas les dominer. Paul a manifesté une telle humilité. Il a dit en effet aux anciens de la congrégation d’Éphèse : « Vous savez bien comment, depuis le premier jour où j’ai mis le pied dans le district d’Asie, j’ai été avec vous tout le temps, travaillant comme un esclave pour le Seigneur, avec la plus grande humilité. » L’apôtre souhaitait que ces anciens soutiennent les brebis avec dévouement et humilité. Il a ajouté : « Je vous ai montré en toutes choses que c’est en peinant ainsi que vous devez venir en aide aux faibles » (Actes 20:18, 19, 35). Il a par ailleurs dit aux Corinthiens qu’il ne dominait pas sur leur foi. Il était plutôt leur humble compagnon de travail, pour leur joie (2 Cor. 1:24). C’est un bel exemple d’humilité et de courage pour les anciens de notre époque.
      « FERMEMENT ATTACHÉ À LA PAROLE FIDÈLE »
      Un ancien doit être « fermement attaché à la parole fidèle pour ce qui est de son art d’enseigner » (Tite 1:9). Mais il le sera « dans un esprit de douceur » (Gal. 6:1). Un bon berger chrétien ne force pas une brebis à agir de telle ou telle façon. Non, il réfléchit à la manière dont il stimulera son cœur. Il attirera peut-être son attention sur les principes bibliques à considérer avant de prendre une décision importante. Il reverra avec elle ce que les publications ont dit sur la question. Il l’exhortera à réfléchir aux conséquences de tel ou tel choix sur ses relations avec Jéhovah. Il pourra aussi insister sur l’importance de demander à Dieu sa direction avant de prendre une décision (Prov. 3:5, 6). Ensuite, il la laissera prendre elle-même sa décision (Rom. 14:1-4).
      La seule autorité que les surveillants chrétiens détiennent leur vient des Écritures. Alors ils doivent absolument se servir de la Bible avec habileté et adhérer à son contenu. Ils se garderont ainsi d’un éventuel abus de pouvoir. Car ils ne sont que sous-bergers ; chaque membre de la congrégation est responsable devant Jéhovah et Jésus de ses propres décisions (Gal. 6:5, 7, 8).
      « DES EXEMPLES POUR LE TROUPEAU »
      Après avoir déconseillé aux anciens ( prêtres )« commander en maîtres ceux qui [leur] sont échus en partage », l’apôtre Pierre les exhorte à « devenir des exemples pour le troupeau » (1 Pierre 5:3, note). De quelle façon sont-ils des exemples pour le troupeau ? Prenons deux des choses requises d’un frère qui « aspire à une fonction de surveillant ». Il lui faut être « sain d’esprit » et « présider de belle façon, sa propre maisonnée ». S’il a une famille, il doit la présider de manière exemplaire, car « si quelqu’un [...] ne sait pas présider sa propre maisonnée, comment prendra-t-il soin de la congrégation ( assemblée) de Dieu ? » (1 Tim. 3:1, 2, 4, 5). Il doit également être sain d’esprit, c’est-à-dire comprendre clairement les principes divins et savoir comment les appliquer dans sa propre vie. Il est calme et équilibré et se garde de porter des jugements hâtifs. Autant de qualités qui inspirent confiance aux membres de la congrégation.
      Les surveillants donnent également l’exemple en prenant la tête dans l’œuvre de prédication. Jésus lui-même leur a donné l’exemple à cet égard. La prédication de la bonne nouvelle du Royaume a occupé une grande partie de son activité terrestre. Il a montré à ses disciples comment il fallait l’accomplir (Marc 1:38 ; Luc 8:1). Qu’il est encourageant, de nos jours, de prêcher aux côtés des anciens, de constater leur zèle pour cette œuvre salvatrice et d’apprendre de leurs méthodes d’enseignement ! Leur détermination à consacrer du temps et de l’énergie à la prédication malgré un emploi du temps chargé insuffle du zèle à toute la congrégation. Enfin, les anciens donnent l’exemple en préparant les réunions de la congrégation et en y participant, mais aussi en prenant part à des activités comme le nettoyage et la maintenance de la Salle du Royaume (Éph. 5:15, 16 ; lire (Hébreux 13:7) 
      « SOUTENEZ LES FAIBLES »
      Quand une brebis se blesse ou tombe malade, un bon berger vole à son secours. Pareillement, quand un membre de la congrégation souffre ou a besoin d’une aide spirituelle, les anciens doivent réagir rapidement. Un chrétien âgé ou malade a sans doute besoin d’une aide pratique, mais il a surtout besoin d’un soutien spirituel et d’encouragements (1 Thess. 5:14). Les jeunes rencontrent peut-être des difficultés. Résister aux « désirs de la jeunesse » en est une (2 Tim. 2:22). Le berger doit donc rendre régulièrement visite aux membres de la congrégation dans le but de comprendre les épreuves qu’ils traversent et de les encourager par des conseils bibliques bien choisis. Quand ces visites pastorales sont faites au bon moment, beaucoup de problèmes peuvent être résolus avant qu’ils ne s’aggravent.
      Et si les difficultés d’un chrétien s’aggravent au point de menacer sa santé spirituelle ? « Quelqu’un parmi vous est-il malade ?, a demandé le rédacteur biblique Jacques. Qu’il appelle à lui les anciens de la congrégation, et qu’ils prient sur lui, l’enduisant d’huile au nom de Jéhovah. Et la prière de la foi rétablira celui qui est souffrant, et Jéhovah le relèvera. De plus, s’il a commis des péchés, il lui sera pardonné » (Jacq. 5:14, 15). Même quand un chrétien « souffrant » « appelle à lui les anciens », ces derniers doivent lui venir en aide dès qu’ils sont au courant de son état. Les anciens qui prient avec sont là pour le fortifier et aussi tout frères en difficulté, et ils les soutiennent, se révèlent une source de réconfort et d’encouragement (lire Isaïe 32:1, 2).
      Dans tout ce qu’ils font au sein de l’organisation de Jéhovah, les bergers s’efforcent d’imiter « le grand berger », Jésus Christ. Grâce à l’aide de ces hommes dignes de confiance, le troupeau se fortifie et prospère. Tout cela nous réjouit profondément et nous pousse à louer le plus Grand Berger sans pareil,  notre Dieu Jéhovah



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