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    • By Witness
      I hope every JW here reads this article.  Please!

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Pennsylvania Opens Grand Jury Criminal Investigation Into Jehovah’s Witnesses; JW Survey Editor Subpoenaed
      In 1884, the 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  was incorporated in the Court of Common Pleas in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The movement of Charles Taze Russell became an established religious business, a tax-exempt corporation that would go on to control the lives of more than 8 million devoted followers, One hundred years later and four hours southeast of Allegheny, I was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in a tiled, heated baptismal pool in Crownsville Maryland. I was 16.
      Thirty-five years after that, the 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  served me with a subpoena to testify in a Grand Jury investigation into alleged criminal activity by the very same religious organization to which I devoted the formative and working years of my life. Let me explain why this happened. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, the only child of devoted Jehovah’s Witness parents who had embraced the religion following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the escalation of the Vietnam war. Jehovah’s Witnesses pounded the pavements of Baltimore, preaching the imminence of Armageddon.
      Watchtower vice-president and oracle 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  famously came to Baltimore in 1966, delivering multiple conventions speeches, including the epic book-release of Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God. This 400+ page publication unveiled a shocking timetable of world events, including the revelation that 1975 would mark the most significant modern date in history. From that moment forward, everything changed. Urgency over the date 1975 drove Witnesses into a subtle frenzy, with Organization overseers using these new revelations as spiritual cattle prods, driving many to sell their homes and preach the news of the end of the world.
      When I was 8 years old, 1975 came and went, but new predictions emerged, and the old ones were revised. As a child, I could not accept that I was being lied to, so I trusted Jehovah’s Witnesses and their appointed elders.
      Among the most trusted elders was a man named Charles Brineshults. Charlie, as he was known, was a long-time appointed elder, a widower, and held the distinction of being one of the elite few remaining “anointed” Jehovah’s Witnesses on Earth. He was also a serial pedophile, but I didn’t know that.
      Charles “Charlie” Brineshults Even as a child my instincts told me something was not right. Brineshults shuffled from family to family, latching on to the generosity of anyone who would take him in. Of course, the homes he selected and the families he embraced all had children. Vulnerable children.
      It was not until about 10 years ago during a group vacation that a close friend and longstanding elder heard the name Brineshults in conversation, and he piped in “Oh yeah, he diddled kids, you didn’t know?”

      “What?” I exclaimed as I shot a piercing gaze across the South Carolina beach resort, expecting to hear this was some kind of joke. But it wasn’t. As it turns out, it was an open secret among dozens of families and nearly all of the elders in the congregation circuits I grew up in.
      I was horrified. At that moment I could instantly recall sitting in the rear of a Kingdom Hall after a meeting, watching Charlie approach me with my father nearby. “Mark is so polite when he answers the phone, I am very impressed He speaks to clearly and with such maturity.”
      I was barely 10 years old. Like so many others, I was unaware I was being groomed, and were it not for the screen of my extra-protective mother, I would most certainly have been one of his many victims.
      And then there was Ongsingco.
      Louis Ongsingco was a charismatic Watchtower-appointed pioneer minister and self-declared pied piper of the local Jehovah’s Witness children. He was engaging, well-traveled, and he liked girls. Young girls.
      Louis Ongsingco Louis was a jet-setting flight attendant who frequently returned from Paris or London with expensive chocolates and other gifts for the kids he liked the most. He was also a massage therapist.
      He had a smooth-talking way of conversing with teen girls, advancing his hands further and further from their shoulders to their backs, then finally blurring the lines between friendly conduct and full-on sexual assault. I saw this myself.
      I was barely a teenager when I approached local elder Robert “Bob” Manke about Ongsingco’s behavior with girls. Where else would I go? My parents couldn’t control Louis, and I didn’t know that this was a matter for the police. How could I? So I trusted that Manke and the other elders would handle the situation.
      They didn’t. Instead, they told Ongsingco that I had outed him, which led to severe chastisement from Louis himself. It was frightening. Meanwhile, Louis kept up his behavior, and decades passed. After leaving the Witness religion in 2013, I wanted to see what happened to this man.
      After a brief investigation, I discovered that Louis Ongsingco went on to sexually assault multiple women, both Jehovah’s Witnesses, and non-Witnesses. By 2001 at least seven different women filed two lawsuits against Ongsingco.
      These lawsuits are independent of additional allegations against Ongsingco, including those of two women who claim that Ongsingco placed his hands down the front of their shirts when they were teenagers.
      One of those women came forward to the Atlantic in 2019 and was interviewed by journalist Doug Quenqua, who investigated Jehovah’s Witnesses in his article 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. The Atlantic Article
      In 2018 I was introduced to journalist Douglas Quenqua, a respected writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, CNBC, Buzzfeed, and other periodicals. Doug had learned that I had received hundreds of pages of child abuse case documents from several Jehovah’s Witness congregations, and he wanted to learn more.
      Over the course of 2018, we spent a number of days discussing these documents, and why Jehovah’s Witnesses had not reported these cases to the police. The incidents were horrifying, and worse yet, they revealed that most of the perpetrators were still at large, and were in contact with children.
      On March 22nd, 2019, the Atlantic released Doug’s article. 24 Hours later, two elders rang our doorbell before 10 AM. We did not answer. When we checked our security camera later, it was apparent who these men were. They were church elders from the Perry Hall Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Maryland.
      One of the two elders is the father of a woman who was sexually assaulted by not one, but two Jehovah’s Witness men. The men were Brineshults and Ongsingco.
       
      Two Church Elders at my door, seeking to disfellowship I remember thinking how pathetic it was to be chased down by the very men who have been covering up child abuse for years, and whose children were among the victims.
      On April 14th, 2019, Watchtower representative and local church elder Joel Raniolo mailed two certified letters to my home, demanding that we attend a judicial hearing at the Perry Hall church. When reached, Raniolo refused to divulge why he had sent the letters, and how he had obtained our personal information.
      On May 14th, 2019, another Church elder announced to the Perry Hall congregation that Mark and Kimberly O’Donnell are no longer Jehovah’s Witnesses. It had been 35 years since my indoctrination and baptism back in February 1984.
      The Pennsylvania Grand Jury
      In the weeks following the release of the Atlantic article, national and global attention became focused on the Jehovah’s Witness religion. In particular, the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General took notice of the allegations of corruption within the Witness Organization.
      The State of Pennsylvania is no stranger to the cover-up of abuse within religious organizations. In 2018, the Attorney General’s office released the 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , following multiple substantiated reports of child sexual abuse and corresponding cover-ups. On July 2nd, 2019 I was interviewed in my home by the Deputy Assistant Attorney General of Pennsylvania, along with a Special Investigator for the State. For more than three hours I provided documentation and details concerning the policies and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses, especially in connection with child abuse.
      On July 29th a Special Investigator arrived at my Baltimore home and served a subpoena for me to appear before the 45th Investigative Grand Jury of the State of Pennsylvania.
      Finally, on August 22nd, 2019, I arrived at the State Capitol before 7.30 AM and was sworn in by 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  in his chambers. Moments later I entered the large Grand Jury room, where 23 grand jurors and approximately 12-15 alternates were stationed at their desks, positioned to take notes and record their questions on paper. A Grand Jury is a special tool used by state and federal governments to investigate criminal allegations against persons or institutions. The powers of grand juries are wide-ranging and potent. They include the ability to subpoena and compel witnesses to testify, and those witnesses are encouraged to speak freely and without fear of reprisal.
      Any form of retaliation is taken seriously by the office of the Attorney General and the presiding judge. Of course, Jehovah’s Witnesses had already executed retaliation on my wife and me in response to our efforts to shed light on the epidemic child abuse problem within the religion.
      My testimony lasted more than two straight hours as I sat facing the Grand Jury and the Deputy Attorney General, together with several State Attorneys and Special Investigators.

      Grand Juries can be cathartic experiences for cooperative witnesses who testify on the side of civil justice. That was my experience.
      For the first half of my initial testimony, I recounted my personal history within the Jehovah’s Witness religion, beginning with my religiously isolated childhood. It was an opportunity to share my experiences with a large group of citizens who will ultimately make important decisions when they vote on the choices presented to them.
      There were moments of levity amidst the proceedings, including a curious exchange in which I discussed the history of the Witnesses’ custom Bible, the New World Translation. I explained how the translation was largely the brainchild of Frederick W. Franz, whose linguistic education was limited to a maximum of two years study of Greek, and no training in Hebrew.
      The irony of this information was not lost upon the investigating members of the Grand Jury.
      The Grand Jury and the JW Organization
      As the morning progressed, my testimony turned North to the driving force behind the reason these people were assembled in this room- to comprehend whether the religious hierarchy which drives this religion is responsible for the failure to report the crime of child abuse.
      A large whiteboard was placed to my left, facing the grand jurors. At the very top, the letters “GB” were written in large letters, then circled. It was clear that the Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania understood that the decisions and power of this religion lay at the top of a complicated network of corporations, congregations, Circuit Overseers, and churchgoers.
      I spent some time attempting to explain the spider web of mechanisms used by Jehovah’s Witnesses, describing the difference between their view of the spiritual and the legal.
      Branch Committees, Corporations, Circuit Overseers, Congregations, Elders, Ministerial Servants, Pioneers, Publishers- all of these found their way to the diagram of the Witness organization. Lines were drawn connecting all of the organizational machinery which comprises the Jehovah’s Witness religion. In the end, all roads terminated at the Governing Body.
      After testifying for more than two hours, I was excused and held in a waiting area while the Grand Jurors scribbled their questions on paper and handed them to the Deputy Assistant Attorney General, after which I was brought back into the room, and given the opportunity to respond to the questions.
      The process was dignified, thorough, but clearly an incremental process. Four months later, I found myself escorted once again into the halls of Pennsylvania justice, this time in a brand new government complex even more secure than the prior Strawberry Square location.
      Grand juries are most often 18 months in length, with citizen jurors obliged to comply with the civic duty once per month for several days at a stretch. In some cases, grand juries are extended another 6 months. So it was no surprise that I returned 4 months after my initial testimony, this time to discuss documents.
      Documents
      The smoking gun of certain crimes lies in the creation of a paper trail of evidence that substantiates repetitive negligent or criminal behavior. If there’s one thing the Jehovah’s Witnesses are not lacking, it’s documents.
      From the inception of Watch Tower Pennsylvania in 1884, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been in the document business. As the religion branched from printing Bibles and books to buying and selling real estate, the global corporations expanded, and so did the need to maintain centralized control over a growing member base.
      By the 1970s, the Witnesses had tightened controls over congregation elders, formed Governing Body Committees, and published letters to all Elders on various corporation letterheads. They even began publishing a 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  with strict instructions that it be concealed from anyone not an elder. The expansion of congregation elder bodies meant that members trusted local elders to handle certain matters which would otherwise be best handled by law enforcement. Elder bodies became the police department for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      As the organization became further centralized, policy letters became the norm. While many documents dealt with routine activities for the church, other letters started to emerge which seemed to border on matters best left for law enforcement.
      On July 1st, 1989, Watchtower New York issued a now-famous 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , labeled “confidential.” This letter warned elders not to divulge confidential information to “unauthorized” persons, including the police. It was clear that the rising number of child abuse cases in the Organization needed to be addressed, but Watchtower insisted that their New York Legal department act as first point of contact for any elders who learn of abuse.
      This letter served as the opening salvo in a policy of obstruction of justice for victims of child abuse and the law enforcement agents who could have helped them.
      On December 18th, 2019, I sat before the Pennsylvania Grand Jury, listening to the reading of the entire six-page letter from 1989.
      It began to hit me how serious these letters were, and how vital they are to the investigation into Jehovah’s Witnesses. Every line, every paragraph was dissected and scrutinized. And then more letters were introduced.
      On March 14, 1997, Watchtower released 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and this time they asked for documentation of known child abusers serving in any congregation. It was, in effect, an official announcement of Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. On Page two, the letter stated:
      This single sentence has formed the basis for a series of civil lawsuits in California in which 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  and his team have worked many years to expose, knowing that Watchtower is harboring the names of thousands of child abusers in its database. Many of the abusers are still at large and serving in positions of authority among Jehovah’s Witnesses. These were just a few of the many letters I reviewed and certified as authentic for the Pennsylvania Grand Jury.
      What Effect Will the Grand Jury Have?
      I cannot speculate on the full nature of this investigation, as these proceedings are sealed off from the public and the press. The Office of the Attorney General cannot confirm or deny that there is an investigation. They cannot confirm or deny that they will seek to investigate and subpoena specific individuals, such as victims, attorneys, experts, active elders, or members of the organization who serve at the highest level.
      Subpoena for the 45th Investigative Grand Jury Only those who testify, and who have not been placed under a gag order from the presiding judge may discuss their testimony, if they choose to do so. Otherwise, until their investigation is complete, they will not comment.
      There are a number of possible consequences of this Grand Jury investigation, and it may take some time before we see the results. One outcome is a presentment- a recommendation that charges be filed against a person or organization. Another outcome is a formal report, like the Catholic Church report released in 2018.

      Whatever the case, the Office of the Attorney General has the power to issue search warrants and subpoenas, to compel testimony, and may even cross state lines to accomplish their work.
      After a lifetime in the Jehovah’s Witness organization, having seen the damaging effects of child abuse and the cover-up of these crimes, I am thankful that the Government of Pennsylvania has finally turned its attention to the organization which silenced the voices of survivors and those who champion their rights.
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      For proof, you can view the newspaper clipping about it directly
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. (May 3, 1909). ============
      PASTOR RUSSELL'S TROUBLES
      A telegram from Pittsburg states that an attachment for the arrest of Pastor Charles T. Russell has been issued in that city for failure to pay alimony to his wife. Pastor Russell recently moved to Brooklyn, taking over the old Plymouth Bethel in Hicks street as a place of worship.
      He also moved to this city [Brooklyn] the headquarters of the Millennial Dawn and Watch Tower Society of which he is the head.
      Pastor Russell -- he does not want to be called doctor or reverend -- was divorced by his wife on a charge of cruelty. She was at first awarded $40 a month alimony, but this was later raised to $100.
      The pastor refused to pay more than $40 and proceedings were started to have him arrested for contempt of court. The telegram from Pittsburg indicates that the wife was victorious in this action.
      Pastor Russell cannot be arrested here on the Pittsburg court's order, it is said, but will be taken into custody if he returns to Pittsburg.
    • By The Librarian
      Can you find more photos or videos related to this particular convention year?
      or even better... were you there? 
    • By The Librarian
      Can you find more photos or videos related to this particular convention year?
      or even better... were you there? 
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The lawsuit was settled on Monday in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.
      A woman has settled a lawsuit against the Spring Grove Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and two of its supporting organizations, which alleged that elders failed to report instances of sexual abuse to law enforcement to protect their own reputation.
      In the lawsuit, the woman said she’s suffered physical and emotional injuries after being abused between ages 14 and 16 by Terry Monheim, whom she met through the church.The Jehovah’s Witnesses became aware of it and “did nothing” to protect her, according to court documents.
      The lawsuit was settled on Monday in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. The terms of the agreement are confidential.
      “A matter with the Jehovah’s Witnesses has been resolved,” said Jeffrey Fritz, an attorney who represented the woman, now 28, of Lancaster County. The York Daily Record/Sunday News is not identifying her because she’s the survivor of a sexual crime.
      The abuse took place between 2003 and 2005, according to the lawsuit. The woman later went to the Southwestern Regional Police Department, which filed charges against Monheim.
      Monheim, now 64, of Hanover, pleaded guilty in 2012 to indecent assault and corruption of minors. She was sentenced to serve three to 23 months in York County Prison, as well as five years on probation.
      The Jehovah’s Witnesses “exercise control in all aspects of congregants’ lives,” according to the lawsuit. If someone is accused of child molestation and denies wrongdoing, the complaint states, the congregation will not act unless there’s at least two eyewitnesses.
      “It is outrageous conduct in this or any other society to have knowledge of past instances of abuse of children and fail to report same to law enforcement authorities or put into place any protective measures to protect children against abuse,” the lawsuit states.
      Louis Lombardi II, an attorney who represented the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York Inc. and Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses Inc., which provide support to local congregations, could not be reached.
      Neither could Jud Aaron, an attorney who represented the Spring Grove Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, nor Monheim.

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    • Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Todos sonrientes durante la predicación en el mercado de pulgas en Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Estados Unidos.

    • By Jack Ryan
      This is B-I-G
      With a readership of almost one million people for the Sunday edition, The Philadelphia Inquirer has published a major FRONT PAGE article spread out over four pages in it's Sunday, April 29, 2018 edition
      SILENT WITNESSES
    • By The Librarian
      Version 1
      Kite Floyd - Fight the Joy Killers ver 1.mp3
      Version 3
      Kite Floyd - Fight the Joy Killers Ver 3.mp3
      March 11 1979
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      I thought I'd just share this. Please read the whole article before judging it. 
      'Punished' for being sexually abused in York County: Jehovah's Witnesses' culture of cover-up
      THE CHURCH ISOLATES ITS MEMBERS, SHAMES AND SHUNS VICTIMS WHO COME FORTH AND INSTRUCTS ELDERS TO KEEP REPORTS SECRET. AND CHILDREN ARE BEING ABUSED.
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    • By The Librarian
      Three years after Erik Miranda was shot and killed early on a Sunday morning, the crime that remains unsolved, denying his family what they want most: closure.
      Family members held a lantern vigil Thursday, Sept. 20 — the anniversary of the 24-year-old's death — at Kiwanis Lake.
      York City Police officers responding to reports of shots fired just before 6 a.m. on Sept. 20, 2015, found Miranda's body in an alleyway in the 200 block of Jefferson Avenue, where he lived with his mother. 
      Family members described him as a kind, caring man who was a devoted Jehovah's Witness. They said he had no enemies, which makes the homicide even more difficult to understand.
      On Thursday, the family prayed together and released a handful of biodegradable lanterns into the sky above the lake to show they won't forget Miranda — or the unknown killer who remains free.
      Olga Davis, Miranda's cousin, said his mother, Maria Miranda, moved to Florida shortly after his death because she "couldn't stand it to live here anymore" after the pain of losing her son.
      She hasn't returned since, and she wasn't present at the vigil Thursday night.
      "I'm a mother, and if something happened to one of my babies like that, I don't know how I'd push on," Davis said. "It's a kick in the stomach; I can't breathe. I can't rest at night knowing his killers are still out there, breathing and walking around, not paying for the injustice that's been done to us."
      Jack Padro, Miranda's brother, said he wishes he could thank him for all that he did for him. He said he still struggles to suppress anger and negative frustration.
      "I was always with him," Padro said. "He was a good person and helped me through the hard times. But now I can't even say thank you to him anymore."
      The family still lives around the corner from where the shooting happened. Every year, the they meet at the scene to celebrate Miranda's life.
      Davis praised York City Police for making arrests in recent shootings, but notes the status of her cousin's case.
      "The police have been doing a great job tracking the current shooters doing all these terrible things in York, but Erik's case is still cold," she said.
      Davis also praised local community organizations for their efforts to stop gun violence, but added the community is doing less to help grieving families such as hers.
      Raul Miranda, left, and Olga Davis watch lanterns float over Kiwanis Lake in memory of Erick Miranda, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. Miranda was murdered Sept. 20, 2015 in a drive-by shooting. His case is one of only a few cold cases in York City. John A. Pavoncello photo (Photo: The York Dispatch)
      "I don't know what can be done to stop it, and I don't know how they're going to stop it," Davis said. "York is just tired. We're sick of shootings; we're afraid to walk to the store."
      Although Davis said knowing who the killer is won't take all of the pain away, it is the closest thing to closure the family can hope for.
      York City Police Chief Troy Bankert explained in an email the process of handling unsolved homicide case.
      "Homicides do not have statute of limitations, therefore they remain open," the chief said. "When a homicide is unsolved, we review the case as needed. However, typically, new evidence is presented which is then immediately followed up on. We do the initial investigation until all evidence is reviewed and all witnesses are questioned."
      Anyone with information is asked to call police at 717-846-1234 or text "yorktips" and then the message to 847411.

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    • By Jack Ryan
      Whelp, it “only” took two years, but they finally had closing on the Halifax, PA KH that they stole from the folks that paid for it Because of expansion in the area, it was built in 1985, had a mortgage of about 80k, and then a renovation / pavement mortgage of about 50k. Also the land was purchased outright by a widow, and donated, which was about $26,400. Shuttered the place in 2016. Closed on it last week.
      Started with approx 100 pubs.
      Closed with approx 70 pubs.
      And now that money goes to those sons of bitches.
      Awesome.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. - Flair Me




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    • folens  »  misette

      Coucou Misette merci pour ce bon travail de recherches. Bon weekend . Michel

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      Hello Eric, merci pour ce bon sujet. Bonne journée Michel
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    • Eric Ouellet

      RENFORÇONS NOTRE FOI PAR LA PRIÈRE
      Avons-nous déjà eu une interrogation intérieure sur la force de notre foi?
      Vous êtes vous déjà demandé cette question?
      « Est-ce que Jéhovah voudra me sauver pendant la grande tribulation ? »
       L’apôtre Paul a expliqué que, pour rester en vie, la foi est une qualité très importante à cultiver .
      Il a dit : « Sans la foi il est impossible de plaire à Jéhovah. » (Hébreux 11:6) Cela peut sembler évident, mais en fait, comme on l’apprend en 2 Thessaloniciens 3:2, tous n’ont pas la foi. Ces 2 versets nous aident à comprendre à quel point c’est important de renforcer notre foi.
      L’apôtre Pierre a dit qu’il faut avoir une foi « éprouvée » qui veut dire que nous devons sans cesse cultiver la foi. (lire 1 Pierre 1:7) 
      Puisque la grande tribulation est très proche, nous voulons faire partie « de ceux qui ont foi » pour être sauvés. (Hébreux 10:39) Nous devons donc faire des efforts pour renforcer notre foi. Nous voulons être parmi ceux qui seront récompensés quand Jésus Christ, notre Roi, sera révélé. Alors, comme l’homme qui a supplié Jésus pour avoir plus de foi, nous aussi nous pouvons demander : « Aide-moi là où j’ai besoin de foi ! » (Marc 9:24) Ou, comme les apôtres, demandons : « Donne-nous davantage de foi. » (Luc 17:5)
      JÉHOVAH AIME QUAND NOUS RENFORÇONS NOTRE FOI
      La foi est tellement importante que Jéhovah nous a donné beaucoup d’exemples de foi dans la Bible. Ils ont été écrits « pour notre instruction ». (Romains 15:4) Les exemples d’Abraham, de Sara, d’Isaac, de Jacob, de Moïse, de Rahab, de Gédéôn, de Baraq et de beaucoup d’autres nous encouragent à renforcer notre propre foi. (Hébreux 11:32-35).
      Nous avons de formidables exemples de foi parmi nos frères et sœurs.
      La Bible nous parle d’Élie. En méditant sur son exemple, remarque 5 situations où il a montré qu’il avait une foi forte en Jéhovah. 1) Quand il a annoncé à Ahab que Jéhovah allait provoquer une sécheresse, il lui a dit avec confiance : « Aussi vrai que Jéhovah le Dieu d’Israël est vivant, il n’y aura ni rosée ni pluie. » (1 Rois 17:1) 2) Il était convaincu que Jéhovah donnerait à lui et à d’autres ce qu’il leur faudrait pendant la sécheresse. (1 Rois 17:4, 5, 13, 14) 3) Il était sûr que Jéhovah pouvait ressusciter le fils d’une veuve. (1 Rois 17:21) 4) Il n’a pas douté que le feu de Jéhovah allait brûler son sacrifice sur le mont Carmel. (1 Rois 18:24, 37) 5) Alors qu’il ne commençait même pas à pleuvoir, il a dit à Ahab avec confiance : « Monte, mange et bois, car il y a le bruit d’une pluie torrentielle. » (1 Rois 18:41) Après avoir étudié ces situations, demandons-nous : « Ma foi est-elle aussi forte que celle d’Élie? »
      COMMENT RENFORCER NOTRE FOI ?
      Pour avoir de la foi, il ne suffit pas d’en vouloir. De plus, la foi fait partie de l’esprit saint de Jéhovah. (Galates 5:22) Donc, pour renforcer notre foi, il faut prier pour recevoir plus d’esprit saint, comme Jésus l’a conseillé. Il a promis que Jéhovah « donnera de l’esprit saint à ceux qui le lui demandent ». (Luc 11:13)
      Il faut prier pour recevoir plus d’esprit saint, comme Jésus l’a conseillé.
      Quand on a une foi forte en Jéhovah, on doit l’entretenir. On peut comparer la foi à un feu. Quand on allume un feu, les flammes sont très fortes. Pourtant, si on n’ajoute pas de bois, le feu s’éteint, et il reste des cendres froides. Par contre, si on ajoute régulièrement du bois, le feu peut continuer de brûler. C’est pareil avec notre foi. Si nous continuons de lire et d’étudier la Bible tous les jours, notre amour pour la Bible et pour Jéhovah grandit. En faisant cela, nous entretenons et nous renforçons notre foi.
      Que peux-tu faire pour renforcer et entretenir ta foi ?
       (lire Jacques 1:25 ; 2:24, 26)
      L’apôtre Paul a dit que les chrétiens peuvent avoir « un échange d’encouragements, chacun étant encouragé grâce à la foi de l’autre ». (Romains 1:12) Qu’est-ce que cela signifie ? Quand nous passons du temps avec nos frères et sœurs, la foi de chacun de nous est renforcée par la foi des autres. C’est particulièrement vrai quand nous passons du temps avec ceux qui ont une foi « éprouvée ». (Jacques 1:3) Les mauvais amis détruisent notre foi, mais les amis bien choisis la renforcent. (1 Corinthiens 15:33) C’est pour cela qu’il faut assister régulièrement aux réunions. Pendant les réunions, nous pouvons nous encourager les uns les autres. (lire Hébreux 10:24, 25) De plus, l’enseignement que nous y recevons renforce notre foi. La Bible dit que « la foi naît de ce qu’on a entendu ». (Romains 10:17) Alors demande-toi : « Est-ce que les réunions chrétiennes sont une bonne habitude dans notre vie.
      Quand nous voyons comment Jéhovah nous aide et comment il répond à nos prières, notre foi en lui augmente. C’est arrivé à Caleb et Josué. Ils ont montré qu’ils avaient foi en Jéhovah quand ils ont espionné la Terre promise. Avec le temps, chaque fois qu’ils ont vu comment Jéhovah les aidait, leur foi est devenue plus forte. Josué a pu dire avec confiance aux Israélites : « Pas une parole n’a failli (n’a échoué) de toutes les bonnes paroles que vous a dites Jéhovah votre Dieu. » Il a dit plus tard : « Craignez Jéhovah et servez-le avec intégrité et avec vérité. » Puis il a ajouté : « Moi et ma maisonnée (ceux qui habitent dans ma maison), nous servirons Jéhovah. » (Josué 23:14 ; 24:14, 15) Quand nous avons confiance en Jéhovah et quand nous le voyons nous aider personnellement, notre foi devient plus forte. (Psaume 34:8)
      COMMENT PROUVER NOTRE FOI ?
      Le disciple Jacques a dit : « Je te montrerai ma foi par mes œuvres. » (Jacques 2:18) 
      Les chrétiens qui font tout leur possible dans la prédication montrent qu’ils ont une foi forte.
      La prédication est un excellent moyen de prouver notre foi. Pourquoi? 
      Quand nous prêchons, nous montrons que nous sommes sûrs que la fin est proche et qu’« elle ne sera pas en retard ». (Habaqouq 2:3) Pour savoir si notre foi est forte, demandons-nous : « Est-ce que prêcher est vraiment important pour moi ? Est-ce que je fais tout mon possible pour parler de Jéhovah aux gens ? Est-ce que je cherche des occasions de faire plus dans le service pour Jéhovah ? » (2 Corinthiens 13:5) Montrons que notre foi est forte en faisant « la déclaration publique pour le salut », c’est-à-dire en prêchant la bonne nouvelle. (lire Romains 10:10)
      Nous montrons aussi notre foi quand nous résistons aux difficultés de la vie de tous les jours. Si nous sommes malades, découragés, pauvres, ou si nous avons d’autres problèmes, nous devons avoir foi que Jéhovah et Jésus nous aideront « au bon moment ». (Hébreux 4:16) Nous montrons notre foi en Jéhovah quand nous lui demandons de l’aide. Jésus a dit que nous pouvons demander à Jéhovah de nous donner « notre pain pour le jour selon les besoins du jour ». (Luc 11:3) Des récits bibliques prouvent qu’il peut nous donner tout ce qu’il nous faut. Par exemple, pendant une grave sécheresse en Israël, Jéhovah a donné à Élie de l’eau et de la nourriture. La Bible raconte : « Les corbeaux lui apportaient du pain et de la viande le matin, du pain et de la viande le soir, et il buvait au ouadi (à la rivière). » (1 Rois 17:3-6) Nous avons foi que Jéhovah peut nous donner à nous aussi ce dont nous avons besoin.
      Nous sommes sûrs que, si nous appliquons les principes bibliques, nous pourrons nourrir notre famille. En Asie, Rebecca, une sœur mariée, explique comment elle et sa famille ont appliqué les principes de Matthieu 6:33 et de Proverbes 10:4. Elle raconte : « Mon mari sentait que son travail était un danger pour notre amitié avec Jéhovah. Alors il a laissé son travail. Mais nous avions 4 enfants à nourrir. Nous avons donc décidé de vendre des sucreries que nous faisions nous-mêmes. » Grâce à leurs efforts, ils ont toujours gagné assez d’argent pour s’occuper des besoins de leur famille. Rebecca dit : « Nous avons vu que Jéhovah ne nous a jamais abandonnés. Nous avons toujours eu de quoi manger. » As-tu déjà vécu une situation semblable qui a renforcé ta foi ?
      Nous pouvons être sûr qu’en appliquant les principes bibliques, nous pourrons nourrir notre famille.
      Ne doutons jamais que Jéhovah nous aidera si nous lui obéissons. Paul a cité ces paroles d’Habaqouq : « Le juste vivra en raison de la foi. » (Galates 3:11 ; Habaqouq 2:4) C’est pour cela que nous devons avoir une foi forte en Jéhovah, Celui qui peut vraiment nous aider. 
      D’après l'apôtre Paul, Jéhovah peut, en agissant en nous avec sa puissance, faire beaucoup plus que ce que nous demandons ou imaginons. (Éphésiens 3:20) Nous faisons tout notre possible pour faire la volonté de Jéhovah. Mais nous savons aussi que nous avons des limites. Alors nous sommes très heureux que Jéhovah soit avec nous et qu’il bénisse tous nos efforts.
      JÉHOVAH RÉPOND QUAND NOUS DEMANDONS PLUS DE FOI
      Que ressentons-nous à présent sur la qualité de la foi? Nous avons peut-être envie de demander comme les apôtres : « Donne-nous davantage de foi. » (Luc 17:5) Jésus a répondu à ses apôtres d’une façon particulière à la Pentecôte de l’année 33. Ce jour-là, ils ont reçu l’esprit saint et ils ont été capables de mieux comprendre le projet de Jéhovah. Cela a renforcé leur foi. Qu'elle fut le résultat?
      Ils ont commencé la plus grande activité de prédication jamais faite auparavant. (Colossiens 1:23) 
      Pouvons-nous espérer que Jéhovah réponde à nos prières quand nous lui demandons plus de foi ? 
      Oui, puisque nous le prions « selon sa volonté ». (1 Jean 5:14)
      Si nous avons totalement confiance en Jéhovah, il sera content de nous. Il répondra à nos prières pour avoir plus de foi. Alors, notre foi deviendra plus forte, et nous serons acceptés pour recevoir les bienfaits du Royaume de Dieu. (Hébreux 11 : 1)(Mathieu 17 :20)
      La foi est la certitude absolue que l'ont espère évidente de réalités invisibles. C'est en raison d'une telle foi, en effet que les hommes du passé ont reçu un témoignage favorable venant de Jéhovah le Seul vrai Dieu.
      Ayez une foi aussi gros qu'un grain de mourtarde car aucune obstacles de ce système de chose ne pourra vous atteindre, nous serons inébranlable par notre force de la foi.

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