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45 minutes ago, Arauna said:

I think you need to study history - especially church history. Then you will understand how this fits in. Why argue about something you do not understand or do not have good knowledge of?

Partially you are right about my knowing church history.

But tell me, did i get it right if i say, how every Organized Religion, including WT Society and JW organization, doing everything to make obedient members who will not questioning doctrines and leadershipregardless of various and different doctrines that are specific for each of them (religion)?

If i am right in this perception and conclusion, than this is quite enough for/about "knowing church history". :))

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That's true, but it would not attract as much attention. Rutherford had been a political marketer before following Russell/WT/Bible Students. This is why he would ADV/ADV/ADV. And why gimmicks like putting David and Abraham on a property deed were important to him. This is why he used the title "Judge." But I think it was Covington who figured out that he could do much better in the courts if we agreed to be recognized as a religion. Religious rights were easier to fight for than unspecifie

As vitriolic as the spiteful crticisms of apostate opposers are, there is a remarkable tide of recognition of the integrity of Jehovah's Witnesses, even among those who do not share our beliefs. Speaking of the voluntary stand of Jehovah's Witnesses against the oppressive demands of the Nazi and Fascist regimes in Germany and Italy this observation was recently made: "We owe it also to their sacrifice that there was the powerful push in civil society that gave birth to the European pro

Nobody but nobody has “apostates” like Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is almost as though I am proud of them. Every NT writer wrote about opposition and apostasy. If it happened then, it should happen now. What if there was no opposition today? Wouldn’t you have to wonder why? Since Witnesses do not seek to evade taxes, they pay into social & police services to a greater proportion than most groups. Since they put into practice Bible principles that improve lives, they draw upon those services

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If you are talking about me, Arauna, I would like to hear those stories.. although it is written as an accusation to me personally, I assume you mean in a general sense about anybody.

There is a saying in America, from an old TV show, that "Don't do the crime, if you can't do the time".

Secrecy is the breeding place of tyranny, both petty and gross, and the root of many injurious things. It covers up tyrannies, incompetence and malfeasance .... and protects  judges from any accountability.  It also hides things that SHOULD be made public, so that the general populace is in fear of SPECIFIC actions and consequences.

Bad judges should have to have consequences equally punitive to their bad judgements.

I think the system Jehovah set up thousands of years ago  in ancient Israel is ..oh... what's the word I want to use ... oh yeah! .... PERFECT.

The system we have now was made up from the fears of New York Lawyers.

Having it done correctly, and having gross , embarrassing sins and crimes made public and notorious is a VERY good deterrent ...all by itself.

Oh, by the way ... my first wife was seduced by another Brother, circa 1974, and he got away with if for YEARS, and was in good standing in the congregation married to her, because nobody realized what was really going on.  When I blew the lid off of it with certified letters to all the congregations in the Richmond Virginia congregations, and New York ... only then was he disfellowshipped.  Interestingly enough ... because our names are very phonetically similar, when it was announced  I got blamed for it in about half the congregations I had gone to, as I was the "loose cannon", and he was a Pioneer, and ex-bethelite.

That's what you get when you have secrecy.

A totally screwed up Justice system.

 

 

 

Red Pill Blue Pill.jpg

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15 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

What was replacement for "hell"? Death in Armageddon. Excommunication from congregation. What was purpose of hell? To explain people how they have to be good and not make God displeased and angry.

I must be missing something. Wouldn’t this in effect be a cause for ex-members? I don’t believe Russell had the power to replace “hell” with “death in Armageddon” as indicated. He did have the power to foresee the mistakes of other religions enough to call his group “Bible Students” to a nondenominational church of Christ. Each church ran independent of each other. The elders were voted in. That meant, any church could set its own vision of doctrine which many did to some degree not with the advent movement but it's perception of time prophecy.

That Church started to bring back what was inevitable as death in Armageddon for those that rebelled against God as taught by his son Jesus. I don’t believe Jesus mixed his words to mean anything else but the survival of those loyal to God by faith and obedience.

Excommunication was placed by Jesus words, not to be influenced by those that opposed God’s command and those that denied the new covenant of Christ which indeed happen in Jesus time.

Can you explain yourself a little more, on what you mean by rebellious coming from an ex-member of any church?

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On 10/31/2019 at 11:08 PM, Arauna said:

You and Pearl.... where do you go for meetings as instructed by Jehovah.

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling (“gathering together”) of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.  Heb 10:24,25

When you know people all over the globe, we do the best we can.    

20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matt 18:20

I think we’ve got it covered. As anointed “priests”, and under one Head, Christ, do we need elders to teach us?  If only the anointed in the organization would realize they are the ones who should be teaching the elders.  Yet, this would never happen under a wicked slave’s rule.  Matt 24:48-51

Mal 2:7 - "For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge,
And people should seek the law from his mouth;
For he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts."

Heb 8:10 – “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

On 10/31/2019 at 11:08 PM, Arauna said:

Where is the nation you belong to as stipulated in Isaaih 2:2-4....... a nation which comprises people if all tribes on the earth. .....?

Are you thinking this refers to the organization?

Isaiah 2:2-3:

“ In the last days

the mountain of the Lord’s temple

The Temple is comprised of…God and Christ…and the “144,000” priests, as the “dwelling place” of Spirit (1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17; Eph 2:20-22) (Rev 21:22)

 will be established
    as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
    and all nations will stream to it.

Many peoples will come and say,

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the temple of the God of Jacob.(“Israel”)
He will teach us his ways,
    so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
    the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

If you remember that the “law” is written on the hearts of the Temple “living stones”/priests…and that they are to teach the people God’s law; then perhaps you can see how important the faithfulness and recognition of the priesthood is to God.  It is much more important to Him than to the elders or to the GB who counsel them to remain separate, not to bond together.   I will echo James’ word, “tyranny”, and I’ll add that tyranny has at its root, evil intentions.   Satan’s evil intentions are to destroy the remaining members of the “woman’s seed” in the last days. ( Rev 12:17; 20:9,7,8; 16:14,16) This is why the organization cannot operate perfectly as it happened in instances within the nation of Israel.   God’s teaching mouthpiece in the anointed priesthood is silenced.  If anyone perceives this, they should leave the oppression and “trampling” of the saints; and turn directly to Christ.  Matt 24:15,16; Luke 17:37; Rev 3:18; 18:4-8


Exod 19:5,6 - “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenantthen out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”

14 I answered, “Sir, you know.”

And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore,

they are before the throne of God
    and serve him day and night in his temple;

and he who sits on the throne
    will shelter them with his presence.  Rev 7:9,13-15

God is preparing a repentant priesthood (Zech 1:3; Mal 3:7); cleansed and washed with the living water of Christ’s truth, to serve the needs of His children to come in the Kingdom.  That, is Zion. (Zech 13:9; 4:7) Not a corrupt organization where God’s laws have been broken many times over.  Not an organization built with the world’s riches, preserving its precious investments to the extent of robbing victims of justice. (2 Cor 6:14) Not an organization that defies God's decrees pertaining to His priesthood. (Eze 44:6-9; Num 3:10)  What you believe in, is a counterfeit of the true Zion.   I am amazed that JWs don’t see this.  I am amazed that darkness has settled into your hearts so thickly, that the light of truth escapes your notice.

Dear Arauna, a few years ago, we discussed the elder body rule vs. the anointed priesthood.  You may not remember.  You were not as, should I say, caustic, with your responses at that time.  I wonder if it isn’t the physical pain of arthritis that causes you to be rather hard core today.  I understand what pain and age can do to a person’s tolerance.  I just ask you, to do research on the early priesthood.  When it was time to build the tabernacle, Moses was told, “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” MOUNT ZION!  Heb 8:5  It was a “copy and shadow” of what God was to establish through his Son. 

Today, the temple tabernacle is being built with God’s “special possession”.  1 Pet 2:5,9  There is no more earthly "temple" or earthly "organization".   The Temple is built with called, chosen, and ultimately found faithful priests (Rev 17:14) - organized under Christ their Head, as his Bride.  The anointed are the Body of Christ, not every JW.  Christ has chosen his Bride. We do not do the choosing.    1 Cor 12:27,18,28; Eph 4:11,12; 1 Cor 10:16,17; Rev 14:4

On 10/31/2019 at 11:08 PM, Arauna said:

and accepts christ as only a man of flesh?.

I accept Christ as a glorified King of kings in Heaven, as the first of the "new creation", both human and spirit. John 3:6;1 Pet 1:23; 2 Cor 5:17; Rev 1:5; 19:16

On 10/31/2019 at 11:08 PM, Arauna said:

I am not deceivied by you no matter how sincere you may personally feel. 

In the last days, God's "saints" and companions are deceived. Matt 24:24,22; Rev 13:1,2, 4-12,14-17; 2 Thess 2:1-4;9-12

 

I'm taking the liberty to post this link, and thank you, Librarian.

"The Rise of Zion" - 

    Hello guest!

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7 hours ago, Ray Devereaux said:

I don’t believe Russell had the power to replace “hell” with “death in Armageddon” as indicated. He did have the power to foresee the mistakes of other religions enough to call his group “Bible Students” to a nondenominational church of Christ.

* bold words mine

To some extent, other individual has a power over us in a measure we give him a power over us. In some other cases we can't do almost nothing about that. 

7 hours ago, Ray Devereaux said:

on what you mean by rebellious coming from an ex-member of any church?

In continue, about what was said about power, is issue of rebellion or resistance. Russell was not, as books say about him (WT publications),  satisfied with his own religion and doctrines. In other words, his religion and doctrines of his religion had power over him and he didn't like that. For what ever reason he had. He showed rebelling and resistance to all that what made him unsatisfied, unhappy, unanswered ...etc. 

He has been in process of abandoning "old and bad" things and in same time looking for "new and better". He, in fact coming to be "an apostate", in context of what this word mean. A person who renounces a religious or political belief or principle.

In the eyes of his parents, Church and congregational members, he was, in generalviewed as "rebellious son" and as "apostate". Is that bad? 

7 hours ago, Ray Devereaux said:

He did have the power to foresee the mistakes of other religions enough to call his group “Bible Students” to a nondenominational church of Christ.

You say, and many say how Russell has not been, because of his action, rebellious and apostate. But on contrary, he had a power to go one level up, and he is considered, in WT Society and JW organization, as brave young man and truth seeker. But his past church was already  "had the truth". Why he wanted "truth above the truth"?? :)))

See, how  things are the same today with WT Society and JW organization and their members who leave "religion of their parents".  They are not "apostates" in context WT Society want to showed them (as bad and devil inspired individuals). They are "truth seekers"..... with various and different outcomes.  

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On 11/2/2019 at 3:50 AM, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

We HAD a system that worked perfectly, ... where all city residents could watch the proceedings, and speak up from the back of the crowd, 

I think you have watched too much Perry Mason. Was it really that way?

On 11/2/2019 at 3:50 AM, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

and no person can have an advocate or legal representation

So you feel each party in a judicial case should have his own lawyer, taking a page from the adversarial legal system of today?

“When both sides properly prepare a case, the adversary system can effectively guarantee the revelation of all the facts bearing on an issue. The more experience you have with it, the more you’ll find it a surprisingly scientific method of trial preparation.” — Perry Mason.  (Season 5, Ep 13 The Case of the Renegade Refugee)

Come now, that is not a religious statement? Thrust upon us by a new world of “science” that has despaired of finding impartial judges the like of Exodus 18:26: “capable men fearing God, trustworthy men hating dishonest profit?”

The reason they are hard to find is that the world embraces values to the contrary. Not so in the Christian organization. I will take the congregation justice system any day, which only deals with the spiritual matters that are of no concern of secular courts. But a hostile world tries to frame some of these spiritual matters as grist for the legal mill.

On 11/2/2019 at 3:50 AM, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

That which has been kept in secrecy is being exposed, and those policies and procedures that have been arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to the administration of Justice and Mercy, is rotting from within, in the light of the information age we are now in.

What is happening is that those who refuse discipline are airing their complaints to a world that despises discipline and thereby finding common sympathy. It brings to mind the trademark of those describe in 2 Peter as “apostate”—they “hate” discipline. 

You don’t think that those who came out on the short end of the world’s court system don’t also complain about how they were abused and unjustly sold down the river? It is human nature to do so in a system that downplays responsibilities and upplays rights.

On 11/2/2019 at 3:50 AM, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

But I’ve got news for you, Bubba TTH- the time’s they are a’changin.

Yes, Bubba. The effort today is to hinder those wanting to stay separate from the world—ideally, even making it illegal to do so.

Several Bible statements would outrage the “anti-cult”-driven legal climate of today:

“But now I am writing you to stop keeping company with anyone called a brother who is sexually immoral or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man.” (1 Corinthians 5:11). The Bible writer would be challenged legally today for trying to “control” people; who is he to tell them who they can eat with?

“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him. For the one who says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works.” (2 John 10)  Ditto. He is “controlling people.” Let them greet whoever they want, even those whom HE finds “wicked.”

“It is necessary to shut their mouths, because these very men keep on subverting entire households by teaching things they should not for the sake of dishonest gain.” (Titus 1:11) Oh? It is “necessary” to restrict someone’s free speech for the sake of “enforcing” your religion? See you in court, Paul.

From time to time, the earthly organization rewords something—like the disfellowshipping announcement or the questions for baptism—to make clear that members are voluntarily adhering to Bible counsel rather than, as opposers try to present it, suffering the bullying of an “evil” “oppressive” “corporation.” It may fail in this one day, because the intent of those hostile to Christianity is to make the Bible verses themselves illegal, or at least make it illegal for anyone to actually follow them.

The goal is to deprive Christians of organization. That way they can more easily be assimilated into the greater word. This is framed hypocritically, even obnoxiously, as an attempt to liberate them. It is no more better realized today than in Russia, where Jehovah’s Witnesses are not illegal, but only their organization is. ‘It’s not the foot-soldier they want to kill off. It’s only the generals that must go. That way the foot-soldier can more easily switch sides—and he will be all the happier for it,’ so the thinking goes. Of course, a scheme so devious cannot be comprehended by the average person, and the authorities simply feel free to beat up on any Witness.

The goal to “liberate” Christians from the organization they form is more advanced in Russia, but it proceeds along the same path in Western lands. “Liberate” them into what?

On 11/2/2019 at 3:50 AM, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

There is a very real reason the WTB&TS discourages comprehensive education.

Yes. So that the worldwide rot that it has collectively produced does not manifest itself in the congregation.

 

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21 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

What is happening is that those who refuse discipline are airing their complaints to a world that despises discipline and thereby finding common sympathy. 

Pretty much like this verse, from this week’s Bible reading:

“They originate with the world; that is why they speak what originates with the world and the world listens to them.” (1 John 4:5)

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@TrueTomHarley - “They originate with the world; that is why they speak what originates with the world and the world listens to them.” (1 John 4:5)

 

You certainly promote “organization” as necessary to “discipline” an individual spiritually.  Or so it seems.  Your organization is embroiled in lawsuits, investments, stocks, trade, real estate, as many other organization are. It can soar or fail, as any other organization can.  How does this type of “organization” promote one to be “no part of the world”?  Is it because men set their ground rules and have convinced you that by following them, you are no part of the world?   It is a corporate entity at its core.  At YOUR level, you see a facade of spiritual security.  1 Thess 5:3  Look deeper Tom, and you will perceive the glaring truth of worldly as well as spiritual, corruption that runs through the veins of the WT; which means, having any part of it, makes one part of the "world".  

The disciplinary rules are outlined in the Bible.  If we are sincere about following Christ (and not men),we will have the ability to do so without an earthly organization.  Jesus told us that this is the approved way of worship.  John 4:10,13,21-24 

It comes down to whom you will listen to - powerful (in seducing), persuasive men who have built their most awesome empire; or simply, Christ.

3 "However, I’m afraid that as the snake deceived Eve by its tricks, so your minds may somehow be lured away from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 When someone comes to you telling about another Jesus whom we didn’t tell you about, you’re willing to put up with it. When you receive a spirit that is different from the Spirit you received earlier, you’re also willing to put up with that. When someone tells you good news that is different from the Good News you already accepted, you’re willing to put up with that too."  2 Cor 11:3,4

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Witness said:

It comes down to whom you will listen to - powerful (in seducing), persuasive men who have built their most awesome empire; or simply, Christ.

Come, come. Do you really think Stephen Lett is seducing and persuasive? He follows in the footsteps of ones of the first century who were so “ordinary” and “uneducated” that they were embarrassing in a world centered around “wisdom.” People find it necessary to go to bat for him:

    Hello guest!

1 hour ago, Witness said:

Your organization is embroiled in lawsuits, investments, stocks, trade, real estate, as many other organization are. It can soar or fail, as any other organization can.

Last I heard, your organization consisted of a page on Facebook. Thus, every time I see Mark Zuckerburg bumbling his way through Congress, flailing away against charges that he is rotting the fabric of society and handing the country over to the Russians, I am shocked—I tell you, shocked!—that you would be bedfellows with him!

The reason humans organize is so they can do things. The motive to deprive them of organization is so they cannot. It is no more complicated than that.

1 hour ago, Witness said:

If we are sincere about following Christ (and not men),we will have the ability to do so without an earthly organization.

Yes. And if we want to serve Christ we organize so as to best bring our God-given talents to bear. Even when the scoundrels organize, God takes note that they do what they could not do as individual loose cannons:

Then Jehovah went down to see the city and the tower that the sons of men had built.  Jehovah then said: “Look! They are one people with one language, and this is what they have started to do. Now there is nothing that they may have in mind to do that will be impossible for them.”

Maybe that is what is so odious about a certain branch of Christendom. It is so selfish. “Me & Jesus” is all that counts—being saved. The thought of actually doing anything concrete in service to him turns them right off.

Last I heard, God is pleased when we bring him our best, not when we abstain from what we otherwise could accomplish because it is too much work. You get to “enter Jehovah’s rest” when you take him up on his invitation, rest from your own and thus find refreshment in entering a work that is bigger than yourself. It is by “tasting” that you come to know that “Jehovah is good.”

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TTH - "Last I heard, your organization consisted of a page on Facebook."

That is one of many sources where a person can find “good news”. If FB shut me down, I don’t suffer any loss.  If the Watchtower is shut down; well, you saw Stephen Lett’s face when he stated Russia had seized WT’s material holdings, didn’t you?  I don’t pay into facebook, unlike JW’s who pay into a “preaching work” that requires lawyers to fend off victims of child abuse, or to fight for their material holdings in Russia.  Or, tell their lies in court concerning shunning.  

  My “organization” is the anointed Body of Christ. 

 https://www.theworldnewsmedia.org/forums/topic/85226-does-god-have-an-organization/

TTH - "Last I heard, God is pleased when we bring him our best, not when we abstain from what we otherwise could accomplish because it is too much work".

Could you be speaking of cart witnessing as bringing God one's "best"?  Oh my.  As if pulling up a chair and saying nothing to people passing by is pleasing to God?

How do you ignore the blatant disrespect the organization has toward the law of the land? Rom 13:1-7 How do you ignore every aspect the WT uses to gain assets in the world, besides free labor to build whatever they wish?  This doesn't please God!  James 5:1-6  This pleases the ruler of this world. Phil 3:17-19

 

 

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5 hours ago, Witness said:

How does this type of “organization” promote one to be “no part of the world”?

I know this wasn't to me, but I'd like to answer. You know that I don't think it is the organization itself that keeps us apart from the world. I think of the organization as tainted by the world in many ways, too. It's not a magical "ark of the covenant" to have in our possession. It has been and will be run by humans with many failings. And to be an organization in this world it has to associate with non-believers, and worldly people, in much the same way that Paul said:

(1 Corinthians 5:10) . . .Otherwise, you would actually have to get out of the world.

That said, an organization though in this world can very clearly promote being "no part of the world." Just as any Christian can associate with non-believers in the world. An organization can put "Read God's Word the Holy Bible Daily" on the side of its factory buildings. It can put Bible messages on carts that are set up all over big cities. It can promote Bibles, tracts, and magazines that show why one should not participate in wars, divisive politics, unclean habits, immoral behavior, etc. Not saying much of anything while sitting/standing next to a cart is only ONE of many methods used to promote Bibles, tracts, and magazines.

I wonder what you think of the American Bible Society, or even other religious Tract Societies of the 19th and 20th centuries. I agree that the actual spiritual organization that Jehovah and Christ sees does not require the physical Watchtower organization, per se. But I also think that if you put a group of Christians together they will certainly begin considering ways to get the good news of the Kingdom out to as many people as they can over a given time period. A pooling of resources so that willing persons can make use of efficiencies of scale in printing and distributing kingdom related messages will be inevitable. This doesn't mean that the organization is the source of salvation, it's just a reflection of the love for the message and the attempt to share it worldwide as efficiently as possible.

I also think it's true that not every Christian will be working at the center of such an organization, nor will all of them believe that they need to participate in the exact same ministry as the average person associated with the organization. Some will look into ways that TV, Internet, and streaming video can be used to get a message promoted. Some will feel more comfortable helping their neighbors in other ways if they don't feel called to any kind of teaching ministry. I believe that even these ones, who may not participate in all recommended aspects of ministry promoted by the organization will still prefer to attend congregations to learn what is taught by others. And I believe that the teachings they will be attracted to with the most Christian appeal will include some of the teachings I mentioned before: no war, no divisive politics, no hellfire, no Trinity, yes to high moral standards, yes to associating with like-minded Christians.

The organization Jehovah and Jesus looks for is invisible, I agree. It includes direct communication with Jehovah in our personal lives (through prayer, study, and our requests for a measure of holy spirit) for guidance, in the same way that the Governing Body directly communicates with Jehovah (through prayer, study, and their requests for a measure of holy spirit). We are not "brought to Christ" through the Governing Body. We are responsible for our own spiritual lives. We are each to be concerned with what sort of person we ought to be, not based on what someone else tells us:

(Philippians 2:12, 13) . . .keep working out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For God is the one who for the sake of his good pleasure energizes you, giving you both the desire and the power to act.

(2 Corinthians 5:9, 10) 9 So whether at home with him or absent from him, we make it our aim to be acceptable to him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of the Christ, so that each one may be repaid according to the things he has practiced while in the body, whether good or bad.

(Galatians 6:4, 5) . . .But let each one examine his own actions, and then he will have cause for rejoicing in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person. 5 For each one will carry his own load.

But I also don't think that all we do is somehow negated by associating with others of like faith who are just as well meaning as we are, and who are also persons we can help strengthen and comfort and encourage, just as they can also do for us. Do you really think that even associating with fellow Witnesses is so bad that Jehovah cannot see our hearts, and find us in his "invisible" organization, too?

(Romans 11:2-6) . . .Do you not know what the scripture says in connection with E·liʹjah, as he pleads with God against Israel? 3 “Jehovah, they have killed your prophets, they have dug up your altars, and I alone am left, and now they are trying to take my life.” 4 Yet, what does the divine pronouncement say to him? “I have left for myself 7,000 men who have not bent the knee to Baʹal.” 5 So in the same way, at the present time also, there is a remnant according to a choosing through undeserved kindness. 6 Now if it is by undeserved kindness, it is no longer through works; otherwise, the undeserved kindness would no longer be undeserved kindness.

 

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      Amber Scorah is author of the memoir Leaving the Witness. Growing up in the Jehovah's Witness faith, Scorah moved to mainland China to become an underground missionary. In China, she came to question these beliefs and left the religion. Shunned by family and friends as an apostate, Scorah was alone in Shanghai and thrown into a world she had only known from the periphery, with no education or support system. After growing up in the Jehovah's Witness faith, Amber learned Mandarin Chinese and moved to Mainland China to become an underground missionary. In China, encountering a new culture and making friends outside the faith for the first time, Amber came to question the beliefs she had been taught from childhood and ended up leaving the religion. Amber later moved to New York City, where she began a new life. Several years later, her three-month old son died on his first day in childcare. After this tragedy, Amber became a parental leave advocate. Combining forces with a Republican mother, their bipartisan efforts brought the cause of parental leave to the forefront of the 2016 presidential campaign. She was named one of the 100 most influential people in Brooklyn culture by Brooklyn Magazine. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Believer, The Boston Globe, The Cut, The Globe and Mail and USA Today
    • By Jack Ryan
      The Dutch Parliament has accepted a motion in which is called on the Dutch government to ensure proper care and guidance for apostates.
      I wonder how the Dutch governement is going to act on this motion.
      MOTION BY THE MEMBER OF KOOTEN-ARISSEN
      Proposed 26 September 2019
      The Chamber,
      having heard the deliberations,
      noting that people from orthodox religious communities may encounter a great deal of resistance from their environment if they choose to abandon certain precepts or their faith;
      whereas feelings of loneliness, exclusion and sadness for what is lost can cause a grieving process that people need help with;
      whereas feelings of loneliness, exclusion and sorrow for what has been lost can cause a process of mourning, which people need help with;
      calls on the government to ensure proper care and guidance of apostates, and moves on to the order of the day.
      Van Kooten-Arissen
    • By Witness
      Wt. 11/7/15 - “HOW DO FALSE TEACHERS OPERATE? THEIR METHODS REVEAL A CUNNING SPIRIT. APOSTATES “QUIETLY BRING IN” CORRUPTIVE IDEAS. LIKE SMUGGLERS, THEY OPERATE IN A CLANDESTINE MANNER, SUBTLY INTRODUCING APOSTATE VIEWS”.
      It begins benignly, truthfully, like this:
      Wt. 1882, pgs 71-71 – “BEWARE OF ‘ORGANIZATION’. It is wholly unnecessary. The Bible rules will be the only rules you will need. DO NOT SEEK TO BIND OTHERS’ CONSCIENCES, AND DO NOT PERMIT OTHERS TO BIND YOURS. Believe and obey so far as you can understand God’s Word today, and so continue growing in grace and knowledge and love day by day”.
      And escalates into this:
      Wt. 11/15/81 “Make haste to IDENTIFY the visible theocratic ORGANIZATION of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR LIFE. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect”.
      Wt. 13/11/15 –“ At that time, the life-saving direction that we receive from JEHOVAH’S ORGANIZATION may not appear practical from a human standpoint. ALL OF US MUST BE READY TO OBEY any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not.”
      Rev 16:13,14:
      “And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth, (the anointed ones Rev 1:5) and of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.”
      We are aware that a fertilized egg of a frog is laid in a mass under water. In a few days, a tadpole is formed, and eventually, the metamorphosis is complete, as a mature frog has developed. Even the diet during this process changes from grasses to meat.
      In the Watchtower, what begins as a scriptural truth, becomes a full-fledged lie, sourced in Satan’s “sea”, that consumes the individual who submits his mind and heart to it. Each beginning of a lie is part of many, that the Watchtower has ‘morphed’ over the years. These teachings have become unique to Jehovah’s Witnesses. Rev 13:1,2 (Prov 14:25) 
       
      Again, from the WT 11/7/15:
      “AND JUST AS A CLEVER FORGER TRIES TO PASS PHONY DOCUMENTS, SO APOSTATES USE ‘COUNTERFEIT WORDS’, OR FALSE ARGUMENTS, TRYING TO PASS THEIR FABRICATED VIEWS AS IF THEY WERE TRUE.” 
      Here's an example of a fabricated view:
      Wt. 14/1/15 - “How did Jehovah become King in 1914, and what were some of the Kingdom’s early accomplishments? The subsequent famines, earthquakes, and pestilences as well as the fulfillment of other Bible prophecies proved CONCLUSIVELY that Jesus Christ had begun to rule in heaven as King of God’s Kingdom in 1914. By enthroning his Son as the Messianic King, Jehovah had, indeed, become King in a new sense!” 
      The SYMBOLIC famines, earthquakes, pestilences are the labor pains that PRECEDE the birth of God’s Kingdom. This is the natural order of birth. Luke 21:8,9; Mark 13:8; Ezek 22:28  
       “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your ]composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a MESSAGE OR A LETTER AS IF FROM US, TO THE EFFECT THAT THE DAY OF THE LORD HAS COME. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” 2 Thess 2:1-4
      Watchtower continues: 
      “THEY SPREAD 'DECEPTIVE TEACHINGS,' 'TWISTING'...THE SCRIPTURES TO FIT THEIR OWN IDEAS. (2 Pet. 2:1, 3, 13; 3:16)” 
      Twisting the scriptures, and creating new doctrine such as:
      Wt 02/8/1 - “Representing the royal priesthood are appointed elders, who serve in positions of responsibility in congregations of Jehovah’s people around the earth. These men deserve our respect and wholehearted support, whether they are of the anointed or not. Why? Because, through his holy spirit, Jehovah has appointed the older men to their positions. Hebrews 13:7,17" 
      JWs, go back to the scriptures to find the truth:
      Num 18:7 - “But you and your sons will carry out your priestly responsibilities for everything concerning the altar and for what is inside the veil, and you will do that work. I am giving you the work of the priesthood as a gift, BUT AN UNAUTHORIZED PERSON WHO COMES NEAR THE SANCTUARY WILL BE PUT TO DEATH."
       Who are the Temple sanctuary?  1 Cor 3:16,17; 1 Pet 2:5,9; 2Chron.13:9; Ezek 22:26;Eze.44:6,7,8,9; 2Thess.2:4; Dan.11:31; Matt.24:15; Rev 11:1,2
      “CLEARLY, APOSTATES DO NOT HAVE OUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART. FOLLOWING THEM WOULD DIVERT US FROM THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO ETERNAL LIFE”. 
      Shepherd the Flock book, page 65 (the previous version) – 
      “Apostasy is a standing away from true worship, a falling away, defection, rebellion.”
      It includes: 
      “Deliberately spreading teachings contrary to bible truth…
      AS TAUGHT BY JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES”
       
       
      Pearl Doxsey, 4womaninthewilderness blogspot
      “The Kingdom—1914?”
      “The Sign of the End”
       
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      Here is the quote from Jehovah's Witnesses calling former members "mentally diseased"


      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
      Where in the scripture does it say that apostates are mentally diseased? I guess that's just their translation.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The invasion of the mentally ill professional apostates is repeated again, at a Kingdom Hall in full meeting. Once the prayer is over, an invader gets on the stage and the ushers are forced to lower it. But among the attendees there are more apostates, including the one who is recording the video. They almost have to be forcibly evicted because they are reluctant to leave  while criticizing the organization. They gather at the door while the brothers prevent them from entering again and call the police. The arrival of the police causes some to run away, and the agent takes data from those who bother a private meeting. Let's take note of the scene that will surely be repeated in many  countries.
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      I see more and more stories about this woman Barbara Anderson
      What exactly did she do at Bethel? Does she have an interesting story?
    • By Jack Ryan
      bh chap. 11 pp. 110-112 pars. 12-15 - Imagine that a teacher is telling his students how to solve a difficult problem. A clever....student claims that the teacher’s way of solving the problem is wrong. What should the teacher do?....suppose that the teacher allows the rebel to show the class how he would solve the problem...he knows that allowing them the opportunity to try to prove their point will benefit the whole class. When the rebels fail, all honest students will see that the teacher is the only one qualified to lead the class....consider two things that the teacher in our illustration would not do............he would not stop the rebel student from presenting his case.



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    • Not the usual Hebrew word for "law" but a late word borrowed from Persian, which is why they say it only shows up in Daniel and Esther (meaning law or custom). It did not come to mean ceremony/ritual until even later. In MODERN Hebrew, not Biblical Hebrew, is it also used to describe someone who is religious. From what I can tell, this is not the same word "dat" which is related to data/datum. That word "dat" is from the word "give" implying "thing" as it to "give a thing" or "any gi
    • Well the GB and Elders act as judges that's for sure, but they will suffer for it later.   
    • Interesting. In both Arabic and Hebrew the words for religion are “din” and “dat”, which both mean “law”. Religious leaders are basically judges. By the way, the word “dat” is the origin of the word “data”.
    • Any collective belief in some approach as "the way" to solve problems is, literally, a bringing together of individuals (re = again, ligio = bond, reverence, and religare = to bind).
    • Bitcoin adoption took another boost in South America yesterday after the Argentinian central bank announced measures to tighten controls on the movement of foreign currency. The announcement came shortly after the Argentine peso plunged over 10%, setting the long-suffering Argentinian people back further. Only 20 years ago, the Argentine peso was 1:1 with the USD, but corruption and mismanagement has seen its economy collapse and the national currency is now artificially pegged at 72:1
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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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