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The Babylonian Exile


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I never could get my head around our previous take on the Babylonian exile. Or care. I mean, a one-year period representing such an event?

But the new package revealed Sunday makes so much more sense.

'That new point the Governing Body wrote about?' said Mike Tussen's years ago. 'You may have already noticed that point in your studying. And if this were Christendom, you'd run out and start your own religion over it.'

The uppity people take no interest in that new religion of Jesus because it is carpenters, fishermen and shoemakers. But then they figure out how to monetize it. All the highbrow people jump in, bringing all the highbrow ideas they love so, ideas from Aristotle and Plato.

photo: Carla216

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I never could get my head around our previous take on the Babylonian exile. Or care. I mean, a one-year period representing such an event? But the new package revealed Sunday makes so much more sense. 'That new point the Governing Body wrote about?' said Mike Tussen's years ago. 'You may have already noticed that point in your studying. And if this were Christendom, you'd run out and start your own religion over it.' The uppity people take no interest in that new religion of Jesus

But you have to remember that the returnees, or those in exile, were not commanded to return to Jerusalem. That was left up to the individual. This was much different than the release from Egypt, when the Israelites were slaves, held under compulsory service. But as exiles from their homeland, many were given service in the government, some even became wealthy doing business in the territory. So when Babylon fell and the Word came to return, many may have weighed that call against what they had

I know it is probably my bad, but I don't care about these things. What's the present understanding? I'll spin it that way out of loyalty. Should the understanding change someday, I'll spin it the new way. It doesn't affect my basic relationship with Jehovah or his Son. I don't recommend that attitude, or hold it out as some example. But I just can't get too worked up over such things. They are 'cool' but not essential.

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Most of the exiles remained scattered all over the territory of Babylon and the previous Assyrian empire (ten tribe kingdom was scattered by Assyria; and Juda, the two-tribe kingdom, was scattered by the Babylonian empire). 

Only a remnant of Israel returned exactly on time as predicted by Isaiah - after 70 years.

 

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But you have to remember that the returnees, or those in exile, were not commanded to return to Jerusalem. That was left up to the individual. This was much different than the release from Egypt, when the Israelites were slaves, held under compulsory service. But as exiles from their homeland, many were given service in the government, some even became wealthy doing business in the territory. So when Babylon fell and the Word came to return, many may have weighed that call against what they had gained. But it was a false assumption, because again they were not putting spiritual things first.

Their return was not for their relief, but to rebuild the temple and Jehovah's named worship center. Not their own relief and homelife, which was what Nehemiah found when the work slacked, but their own homes were decked out. So those whose heart was true to true worship as Isaiah wrote, for righteousness would be on this road, being protected by Jehovah on the trek back home.

So some indeed stayed, but those 'seeking first' spiritual things left to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple and the wall and gate of the city, which had been burned by fire.

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On 1/24/2017 at 6:38 AM, TrueTom said:

I never could get my head around our previous take on the Babylonian exile. Or care. I mean, a one-year period representing such an event?

I never could either! Made no sense, and I said so to one sister on Sunday and I think she thought I was being haughty :D:D

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I know it is probably my bad, but I don't care about these things. What's the present understanding? I'll spin it that way out of loyalty. Should the understanding change someday, I'll spin it the new way. It doesn't affect my basic relationship with Jehovah or his Son.

I don't recommend that attitude, or hold it out as some example. But I just can't get too worked up over such things. They are 'cool' but not essential.

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      3) Compare with the current understanding and see which of the two subjects, in the light of the Scriptures and not of personal desires or ideas, are more likely to be.

       
      Question 1
      Babylon the Great can be a nation?

       
      Meanwhile, let us remember that Babylon the Great, throughout history, has been "identified" with many nations and for the most disparate reasons.
      Imperial Rome, Papal Rome, USA, UK, USSR etc.
      Many different people and religious groups have given different explanations but none of them has ever resisted the test of fire and that is the scrutiny of the Scriptures - I Thessalonians 5:21
      What about us?
      One of the explanations given in the publications of the Slave according to which Babylon the Great can not be a literal nation is the fact that "he commits fornication with the kings of the earth".
      A strengthening of this statement would be the fact that both kings and merchants mourn its destruction.
      Finally, it would not be a nation because it is said to mislead the entire inhabited earth through its "spiritual practices".
      That's it?
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      In Isaiah 23: 15-17 we speak of Tire as a "forgotten prostitute" and therefore, as such, "commits prostitution with all the kingdoms of the earth on the surface of the ground".
      Tire was a nation, not a religion or a religious system - Romans 15.4
      So a nation can be described, in the Bible, in the act of committing prostitution with all the kingdoms of the earth and remaining a nation.
      Prostitution may have to do with commercial trade or acts of injustice and bloodshed and not necessarily with religion. - Naum 3: 1-4
      In particular, Tire's prostitution has nothing to do with false religion because, if that were so, Jehovah would not have considered “saint” his reward - Isaiah 23:18
      "Prostitution" can have to do with the covenant and trust placed in other nations, as reported many times in the Bible when Israel and Judah proved to be unfaithful by allying with pagan nations.
      It is clear, therefore, if this nation is compared to a prostitute the loss of this prostitute would have caused pain to her lovers (the nations with which she committed prostitution and the merchants who have enriched herself with it) just like ancient Israel " joy " for Tire's prostitution and this not because Tire was a religion or for the religion of Tire.
      A king can "cry" for the loss of a political ally (therefore for the fall of a nation) and a great merchant can cry for the fall of a commercial ally (which can be big or small but certainly rich nation).
      So the reasons that "Babylon the Great" can not be a nation because kings and merchants mourn his departure are not valid.
      What can we say, however, of the strongest affirmation in reference to Babylon La Grande, that is, that "all nations have been misled by its spiritual practice"?
      This statement in particular has led many to think that it was a religious empire (for many sects of Christianity Babylon the Great is Catholicism and for some Catholics it is even the Second Vatican Council).
      First of all we must realize that all the empires of the past have resorted to spiritualistic practices and this is also true of modern so-called atheist empires.
      Pharaoh opposed his "magic practitioners" to Moses and Nebuchadnezzar was practically surrounded - Exodus 7:11 - Daniel 2: 2
      The same can be said of Assyria, Syria, Media Persia etc.
      So if the Bible, speaking of a literal nation, said that "uses magic" or "divination practice", it would not say anything exceptional.
      We also know from the study of the Scriptures that nations are governed by demons that mislead the entire inhabited earth and that during the wars not only human beings are involved - Daniel 10:13
      Can we hypothesize that the demons have given particular power to a nation and that this has, today, "the kingdom over the kings of the earth"? - Revelation 17:18 see also Luke 4: 5-7
      By comparing the Scriptures without preconceptions, it is not possible to exclude "Babylon the Great" among the nations.
      Question 2
      "Does the literal people of modern Israel match the description that the Bible makes of Babylon the Great?"
      In Revelation 17: 1, 2 we read that Babylon the Great "sits on many waters".
      We know that the waters mean "peoples and crowds and nations and languages"
      Israel "sits on many waters" because it is surrounded by many peoples and nations that can not stand it ("to sit on" can also mean against the will of the neighboring peoples). In Isaiah 8: 5-8 one speaks of the powerful Assyrian army as "devastating waters"; therefore the "waters" are not always a symbol of protection - Isaiah 8: 5-8
      It was put there by the UN against the will of the many neighboring nations.
      It also sits "on many waters" because his position is due to the nations that make up the United Nations (Babylon the Great also sits on the wild beast of scarlet color) that, besides having settled it where it is still, protect it militarily.
      The armies of Assyria are compared to "devastating waters", so we can say that they also sit on many armies? - Revelation 17: 3, 16
      it is also noteworthy that the nation of Israel is right in the "crossroads" of three continents: Europe, Africa, Asia.
      If I wanted to find a literal nation located above "many waters" (ie peoples and nations and tribes and languages) both geographically and politically, no other nation would correspond better than the modern nation of Israel.
      The harlot rides a beast.
      In Revelation 17: 3 we read "And the angel brought me into the power of the spirit in a wilderness." And I saw a woman seated on a wild scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. "
      The nation of Israel is already in a desert today and rides on the wild beast of scarlet color which, as we know, is the League or League of Nations ascended from the abyss with the name U.N.
      Israel exists, thanks to the push of the Anglo-American empire, thanks and through the United Nations, since 1948.
      Historical events prior to and following the creation of the state of Israel confirm that the Jewish people have ridden the scarlet-colored wild beast even before returning to being a nation (I invite you to do a research on Balfour and all the historical background before 1948).
      Mother of all prostitutes.
      Revelation 17: 4-5: "And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and she was adorned with gold and precious stone and pearls, and she had in her hand a golden cup full of disgusting things and the unclean things of her fornication. on his forehead was written a name, a mystery: 'Babylon the Great, the mother of the harlots and of the disgusting things of the earth' ".
      If we accept the possibility that a nation is compared to a prostitute (just like Tire), then the nation of Israel is the "mother of all prostitutes" because it has committed greater fornication than any other nation in the world.
      How can we say it?
      If the prostitute rides the scarlet-colored wild beast, which, as we know, is the League or League of Nations, is supposed to have committed fornication with all the nations adhering to the United Nations.
      Indeed, its very existence as a nation is due to his political lovers so, to continue to exist, must commit prostitution in excess and continuously.
      No other nation can compare itself to her as acts of prostitution because no other nation has the urgent need to please the UN to continue to exist.
      it is also possible that in the Bible it is described as a prostitute because it is not a real "queen" but a forcing. It is an empire carved out of art for a prostitute.
      The woman is also "dressed in purple and scarlet and adorned with gold and precious stone ..." so she is simply dressed like a queen but the purple and scarlet colors are still the colors of luxury and royal power and this would strengthen the idea that we are talking about a kingdom, a literal nation.
      In the same way the beast that the prostitute rides is scarlet in color and the beast, as we know, is the League or Society of Nations (all members of the United Nations represent literal nations). The scarlet color, color of both the wild beast and the harlot, is significant.
      Drunk with the blood of the saints.
      The writing continues saying "And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and of the witnesses of Jesus".
      Israel has an enormous blood fault and Jesus referred to this very nation when he said: “so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel+ to the blood of Zech·a·ri?ah son of Bar·a·chi?ah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar” - Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:50, 51
      So Jesus himself identifies Israel, not another nation, as responsible for the payment of "all the right blood" (compare also the words of Stephen recorded in Acts 7: 51-53).
      The book "Insight", under the heading "Babylon the Great", correctly points out that not all Christians were persecuted by the Pharisees and the Jews themselves have suffered, in turn, a great persecution.
      However, even Abel was not killed by a Pharisee or even by any religious minister.
      Moreover, the millions of deaths caused by the communist, atheist empire, could hardly be pointed to false religion.
      Can we hypothesize that Jehovah and Jesus hold particularly responsible those who have "known God" and, despite this, commit unspeakable crimes?
      The nation of Israel fits perfectly in this context. - Hosea 8: 2 - Amos 3: 2
      It should also be said that the blood of "all those slaughtered on earth" is referring to the last war (which is yet to come) and therefore is saying that Israel will be the real behind-the-scenes cause of this war.
      However, this last parat needs other explanations for which, for the moment, omit it.
      Condolence for the end of Babylon.
      Revelation 18: 9-14 says: “And the kings of the earth who committed sexual immorality* with her and lived with her in shameless luxury will weep and beat themselves in grief over her when they see the smoke from her burning. 10  They will stand at a distance because of their fear of her torment and say: ‘Too bad, too bad, you great city,+ Babylon you strong city, because in one hour your judgment has arrived!’ 11  “Also, the merchants of the earth are weeping and mourning over her, because there is no one to buy their full cargo anymore, 12  a full cargo of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, and scarlet cloth; and everything made from scented wood; and every sort of object made from ivory, and from precious wood, copper, iron, and marble; 13  also cinnamon, Indian spice, incense, perfumed oil, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, carriages, slaves, and human lives.* 14  Yes, the fine fruit that you* desired has left you, and all the delicacies and the splendid things have vanished from you, never to be found again”.
      As we saw at the beginning, both the kings of the earth and the travelers traders suffer for the demise of their lover.
      Unlike any other nation, the destruction of Israel would bring desperation and "misfortune" between rulers and traders all over the world.
      Why?
      Because the Jewish people are owners of the world's largest banks, almost all of the gold, oil, the largest multinationals and everything that can be imagined.
      The largest world powers (including the US, USSR and China) have benefited from copious loans to wage war on other nations and to build massive and colossal structures (such as the Suez Canal).
      Just do some research to find out how and how many owners of the world's largest banks have been involved in almost every wars of the last two centuries and probably far back in time.
      The words of Revelation 18: 11-14 that speak of 'full of gold and silver and precious stone and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and each smelling wood and all sorts of ivory objects and all sorts of precious wood and copper and iron and marble, and cinnamon and Indian spice and incense and fragrant oil and olibanum and wine and olive oil and flour and wheat flour and cattle and sheep and horses and carriages and slaves and human souls' are significant.
      Imagining the global economic consequences for the collapse of 80% of all the existing banks and therefore the immediate and simultaneous failure of thousands of companies spread all over the world ... one could conclude that a crisis of this size would not be reflected in all the history of man - Matthew 24:21
      Really the kings of the earth and travelers traders around the world would be right to beat their chests, to mourn and cry, "Woe!"
      "Get out of her, my people".
      Revelation 18: 4 says:And I heard another voice out of heaven say: “Get out of her, my people,+ if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues”.
      If Babylon the Great is the modern nation of Israel then it is easy to understand to whom this urgent appeal is addressed: to our dear brothers present in the nation of Israel who are also "a remnant to be saved".
      If they stayed there, they would receive part of his wounds as a result of the United Nations' furious attack.
      This possibility is to be evaluated very seriously.
      This would also mean that the destruction of Jerusalem, occurred in 537 a.E.V. and then in 70 E.V. would have a further and definitive fulfillment. The third (Revelation 4: 8; 8:13; 16:13, 19 - Ezekiel 21:14).
      Question two asked: "Does the literal people of modern Israel match the description that the Bible makes of Babylon the Great?
      Whether we like it or not, and as much as it can constitute a "domino effect" on other interpretations, this is in harmony both with the secular history and with the Scriptures.
      So the answer is yes.
      Question 3
      Which of the two subjects, in the light of the Scriptures and not of desires or personal ideas, is more likely to be?
      Honestly, the whole description that the Bible makes of Babylon the Great corresponds very well to false religion and so it is very difficult to understand if the Bible wants to point us to a literal nation or the false religion as a whole.
      The shameless immorality, extreme violence, the desire for domination, spiritual prostitution, arrogance and presumption ... are all characteristics of the worldwide empire of false religion as well as of present-day Israel.
      The clues, however, should be more than enough, if seen without preconceptions, to understand the subject.
      Reflections
      As written at the beginning of this treatise, hundreds of parallels are found in the Bible between Babylon and unfaithful Israel.
      Even the cup "full of disgusting things" from which the harlot gets inebriated recalls the utensils of Jehovah's temple.
      The problem is to understand what we must understand when we read these parallels.
      All of Jehovah's judgments, reported in the Scriptures, have fallen upon peoples and literal nations and even the wounds sent to the land of Egypt, which served to destroy / humiliate their false gods, however, had to fall upon a specific nation.
      In the book "The prophecies of Isaiah" volume 1, page 202 paragraph 28 (Italian edition) reports Isaiah 19: 3 and we read ...
      "Likewise, on the day of judgment, the false religion will be unable to save this corrupt system of things".
      But if Egypt represents the world as a whole, we are already at Armageddon (in Isaiah 19: 2 Jehovah puts "Egyptian against Egyptian") and the world empire of false religion (if it is Babylon the Great) has already been destroyed .
      Now, if the world empire of false religion has already been previously destroyed, in what sense will "people resort to worthless gods, to spellcasters and spirit mediums"?
      Only a world still imbued with religion, after the destruction of Babylon the Great, could "resort to worthless gods".
      The above could be in harmony with the writing of Zechariah 13: 4-6, which speaks of the "prophet" who will deny ever having been?
      The Watchtower of 15 July 2015, under the heading "The beginning of the great tribulation", says ... "It seems therefore that even some members of the clergy will abandon their religious career and deny ever having been part of the false religion".
      Yet if for the adherents of Babylon the Great enough to "change coat" to save their lives (which would make the majority of them, not having a true faith), one would not say that it was "torn and completely burned with fire". It is also difficult to imagine this "great mourning" since the majority of the clergy, especially that of Christianity, would still be alive after the destruction of Babylon the Great.
      The book "Revelation", in chapter 19 paragraph 29 says ... "Neither the caverns of the literal mountains nor the political-commercial organizations comparable to the mountains will offer economic security or help of another kind".
      However, even false worship in the Bible is related to "high places" for example in Ezekiel 6: 1-5 (high places that did not protect unfaithful Israelites from Jehovah's wrath).
      Is it possible to hypothesize that on the day of Jehovah's wrath (hence after the Great Tribulation) human beings will seek protection in political, commercial and religious institutions?
      If we accept the possibility that Babylon the Great is a literal place (and be modern Israel) we must consider that even the mountains, above which the woman sits, are literal mountains.
      There is always talk of the seven world powers of biblical history but we never talk about the seven mountains.
      We never talk about the seven mountains because the political powers, they say, are the seven mountains.
      Yet the writing of Revelation 17 explains that there are seven kings ... and (joining, in my language, that is "and there are also") seven mountains and this conjunction could suggest that even though the mountains depict powers as we know , there are actually seven mountains as objects of similitude with the number of kings.
      It would seem a literal clue useful for identifying Babylon the Great.
      Now the question is ... Which and how many mountains are indicated in the Scriptures that were part of the Promised Land?
      1) Mount Moria 2) Mount Zion 3) Mount of Olives 4) Gilboa 5) Gerizim 6) Ebal 7) Mount Tabor.
      N.B. Mount Nebo and the others, also mentioned in the Scriptures, were part of the territory of Moab and Edom and are therefore excluded.
      This parallel is simply impossible to do with the world empire of false religion.
      Revelation 3:12 and other scriptures that are fulfilled after the Lord's day, which mention the New Jerusalem, seem to emphasize a distinction with Old Jerusalem.
      In chap. 18 of Revelation, Babylon the Great is destroyed.
      In chap 19: 7, 8 the marriage of the lamb is prepared, so ...
      The prostitute dies as a bride and the marriage can finally begin.
      Marriage takes place with the "New Jerusalem"; was the prostitute is maybe the "Old Jerusalem" that is the carnal, impure, disobedient, idolatrous? - I Corinthians 9: 6-8; 10:18 - Galatians 4: 26-29
      I would like to point out to you that the book Revelation, besides having the symbols, also has contrasts.
      For example you can see that the beast with two horns of lamb is set against the real Lamb.
      The mark of the wild beast is set in contrast with the name engraved on the forehead that the 144,000 have - see Revelation 13:11, 16; 14: 1
      Now in Revelation you will see that there is a pure woman who is the legitimate bride and then there is a woman who, on the contrary, is a prostitute.
      So the question we should ask ourselves is: if Babylon the Great is a nation, which is the only nation in the whole world, that would have the qualifications to pass itself off as "legitimate bride" when, in reality, she prostitutes herself with other nations ? -
      Babylon is also called "the great city" and the only biblical reference is Nineveh, the "city of bloodshed".
      This seems to be in harmony with the fact that Babylon is drunk with the blood of saints, prophets and everyone.
      However, in Jeremiah chap. 22 Jehovah condemns Judah, which is the city of Sallum and Ioiachim, and people call this city "the great city".
      Thus, even the city that once belonged to Jehovah is called the "great city".
      Of the two clothed witnesses described in chapter 11 of Revelation it is said that, once killed, "their corpses will be on the wide street of the great city which in spiritual sense is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was put to the stake "- Revelation 11: 8
      In which "great city" did the Lord Jesus have been killed?
      Finally we could ask ourselves why, the writer of Revelation, after having seen frightful wild beasts, incredible celestial visions both beautiful and terrifying, thundering declarations and many other things, only at the sight of the woman he is "marvels of great wonder" - Revelation 17: 6 , 7
      Could it have "marveled of great wonder" for having seen its own people and its own nation (which at the time of the writing of Revelation no longer existed)?
      When in 70 E.V. the first Christians received the command to "flee to the mountains" in view of the destruction that would have occurred through the "disgusting thing" (represented at the time by the Roman Empire) they understood it as "separating from Judaism" or this was a consequence natural of the Teacher's teachings? Did not they understand it as literally to get out of the city?
      Jeremiah 25:10, 11 and Revelation 18:22, 23 are very similar to each other, yet Jeremiah speaks of Israel while Revelation speaks of Babylon the Great.
      In Revelation 18: 5-8 it is said that "God has remembered his acts of injustice".
      Why did God "remember"?
      False religion has not always done evil, in 6,000 history, without stopping a moment since the days of Nimrod?
      Or, if Babylon were "the world", did God forget the actions of the world?
      Could it not be because "Babylon" has not existed for many years, as a nation, but appears again after the "Lord's Day" by another name?
      In Revelation 16: 16-21 we are now in Armageddon, the great city is divided into three parts, the nations fall and Babylon "was remembered".
      So Babylon is related to the fall of other nations as if it were a "special" nation, something to remember, but still a nation.
      Which, among all the nations of the earth, could it be considered "special" by Jehovah God?
      Could the golden cup full of "disgusting things" held in the hands of the great harlot remember the utensils of the temple of God? - Compare Daniel 5: 1-4
      Question one.
      According to the explanation of the book "Revelation: its climax" it is appropriate that the great harlot sit on the wild beast of scarlet color because, the false religion, has always had power over the kings of the earth even coming to name and oust them.
      We know that the League or League of Nations also has representatives as "old nations" mentioned in the bible as Rome, Media-Persia and others but it would not have been more logical to see the "great whore" ride the first wild beast and that which ascends from the sea, since the false religion exists since the days of Nimrod?
      Instead the great harlot sits on that beast that "was, but is not, and is about to ascend from the abyss, and will go into destruction" - Revelation 17: 8a
      What rode the world empire of false religion (or Rome, or the world) when the beast was not?
      Question two.
      As has been pointed out, in the Bible Israel is compared to a wife and Jehovah to the marital owner.
      When it showed itself unfaithful, allying itself with other nations and mixing with the false adoration, Israel became "infidel" and even "prostitute".
      Christianity claims to serve God but, in reality, prostitutes itself with the nations and with every false doctrine of pagan origin.
      However, if Babylon the Great is the world empire of false religion (and therefore also includes religions such as Buddhism, Shintoism, Hinduism, tribal religions, etc.), why is it considered, as a whole, a prostitute?
      Jehovah has never identified himself as the "marital owner" of nations like Ammon, Moab, Egypt, or others (not even in Rome or the world).
      So if we applied the concept of prostitution exclusively in the spiritual-religious (or politic) sense, it would seem that this infamous prostitute is exclusively Christianity.
      Throughout the entire Bible, what is the only nation that Jehovah considers responsible for his prostitution? - Amos 3: 1, 2

    • By Witness
      “Nourishing Spiritual Food”? 
      I cannot advocate the website listed at the end of this short video, as I haven’t gone there.  Also I do not see verification that the money from the sale of houses, properties and goods was given to the Watchtower at that time period.  But I will not dismiss the large possibility.  What is important about this video, is hearing how 1975 was truly proclaimed from the source; quite contrary to how the 2017 convention presented it: 
      “…you see, back then, some were looking to a certain date as signifying the end of this old system of things. A few, even went so far as selling their homes and quitting their jobs. (km 5/1974)"
      “But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.” 
       You may say in your heart, “How shall we know the word which Yahweh has not spoken?”  When a prophet speaks in Yahweh’s name, if the thing doesn’t follow, nor happen, that is the thing which Yahweh has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You shall not be afraid of him.              Deut 18:20-22
      “This is what the LORD of Hosts says: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They are making you worthless. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the LORD's mouth.”  Jer 23:16
      “Behold, I am against the prophets, says Yahweh, who use their tongues, and say, He says. 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, says Yahweh, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their vain boasting: yet I didn’t send them, nor commanded them; neither do they profit this people at all, says Yahweh.”  Jer 23:31-32
      If we claim to read God's Word and live by it, then God's Word should help us distinguish truth from lies.  Matt 3:10
       
    • By Anna
      Why do we understand the "prince of Persia" in Daniel 10:13 to be a wicked angel/Demon when it seems that the messenger is talking about a succession of actual kings, and if the demon is called a "prince" of Persia,  who then is the "prince" of Greece in 10:20?
    • By g@gmail.com
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By JW Insider
      The October 1, 2011 Watchtower says this date is important for two reasons. 
      *** w11 10/1 p. 26 When Was Ancient Jerusalem Destroyed?—Part One ***
      But why be interested in the actual date when Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II razed the city of Jerusalem? First, because the event marked an important turning point in the history of God’s people. . . .
      Second, because knowing the actual year when this “ultimate catastrophe” began and understanding how the restoration of true worship in Jerusalem fulfilled a precise Bible prophecy will build your confidence in the reliability of God’s Word. So why do Jehovah’s Witnesses hold to a date that differs from widely accepted chronology by 20 years? [Emphasis added]



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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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