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There is no doubt that In the last 106 years since 1914 the Christian congregation has had to deal with an entire world era of much more critical times than previous historical eras that have come upon the Christian congregation. Yet, when Paul said that in the last days the Christian congregation would see critical times hard to deal with, Paul was preparing Timothy for the fact that Timothy should expect to see these "critical times" in the 1st century congregations he was working with.

Currently, the Watchtower ties 1914 to the beginning of an era, or generation, that has seen greater wars than were ever seen previously in the history of the world. It is also supposed to be the beginning of a generation that has seen greater pestilence, famine, and earthquakes than any other previous generation in the history of the world.

Surely, there is nothing wrong with seeing this year as a time of great change in the world. If we ever needed proof that the world was lying in the power of the wicked one, then events that began in this particular year offered unassailable proof. Also, especially looking back, it seemed to be a sudden change to many people. European powers had exploited the wealth of many nations through violence to keep them as their own colonies. And the number of squabbles over who could exploit which nations had reached a boiling point. The Great European War starting in 1914 was supposed to be the final fight over how the exploitation of colonies around the world would be defined going forward. Lines would be drawn in the sand, and the "jungles". Who gets to exploit whom, would finally be defined and it would therefore be the war to end all wars.

But instead it just thrust upon mankind even more wars for greed, power, ego, persecution, murder, and theft. As one person on this forum commented, maybe WWI never ended.

So what could possibly be wrong with a doctrine that teaches that the final generation of mankind in this system of things should start in 1914?

Does the Bible say this is impossible? Does it go against any Biblical principles. Doesn't it fulfill prophecy?

What about Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, Revelation 12?

Doesn't common sense tell us that the end is getting closer all the time, and that a final generation must appear at some point? With all the global problems, terrors, and fears, isn't now the most likely time to see ourselves in that final generation?

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Yes, and that according to Bible chronology, the FDS was appointed in 1919. So if 1914 was questioned, when were the FDS appointed? It would remove that whole aspect of what we have been taught, including the brothers being in prison.  I agree though that in reality it shouldn't change much about the authority of those taking the lead, because the scriptures say to be obedient to them. And I agree with the sister, I thought it was nothing new either (regarding the FDS only being the GB). Bu

You are saying that they (GB) hang on to 1914 because if they get rid of it, they relinquish a Biblical base of authority. It's "nice" to have a Bible passage that talks about you and it's even "nicer" when that particular passage mentions a measure of authority and trust in advance of even greater authority and trust. I'm just saying that the reason they see the passage as speaking about themselves is because of 1914 first. Based on the importance given to that date, they expect to see cer

Quite so. And the understanding we have now, as proclaimed by the GB of Jehovah's Witnesses and supported by their application of Scripture, would appear to me to bear this out. The various perspectives of those contributing to the discussion on this matter really would not exist at all if it were not for these proclamations at this time. The historical "curios" of understanding that have led people who have stuck with the organisation to this point of time are in the public domain, as are

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You seem to switch from inside the congregation, to outside the congregation.

As you said, Paul was talking about inside the Christian congregation, but then you seem to say that it is right for the GB and JW Org to use that scripture to mean 'in the world'. 

Quote "So what could possibly be wrong with a doctrine that teaches that the final generation of mankind in this system of things should start in 1914? "

Firstly, I thought the GB / Org was now going with 'overlapping generations'.

Secondly, What age would you want them to have been in 1914 ?

Because they would be 106 years old in 2020 if born in 1914. 

And in Psalms it says that a persons life is 70 years or 80 if they are strong. 

Seems a bit of a contradiction to me. I know some folks do live to over a hundred but how many, where are they, and do they have true knowledge of God ? 

Are you actually a Watchtower writer, a 'Talk' writer for Sundays, or a ghost writer for the GB ? 

Of course the End is getting nearer, that is obvious. But i don't think global problems have any play on it. God through Christ will KNOW EXACTLY when to ACT.  It does not matter how many of us humans die in the mean time. The resurrection is a promise from God. A resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous. 

Is your faith wavering ? Do you need to see a sign ? Are you looking for that elusive 'generation' ? 

Remember the words of Jesus "A wicked and adulterous generation keeps seeking a sign,

    Hello guest!
 but no sign will be given it ............... 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

With all the global problems, terrors, and fears, isn't now the most likely time to see ourselves in that final generation?

Did you forget to take your JWI pills today?  

2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

As one person on this forum commented, maybe WWI never ended.

It did. It ended in 1919. But the time of trouble it ushered in has not ended—the last days of Matt 24:7 start off with a bang if we are to connect the two events—the first time that the entire world is concurrently at war. Some time ago I wrote a post about how one might collect “turning point 1914” quotes, just as some collect stamps or coins. There are a lot of them.

I’m close to doubling down on that comment I once made previously about Jehovah leading his people carrot and stick with the end always seen as immanent. One thing that influences me in doing this is seeing how optimistic ex-JWs are about humankind’s future, far in excess of the the average person’s optimism. For most of the latter, reading the Drudge Report is like reading the Book of Revelation. Not so with many apostates—they see nothing but blue skies ahead.

1 hour ago, 4Jah2me said:

Are you actually a Watchtower writer, a 'Talk' writer for Sundays, or a ghost writer for the GB ? 

Make him say “Shibboleth”

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1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Did you forget to take your JWI pills today?  

😉 There's a reason that I have no problem preaching that we are in the last days, and that so many people see the world with fear. We live in a time of excessive troubles and people see no way out. It is our privilege to offer comfort to those sighing and groaning over the situation in this system of things.

3 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

You seem to switch from inside the congregation, to outside the congregation.

To be clear, this is an opening position for a discussion that might answer a few of the questions in a more complete way than just the initial explanations here. But it's good to start with a position of agreement, and a position that acknowledges that the current view is not "crazy" or anti-Bible.

To that point, as I've stated before, I have no problem with the idea that we are in the "last days," and in some sense I would agree that we are also in the "last generation." And since I believe that Jesus began to rule as King invisibly in 33 C.E. and has been present with his followers ever since, then I also have no problem with preaching that Jesus is now enthroned as King, and is invisibly present. I also believe the times we live in are significant in that they are fulfilling all the statements about the "parousia" throughout the entire Christian Greek Scriptures. And, in any case, the answer is the same no matter when we believe that Christ's enthronement and presence began. It's the outworking of Jehovah's eternal purpose through his Kingdom as ruled by Christ Jesus, throughout the millennium and into the final perfection of the new heavens and new earth.

I would even say that, as far as Matthew 24 is concerned, Jehovah intended for us to look at this prophecy, ostensibly about Jerusalem only, and see in it a wider fulfillment that would guide us through future days as we look to the end of the entire worldly system of things -- not just the end of the Jewish system in 70 CE. 2 Tim 3:16 tells us that many scriptures can provide this value to us.

But, unless someone has some scriptural evidence that will correct and override the evidence I've seen so far, I will very likely continue to present the evidence much as I have in the past. However, I see an opportunity to get some more constructive criticism on these views from persons who have participated on this topic in the past, and perhaps some additional thoughts will be convincing. For example, a person like @TrueTomHarley has often surprised me with a take on some scriptures that provides a refreshing perspective. @b4ucuhear has clearly given a lot of thought to the chronology problem, and I hope to get him to share more of what he has learned. He has also asked questions that I have not responded to yet. @Anna has apparently tried to see things from the perspective I have presented, and she is not afraid to question when something doesn't quite appear correct. (Her questions have also pointed out 'holes in the theory' that I am still not 100 percent clear on myself.) @ComfortMyPeople seems to follow a lot of what I've posted on this topic, but rarely says much about it. I'm hoping for a bit more sometime soon. @Outta Here probably got tired of my reaction to my own "JWI pills," but he often said a lot more with fewer words than anyone else who responded to me. (He was the one who suggested that WWI never ended.) @Srecko Sostar and @Witness , although quite different, have also provided very thought-provoking perspectives of their own, and I rarely give their ideas the amount of time I ought to in my responses. And of course, there are others who, in their own way, might help me settle some of these questions and opinions in my own mind.

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34 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

😉 There's a reason that I have no problem preaching that we are in the last days, and that so many people see the world with fear. We live in a time of excessive troubles and people see no way out. It is our privilege to offer comfort to those sighing and groaning over the situation in this system of things.

I originally attached a smiley emoji to my question about JWI pills but then I took it out. I didn’t want Allen to think I was a sycophant any more than he already does.

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

@Annahas apparently tried to see things from the perspective I have presented, and she is not afraid to question when something doesn't quite appear correct. (Her questions have also pointed out 'holes in the theory' that I am still not 100 percent clear on myself

I've already forgotten what those holes were 😀. It's just that I like the sound of 1914, I do! I do! (jumping up and down enthusiastically). But I'm also wondering if it might be a date much similar to 1925 which we were so "positively sure about". There are also a lot of discrepancies that I have superficially looked at, but need to investigate more thoroughly. And I can't help a quote from a certain someone resonating in my head, that we got the idea of 1914, lock stock and barrel, from the 2nd day advertists....and also if a certain person can be believed, that several members of the GB started to question its veracity. I can see that 1914 is decisive to our faith not so much because of it being the last days, but because the appointment of the FDS hinges on it, and unless some alternative date, or at least period of time is found, then I do not see it going away for that reason. My main concern is the sticking to this doctrine for the sole purpose of the supposed appointment of the FDS, if indeed that is the purpose. The frustrating thing is that only time will tell, and if 1914 is wrong, then most of us will not even know this side of the system. Somehow, the more I get involved in reading this topic on here, the more at peace I am. I am not stressing about how near is "just around the corner" or how close is the "last of the last days". I feel like I am above all that now. I know it will come. I know as Christians we do our best in preaching and teaching, we do our best in being "no part of the world" we do our best following in Jesus' footsteps, in our life we pay attention to what God wants as opposed to many who don't question themselves with regard to God's wishes and just live their life with only regard for themselves. So: "plan ahead as if Armageddon won't come in your lifetime, but live your life as if it will come tomorrow". Best advice ever, (and I know I've mentioned this on here several times). 

So whoever's is dangling that carrot can stuff it right up their nose  😁 @TrueTomHarley (I don't think it's Jehovah obviously. On that note, are there scriptural examples of Jehovah dangling a carrot?)

 

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

@ComfortMyPeople seems to follow a lot of what I've posted on this topic, but rarely says much about it. I'm hoping for a bit more sometime soon.

Yes, I want to address this issue, but from another perspective. I get desperate and tired of talking about a date, how contrary to the spirit of the Bible and the warnings of Jesus!
While I prepare what I would like to say (remember that it is very difficult for me to express myself in English), I attach this link that although somewhat old, I think it is relevant.

 

 

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Who does this description fit? 

A carrot dangler is someone who promises something—and never comes through. When you try to collect on the promise, there is always some reason why they can't give it to you right then, though they tell you they will do it another time. But when "another time" comes along, that isn't a good time either, and so it goes, until you give up on that carrot, and then they start to dangle another carrot. 

Most of the time, whoever does this, wants something from you, but never gives anything back. However, in this case, (1914) I am thinking the person or persons just doesn't want to lose face...

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53 minutes ago, Anna said:

Most of the time, whoever does this, wants something from you, but never gives anything back. However, in this case, (1914) I am thinking the person or persons just doesn't want to lose face...

To the best of my knowledge and belief (please correct me if I am wrong ...) the WTB&TS has made hundreds of "mistakes", from "devil pus vaccinations", to continuously hyping Armageddon as "next week" .. and they have NEVER apologized for ANYTHING ...... EVER.

Of course, it's hard to be humble, when you are perfect in every way, and your credibility and contributed donations, which must be like showering under a waterfall (which I once did, in the Grand Canyon, many years ago ...) depend on the publishers having and keeping that impression.

 

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27 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

and your credibility and contributed donations, which must be like showering under a waterfall (which I once did, in the Grand Canyon, many years ago ...) depend on the publishers having and keeping that impression.

I agree with the credibility bit, however I do not think that ensuring contributions are the prime reason for keeping that credibility. I really believe it is a matter of pride, and the fear of what could happen to the faith of many people as a result of admitting that 1914 could be a mistake. If we were to think that the only reason is money, then this would be a fraudulent organization, which I don't think it is, and I dont think you do either.

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3 hours ago, Anna said:

I've already forgotten what those holes were

I'll make sure they come up.

3 hours ago, Anna said:

I can see that 1914 is decisive to our faith not so much because of it being the last days, but because the appointment of the FDS hinges on it

That comes across as too cynical. If there is an appointment of a special class to "feed his little sheep" why could it not just "pop up" inspirationally at any time or place that the need is great enough. (Times and places where the harvest is great but the workers are few.) Why can't all persons in history who would volunteer for such a ministry be considered as candidates in all Christian-like religions, and then the one group of teaching volunteers that appears to have the most truth be the one that lovers of truth associate with? Pre-2011, this was basically our doctrine. That wheat and weeds grew alongside each other through all the centuries from the first on down until today. Various teachers who taught a larger than usual measure of truth like Wycliffe, Tyndale, Waldenses, Arius, etc., were considered to be 'faithful and wise servants' who helped to coalesce a "wheat" class and keep it distinguished from a "weed" class. We should expect that there would have been many candidates vying to teach truth, and from the perspective of those who would be seeking out truth, they would grow as wheat.

3 hours ago, Anna said:

The frustrating thing is that only time will tell, and if 1914 is wrong, then most of us will not even know this side of the system. Somehow, the more I get involved in reading this topic on here, the more at peace I am.

Another perspective is that it is always correct to say it is just around the corner, because it is. It is always as close as our own lifespan. We are, in effect "harvested" as wheat or weeds at the end of our life, or at the 'harvest of the world' which happens at Christ's parousia. 1914 could be dead wrong, and the end could come tonight. But our entire life is an opportunity to continually keep our motivations in check, so that we are moved to do good for our brothers and sisters and neighbors and enemies, out of a love for God and fellow man. If we find ourselves motivated by following a group of men, or peer pressure, or to be seen by men, then we are not motivated out of a pure heart.

(1 Timothy 1:5) . . .Really, the objective of this instruction is love out of a clean heart and out of a good conscience and out of faith without hypocrisy.

But there is a difference in being motivated by a date, and being motivated by the fact that we think the end is so close because, for example, we know that the "generation" might be up in the very near future. There is nothing wrong with being motivated in part because we believe the end of all things is upon us. That would make us want to be ready at any time, every day. This is not the same thing as being (wrongly) motivated because we believe the "end," for example, going to occur within a few months of 2034, or within weeks of a declaration of "Peace and Security" or a "Hailstone message" or when we see that they finally have to put a member of the great crowd in the GB. These latter motivations are the same thing as saying "my master is delaying" and that is dangerous because it becomes a partial motivation for our actions. We will have the feeling that we need not "shape up" 100 percent, until we can see those future expectations begin to occur more clearly.

I think the proper motivation that can come out of a belief that the end can occur at any time, and that it might be very close, is probably what TTH is referring to with the carrot and stick proposition. Not that it is just meant as a tease to get more work out of us.

3 hours ago, Anna said:

I am not stressing about how near is "just around the corner" or how close is the "last of the last days". I feel like I am above all that now. I know it will come. I know as Christians we do our best in preaching and teaching, we do our best in being "no part of the world"

I believe that you have described what Jesus must have meant when he spoke of the truth as not being burdensome.

(Matthew 11:28-30) 28 Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh you. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and you will find refreshment for yourselves. 30 For my yoke is kindly, and my load is light.”

A constant "carrot and stick" with specific goal posts that are moved over and over again becomes a burden. We can never do enough, and we are then serving for specific measurable works.

The old days (1940's-1960's) had a "Circuit Servant" setting quotas for the congregation and then chiding the congregation for not meeting them. This was a sad state of affairs (that seems to have been directly copied from sales meetings for door-to-door merchandise peddlers and other types of salesmen). My uncle who was a Circuit Servant/Overseer was trained by the District Servant to find things the congregation can meet and find things the congregagion probably can't meet, with the overall goal of having the congregation "pushed" to help reach the national quotas found in the "Informant"/"Kingdom Ministry." This way there would be some items to commend, but there would always be the need to work harder. There wasn't that much of a carrot, except in the idea that the works were considered proof of righteousness. I think it was about once a month that the Congregation Servant pulled the huge number chart out from behind the curtain at the Service Meeting to go over how well we were meeting our quotas.

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

I think it was about once a month that the Congregation Servant pulled the huge number chart out from behind the curtain at the Service Meeting to go over how well we were meeting our quotas.

I started getting interested in the Truth about 1961, and I remember that huge number chart, as big as a 4x8 foot piece of plywood.  No one ever walked me up to it and explained it to me, and I figured it was "quotas", although at the time I did not even understand that.

 

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    • By John Paul
      People here should go back and reread their historical understanding of Russell. He had a wait and see attitude about 1914 while he had claimed Jesus presence was felt in 1874. That of course had nothing to do with Jesus being enthroned in 1914, nor does it revise a historical fact world war one started in 1914.
      “CHRONOLOGY--Beginning or End of Time of Trouble Re 1914.
      Q71:1: QUESTION (1905)--1--Will the time of trouble begin or end in 1914 and why?
      ANSWER--We answer that there have been times of trouble this good while. (You know we have a trouble corner over there, and he smiled and pointed over to his little office.) There have been and there will be times of trouble as far as the Church is concerned. Look at the persecutions. But the reference here, and properly enough, is to the "Great Time of Trouble" that is referred to in Daniel, twelfth chapter, where he says, "there shall be a time of trouble such as never was before," and our Lord adds, "No and never shall be again." Well that is the time of trouble that is in our minds, and it will not begin nor end in 1914. The time of trouble may be a beginning now, but those beginnings are only leading up to the real trouble.
      Oct. 15, 1913 WT p.5336
      The divine plan presented in the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. We are advised that it give's seven different corroborative proofs that the close of the year 1914--namely, about October, 1914-will mark the closing of the Times of the Gentiles, and the beginning of the masonic reign. Many of the dear friends are rejoicing in these cobnrrohon1tions.
      We wish still, however, to reiterate what we have said from the first respecting the date of the close of the Times of the Gentiles; namely, that the calculations as we presented them in Vol. II, STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, are the truth to the best of our knowledge and belief. Nevertheless, there is enough uncertainty about the matter of chronology to make it a matter of faith rather than of positive knowledge. We remind our readers that our consecration to the Lord is not to October, 1914, nor to any other time except that mentioned by the Savior'' Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.' '-Rev. 2:10.
      Therefore, Russell never implied the world would end in 1914.
      However, some copies of the 1913 WT omit the Morton Great Pyramid reference by some Bible Student Associations for unknown reason. Then those flat out lies that people keep telling themselves, are made by people that have inherited a bias with worthless research.
      What should be noted, Russell didn’t control all the independent churches, and how they viewed their own understanding of prophecy.
      No more than overthinking about 1975, and 2000. The Org never claimed those dates would bring the end of the world. 1975 was the 6000 years mark and the 2000 was revealed to hold significance to certain “other” religious sects and some doomsayers in which the Org spoke about.
      Aside from the obvious Y2K scare?

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. The Org was making sure people understood what a true apocalypse would entail.
      *** w99 12/1 p. 5 Why the Apocalypse Scare? ***
      Similarly today, there are religious and secular fears that the year 2000 or 2001 will bring with it a terrifying apocalypse. But are these fears justified? And is the message contained in the Bible book of Revelation, or Apocalypse, something to be feared or, on the contrary, is it something we should hope for? Please read on.
      *** g98 5/8 p. 21 How Significant Is the Year 2000? ***
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      Therefore, the Org was NOT being vague in both instances. I believe evidence was given about 1975 in a 1974 article submitted here that has been erased, that debunks that theory. I will re-post the Article from 1974. Why people keep bringing it up as though it still has conclusive evidence is beyond logic.
      *** w74 10/15 p. 635 Growing in Appreciation for the “Divine Purpose” ***
      The publications of Jehovah’s witnesses have shown that, according to Bible chronology, it appears that 6,000 years of man’s existence will be completed in the mid-1970’s. But these publications have never said that the world’s end would come then. Nevertheless, there has been considerable individual speculation on the matter. So the assembly presentation “Why We Have Not Been Told ‘That Day and Hour’” was very timely. It emphasized that we do not know the exact time when God will bring the end. All we know is that the end will come within the generation that sees fulfilled on it the sign that Jesus Christ said would then be in evidence. (See Matthew chapters 24, 25.) All indications are that the fulfillment of this sign began in 1914. So we can be confident that the end is near; we do not have the slightest doubt that God will bring it about, the speaker stressed. But we have to wait and see exactly when, in the meantime keeping busy in God’s service
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    • By Anna
      Something I thought might be relevant since we are studying the God's Kingdom book. Not long ago, in a WT article, it was mentioned in reference to the "Kingdom being preached in all the inhabited earth" that this will not mean that literally everyone on Earth would have heard about the Kingdom before Armageddon starts.
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      With that in mind, it is evident that either there is going to have to be a lot of preaching done, verging on the miraculous, in order to bring in over 7 million new Witnesses within the allotted time of the "Generation", or, Jehovah will judge their hearts and allow nearly HALF of the people, (agnostics or believers in false Gods) entry into the new world without them even needing to know him.
      Or, is "this Generation" a lot longer than we think.....
      Any scriptural thoughts?
       
    • By Jesus.defender
      1888 "In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that the date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the Scriptures, it will prove; Firstly, that at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, Thy Kingdom come, will obtain full, universal control, and that it will then be set up, or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions." (The Time Is At Hand, 1888, p. 76, 77)
       
       
      1889 "Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878, and that the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14) which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced. The gathering of the armies is plainly visible from the standpoint of God's word." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, The Time Is At Hand, 1889 Ed., p. 101. The 1915 Edition of this texts changed "A.D. 1914" to read 'A.D. 1915')
       
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      In 1889, the WT said " we present PROOFS that the setting up of the kingdom of God has already begun...and that 'the battle of the great day of God almighty' (Revelation16:14),which will end in AD1914 with the complete overthrow of the earth's present rulership, is already commenced.".
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      It is a historical fact worth noting that, on the basis of the points and evidence above presented, the March 1880 edition of the Watch Tower magazine identified the year 1914 as the time for the close of “the appointed times of the nations” (and the end of the lease of power granted the Gentile rulers). 
      This was some 34 years before the arrival of that year and the momentous events it initiated. In the August 30, 1914, edition of The World, a leading New York newspaper at that time, a feature article in the paper’s Sunday magazine section commented on this as follows: “The terrific war outbreak in Europe has fulfilled an extraordinary prophecy. 
      For a quarter of a century past, through preachers and through press, the ‘International Bible Students’ . . . have been proclaiming to the world that the Day of Wrath prophesied in the Bible would dawn in 1914.”
      The events that took place from and after the year 1914 C.E. are well-known history to all, beginning with the great war that erupted, the first world war in mankind’s history and the first to be fought over the issue, not of the domination of Europe alone, nor of Africa, nor of Asia, but of the domination of the world.—Lu 21:7-24, 29-33; Re 11:15-18.
      jw.org

      IMG_6281.mov
    • By Brother Rando
      Being a student of Prophecy and intently studying the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1914 is only the beginning of the end. “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. ?All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress.” (Matthew 24:7-8)
      In 1914 the world as we know it, has entered into its death throes.  God’s Kingdom would slowly begin crushing all kingdoms of the earth. (Daniel 2:44)  Those inhabiting the earth would enter into an ‘allotted amount of time of distress'. “During that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of your people. And there will occur a time of distress such as has not occurred since there came to be a nation until that time. And during that time your people will escape, everyone who is found written down in the book.” (Daniel 12:1)
      What is causing this ‘time of distress’?  “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled ?but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven.” (Rev 12:7-8)  “Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.” (Rev 12:12)  Here’s an important teaching from Jesus Christ, he stated, “For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” (Matthew 24:37)  Did you catch that?  So the presence of the Son of man will be.  Jesus Christ has been ruling from Heaven since 1914 and he compared his presence like the days of Noah!  Few people understand this, but the Days of Noah lasted 120 years. (Genesis 6:3)  Jesus continues, “For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, ?and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” (Matthew 24:38-39)  Folks, the presence of the Son of man is now 103 years from 1914 and counting.  Yet, the World is taking no note.
      The Last Days must reach their full time allotted, which is 120 years.  1914 + 120 = 2034.   Since the Great Tribulation is Spiritual, many will  fall away from the faith. But it’s during this time period that the one’s separated to the right hand of Christ, will come out of the Great Tribulation as Survivors.  In response one of the elders said to me: “These who are dressed in the white robes, who are they and where did they come from?” (Rev 7:13)
      So right away I said to him: “My lord, you are the one who knows.” And he said to me: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Rev 7:14)  “Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” (Matthew 24:42)
      Armageddon is an act of undeserved kindness of removing the wicked by means of the second death.  Soon, those outside our interior rooms will be dying the second death in the same manner as Adam and Eve. 
       
      For Answers to Your Biblical Questions go to the Jehovah Witness Q & A Forum.  To request a free home Bible Study click 
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    • By Albert Michelson
      What is the good news?
       
      The Bible is clear that even if someone had been clearly selected by god if they deviate from the truth they are to be rejected. 
       
      Galatians 1:8-9 However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to YOU as good news something beyond what we declared to YOU as good news, let him be accursed.  9 As we have said above, I also now say again, Whoever it is that is declaring to YOU as good news something beyond what YOU accepted, let him be accursed.
       
      This holds even more weight for ones like the GB who are not clearly selected and who's claim to authority rests solely on a demonstrably false interpretation of scripture.
      The organization claims that the 1914 teaching is necessary for salvation and even goes as far as to claim that the 1914 teaching is the good news spoken of in the Bible.
      *** w67 12/15 pp. 753-754 pars. 3-4 What Now Distinguishes the Good News to Be Preached ***
      "What a joy-inspiring addition or enlargement to the good news now to be preached! Now has come the victorious kingdom of our God together with the authority of his Christ, his Messiah! As for Satan the Devil and his demons, they have only a short period of time until they are bound and imprisoned in the abyss after the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Armageddon. All this additional wonderful information has been true since the end of the “appointed times of the nations” in 1914, and particularly since World War I closed in the year 1918. Not before the “appointed times of the nations” ended in the fall of 1914 could the good news be preached of the newborn, established heavenly kingdom of God and of his Messiah. This, then, must be the good news that Jesus Christ in his prophecy said had to be preached first in all the nations. (Mark 13:10) This generation of human society that has seen and experienced the world events since the Gentile Times closed in 1914—this is the “generation” that will not pass away until all the things foretold have happened, including the preaching of the good news first in all nations.
      4 Jesus’ prophecy in Mark 13:10, “Also, in all the nations the good news has to be preached first,” has not been undergoing fulfillment during the past nineteen centuries. It is only since the second decade of our twentieth century that this prophecy has been undergoing fulfillment. This began to be realized by the International Bible Students Association and the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society since the end of the second decade of our century. In the magazine issue of July 1, 1920, of The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence the article was published entitled “Gospel of the Kingdom” and based on the theme text, “‘And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’—Matthew 24:14.”
       It is for this reason that the organization is chained to the 1914 teaching. As the scripture I quoted above demonstrates the Bible says that one who teaches a good news that is false is cursed. If the organization admits that the 1914 and 1919 teachings are false they will have to admit that not only were they not selected as gods channel but that they have been teaching a false good news for the majority of their existence. It is for that reason that they disfellowship and shun people who cannot conscientiously remain in the faith. It's easier to just eliminate the opposition then to actually address the real issues with your theology. 
      *** w86 4/1 pp. 30-31 Questions From Readers ***
      Why have Jehovah’s Witnesses disfellowshipped (excommunicated) for apostasy some who still profess belief in God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ?
       
      "Approved association with Jehovah’s Witnesses requires accepting the entire range of the true teachings of the Bible, including those Scriptural beliefs that are unique to Jehovah’s Witnesses. What do such beliefs include?
       
      That the great issue before humankind is the rightfulness of Jehovah’s sovereignty, which is why he has allowed wickedness so long. (Ezekiel 25:17) That Jesus Christ had a prehuman existence and is subordinate to his heavenly Father. (John 14:28) That there is a “faithful and discreet slave” upon earth today ‘entrusted with all of Jesus’ earthly interests,’ which slave is associated with the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Matthew 24:45-47) That 1914 marked the end of the Gentile Times and the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the heavens, as well as the time for Christ’s foretold presence. (Luke 21:7-24; Revelation 11:15–12:10) That only 144,000 Christians will receive the heavenly reward. (Revelation 14:1, 3) That Armageddon, referring to the battle of the great day of God the Almighty, is near. (Revelation 16:14, 16; 19:11-21) That it will be followed by Christ’s Millennial Reign, which will restore an earth-wide paradise. That the first to enjoy it will be the present “great crowd” of Jesus’ “other sheep.”—John 10:16; Revelation 7:9-17; 21:3, 4."
       
      This is supposedly a list of the fundamental doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses that all are required to believe. You will in most cases be disfellowshiped for not believing in one or more of them. Unfortunately the truth is most of them are false.
    • By JW Insider
      Even before C.T.Russell was born, commentaries on Bible prophecy included  dozens of potential dates. Nearly 200 years ago, a couple of them even included 1914 as potentially significant time period. The "1914 presence" doctrine, however, is only about 75 years old.
      All the ideas behind the Watch Tower's version of the 1914 doctrine have already been discussed for decades now, and all of them, so far, have been shown to be problematic from a Scriptural point of view. Since the time that the doctrine generally took its current shape in 1943, the meanings and applications of various portions of Matthew 24 and 25 have already been changed, and the timing of various prophesied events and illustrations have changed. Most recently, the meaning and identification of the "faithful and discreet slave" has changed. And the definition of "generation" has changed about half-a-dozen times. This doesn't mean that the current understandings are impossible, of course, only that it has become less likely from the point of view of reason and reasonableness.
      Besides, for most of the years of teaching this doctrine, we have had the flexibility of extending the "1914 generation" from a possible 40 years, up to 70, then 75, then 80 years. And this has been applied to teenagers who saw 1914, 10-year-olds who saw 1914, then even newborns who saw 1914. With every one of these options already tried and stretched to their limits, we finally were forced to convert the meaning of generation from its most common meanings and give it a new "strained" meaning that has no other Biblical parallel. (See Exodus 1:6; Matthew 1:17; 16:4; 23:36; Luke 11:50)
      But that flexibility is still seen as the last reason for hope that the Watch Tower Society might have still been correct in hanging on to 1914. Since the Bible says that a lifespan is 70 or 80 years and 1914 + 80 = 1994, the "generation" doctrine in its original form (1943) could remain stable until about 1994. Of course, a lifespan could technically reach to 120 years or more, and Gen 6:3 even gives vague support to the idea that the "1914 generation" could last 120 years, until 2034.
      The current alternative solution is to make the generation out of the length of two lifespans, which technically could be double 120 years, or nearly 240 years from 1914. That would have had the potential to reach to the year 2154 (1914+240) except for the caveat that it can, by its new definition, only refer to anointed persons who discerned the sign in 1914 and whose lives overlapped (technically, by as little as one second) with the lifespan of another anointed person representing the second group. If persons from each group don't really discern their own "anointing" until age 20, for example, this would effectively remove 40 years from the overall maximum. 1914+120-20+120-20 = 2114. We could also assume a possible lifespan of more than 120 years, but otherwise, the new two-lifespan generation could potentially make the generation last 200 years. This "technical maximum" is not promoted currently, because for now we look at examples like Fred Franz who was part of that original generation already anointed and who saw the sign, and the typical example of an anointed brother who was apparently "anointed" prior to Franz' death in 1992 would be someone like Governing Body member, Brother Sanderson, who was born in 1965, baptized in 1975, and was already a "special pioneer" in 1991. His is currently 52.
      However, the generation problem is just one more problem now which we can add onto the list of all the other points that make up the 1914 doctrine. Here are several points related to 1914 that appear problematic from a Scriptural point of view:
      All evidence shows the 1914 date is wrong when trying to base it on the destruction of Jerusalem. (Daniel 1:1; 2 Chron 36:1-22; Jer 25:8-12; Zech 1:12, 7:4; Ezra 3:10-13) Paul said that Jesus sat at God's right hand in the first century and that he already began ruling as king at that time. (1 Cor 15:25) Jesus said not to be fooled by the idea that wars and rumors of wars would be the start of a "sign" (Matt 24:4,5) Jesus said that the "parousia" would be as visible as lightning (Matt 24:27). He spoke against people who might say he had returned but was currently not visible. (Matt 24:23-26) Jesus said that his "parousia" would come as a surprise to the faithful, not that they would discern the time of the parousia decades in advance. (Matt 24:36-42) Jesus said that the kingdom would not be indicated by "signs" (Luke 17:20, almost any translation except NWT in this case) The "synteleia" (end of all things together) refers to a concluding event, not an extended period of time (Matt 28:20) Jesus was already called ruler, King and even "King of Kings" in the first century. (1 Tim 6:15, Heb 7:2,17; Rev 1:5; 17:14) Wicked, beastly King Nebuchadnezzar's insanity and humiliation does not represent Jesus as the "lowliest one of mankind." (Heb 1:5,6; 2:10,11; Daniel 4:23-25; cf. Heb 2:7; 1 Pet 3:17,18) The demise of a Gentile kingdom cannot rightly represent the time of the rise of the Gentile kingdoms (Daniel 4:26,27) The Gentile kings did not meet their demise in 1914. (Rev 2:25,26) The time assigned to the Gentile Times that Jesus spoke about in Luke 21:24 is already given as 3.5 times, not 7 times (Revelation 11:2,3) The Devil was already brought down from "heaven" in the first century. (1 John 2:14,15; 1 Pet 5:8; Luke 10:18; Heb 2:14) The Bible says that the "last days" began in the first century. (Acts 2:14-20; 2 Tim 3:1-17; 1 Peter 3:3-5; Heb 1:2, almost any translation except NWT in this case.)
    • By Noble Berean
      "Then, indeed, the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will do away with by the spirit of his mouth and bring to nothing by the manifestation of his presence" (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
      I understand that Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus Christ presence began back in 1914. I also understand that JWs believe the clergy of Christendom represent the Man of Lawlessness. However, if that is the case, why have the clergy thrived since 1914? Shouldn't they be brought to "...nothing by the manifestation of his presence"?
    • By JW Insider
      A recent topic about whether the Watchtower view of 607 BCE is SCRIPTURALLY supported is linked below. This new topic should provide a better place to discuss the SECULAR evidence. I also think it would be useful to discuss the methodology that the Watch Tower Society has historically used to treat this evidence.
      I would hope that we can do this without so much side discussions of unrelated topics. To avoid another topic that goes on for 30+ pages where only half of them were on-topic, I would suggest that if we get enough off-topic posts, we merely move them to another more appropriate topic.
      The link to the most recent topic on a similar subject is here:


       
    • By JW Insider
      Why another topic about 1914 and 607?
      Because we could use a topic where we can all agree a little more easily. Seriously. In this topic, we don't need to worry about whether 607 is correct, or 1914 is correct. No one needs to say why it does or doesn't make sense to them. Let's just see if we can review the possible and probable sources that were influential, and ultimately resulted in 607 and 1914 being accepted as a Bible-based fulfillment of prophecy.
      No one needs to jump from another thread about 607 and Biblical evidence over to this one. In fact, I just read a couple of books last night for the first time, and I had some questions that I couldn't find an answer to, and hoped that someone from that other thread, or anyone really, might have run across the resources that might have answered the questions. I'm reading one more book first, and don't think I'll finish it tonight, so consider this topic to be kind of a placeholder for a couple days.
      So this is the purpose of the three current threads:
      https://www.theworldnewsmedia.org/topic/5510-607-bce-is-it-biblically-supported/ a place to discuss mostly the Scriptural evidence for or against the 607 portion of the 1914 doctrine. https://www.theworldnewsmedia.org/topic/51655-607-bce-is-there-any-secular-support-for-the-watch-towers-view/ a place to discuss mostly the Secular evidence for or against the 607 portion of the 1914 doctrine. And this current one: a place to discuss the sources that were influential in the WTS accepting the 607 date as part of the 1914 doctrine. One place to start is with a couple sentences in the "Proclaimers" book (next post). I personally intend to avoid a certain book by COJ for this topic, to avoid unnecessary controversy, although anyone should feel free to use any resources from anywhere they wish, as long as it appears to be a statement of fact. Again, this is not about questioning the correctness of the doctrine.
    • By The Librarian
      Master Chronological List > 1914
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  pointed to 1914 as the end of the "Gentile Times" or "The Appointed Times of the Nations."

      Subsequent President of the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  established 1914 as the date of "Christ's Invisible Return" and crowning as King of Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  which had been previously believed to be 1878. Hence, Jehovah's heavenly Kingdom is established.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  teach that Satan and his demons were cast down to earth from heaven after October 1, 1914 at which point the end times began.

      From 1914 C.E. to the early part of 1918 C.E. or 1,260 days Jehovah's people preached a "sackcloth" message concerning Christendom and the world, in fulfillment of Revelation 11:3, 4. See re pgs. 164-7 pars. 10-18, also see yw pgs. 264-307, also bf pg. 592.

      [KING OF THE NORTH is now Germany, the KING OF THE SOUTH is the alliance between Great Britian and the United States of America, see Daniel 11:27-29], Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife, Countess Sophie Chotek, duchess of Hohenberg were assassinated on June 28th in Sarajevo, Bosnia, (now in Bosnia and Herzegovina), by a Serb nationalist. This action precipitated World War I. 
       
      On October 2, 1914, Jesus took the throne. Shortly thereafter, a war in heaven broke out wherein Satan and his demons were cast from the heavens. Satan then became so enraged that he began to wreak havoc upon the earth. One of the first things he did was to start the Great War (WWI). So WWI must have started a few days after October 2, 1914.
       
      “World War I set the violent twentieth century in motion. It was the first use of chemical weapons; the first mass bombardment of civilians from the sky; the century’s first genocide.” So begins the 1996 PBS series The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century.


      The war’s horrendous prosecution and unsatisfactory end were made even worse by the Versailles Peace Conference, a conclave which created the false peace that only allowed the combatants to rearm and proceed to a second conflict which was even more destructive than the first one. World War II merely took up the Great War’s unfinished business. Indeed many historians call both conflicts Europe’s “Second Thirty Years’ War.”

      The First World War led to the birth of the first communist dictatorship. The world flirted with nuclear destruction as that dictatorship engaged in a murderous rivalry with its erstwhile allies. When the USSR finally imploded, some of the splinter states which emerged from its ruins fell to either fighting among themselves or suffering internecine bloodletting. And the problems elsewhere in southwest Asia as well as the Middle East can be traced to hatreds fostered by European colonialism which the Great War only intensified.

      The world we have today had its birth pangs in World War I. It was Austria-Hungary’s invasion of Serbia on 28 July 1914 that caused a myriad of dominoes to fall—and they are continuing to tumble even now.


      The war shattered an entire world order. In 1914, sixty percent of the world's population lived under the rule of kingdoms or empires. Today less than ten percent do so. The only important royal dynasty to survive the war was the House of Windsor and that was not without challenge. The fragmentation of these empires led to the rise of independent states which continues down to this day as the doctrine of "self-determination", promulgated by Wilson at Versailles, continues to govern many movements in our time.

      But what makes the Great War different from its predecessors is that it was the first fought in all four quarters of the globe and by blocs of nations as opposed to just a few. Its carnage also was unmatched in previous world history. Nobody knows how many actually died although estamates range from fourteen to twenty million. Among its aftershocks were the Spanish Flu, the pandemic that killed more people than the war itself, and widespread famine. So to say that the Great War was not much different from earlier ones entirely misses the point,
       
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      July 28, 1914. Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. August 1, 1914. Germany Declares War on Russia. August 3, 1914. Germany declares war on France. August 4, 1914. Britain declares war on Germany. August 6, 1914. Austria declares war on Russia. April 6, 1917 - The United States declares war on Germany.
      Depiction from the 
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      Older depiction from the 1982 book "
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      Related Links and Questions
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      1914-2014 - One Hundred Years of Kingdom Rule!

      Where did you find the theme text for 1914?

      Jesus said that "This generation will not pass away until all these things occur." Did he mean the generation that saw saw World War 1 in 1914?

      What shows that Christ became King in 1914?

      When Jesus began ruling as King in 1914, was that the start of the Millennial reign of the Messianic Kingdom?

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

       
      Watchtower Publications from 1914
      YearText: “Be strong and courageous.” Joshua 1:9
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      Berean Studies on The New Creation - C.T. Russell 
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      Return to the 
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      Watchtower_May_15_1984_pages_1_to_7.pdf
      Previous Watchtower Publications quotations concerning 1914
      “Some persons living A.D. 1914 when the series of foretold events began will also be living when the series ends with Armageddon.” - The Watchtower, September 1, 1952, p. 543

      THE TRAIN ILLUSTRATION - Awake!, October 8, 1968, p. 5

      “The fact that fifty-four years of the period called the ‘last days’ have already gone by is highly significant. It means that only a few years, at most, remain before the corrupt system of things dominating the earth is destroyed by God...Jesus was obviously speaking about those who were old enough to witness with understanding what took place when the ‘last days’ began. Jesus was saying that some of those persons who were alive at the appearance of the ‘sign of the last days’ would still be alive when God brought this system to its end.” - Awake!, October 8, 1968, p. 13


      “But there are people still living who were alive in 1914 and saw what was happening then and who were old enough that they still remember those events. This generation is getting up in years now. A great number of them have already passed away in death. Yet Jesus very pointedly said: ‘This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.’ Some of them will still be alive to see the end of this wicked system. This means that only a short time is left before the end comes!” - Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.

      “However, there are people still living who were alive in 1914 and saw what was happening then and who were old enough that they still remember those events. This generation is getting up in years now. A great number of them have already passed away in death. Yet Jesus very pointedly said: ‘This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.’ Some of them will still be alive to see the end of this wicked system. This means that only a short time is left before the end comes!” - The Watchtower, February 15, 1969, p. 101

      “Men of this world offer you nothing stable, nothing sure. Their promises and predictions of better things have failed time and again. Why let yourself be carried along with them in a steadily downward course to ultimate disaster due to rejecting God’s will? God’s prophetic Word has not failed. Time has confirmed its truthfulness, its unerring accuracy. The generation that saw the start of the time of distress that began in 1914 is now dwindling in numbers. Before it passes off the scene the prophesied ‘great tribulation’ will come. You can be among the joyful survivors, experience deliverance from a world system that has proved oppressive, unworkable and death dealing.” - The Watchtower, February 1, 1971, p. 69

      “And the remaining ones of that generation of 1914 are still talking about it. Some of them will be talking about it right down to the time when the ‘great tribulation’ wipes Satan’s wicked system of things off the face of our globe. For Jesus Christ himself assures us: ‘Truly I say to you that this generation [the generation that saw the ‘beginning of pangs of distress’ in 1914] will by no means pass away [completely] until all these things occur. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.’--Matthew 24:3,8,34,35.” - The Watchtower, May 1, 1982, p. 15

      “After drawing attention to the many things that have marked the period from 1914 onward, Jesus said: ‘This generation will by no means pass away until all these things [including the end of this system] occur.’ (Matthew 24:34,14) Which generation did Jesus mean? He meant the generation of people who were living in 1914. Those persons yet remaining of that generation are now very old. However, some of them will still be alive to see the end of this wicked system. So of this we can be certain: Shortly now there will be a sudden end to all wickedness and wicked people at Armageddon. Some of the generation living in 1914 will see the end of the system of things and survive it.” - Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.

      ILLUSTRATION: “1914 The Generation That Will Not Pass Away” - The Watchtower, May 15, 1984, title page

      “If Jesus used ‘generation’ in that sense and we apply it to 1914, then the babies of that generation are now 70 years old or older. And others alive in 1914 are in their 80’s or 90’s, a few even having reached a hundred. There are still many millions of that generation alive. Some of them ‘will by no means pass away until all things occur.’ --Luke 21:32” - The Watchtower, May 15, 1984, p. 5

      “From a purely human viewpoint, it could appear that these developments could hardly take place before the generation of 1914 disappears from the scene. But fulfillment of all the foretold events affecting the generation of 1914 does not depend on comparatively slow human action. Jehovah’s prophetic word through Christ Jesus is: ‘This generation [of 1914] will by no means pass away until all things occur.’ (Luke 21:32) And Jehovah, who is the source of inspired and unfailing prophecy, will bring about the fulfillment of his Son’s words in a relatively short time.--Isaiah 46:9,10; 55:10,11.”
      - The Watchtower, May 15, 1984, pp. 6-7

      “Today, a small percentage of mankind can still recall the dramatic events of 1914. Will that elderly generation pass away before God saves the earth from ruin? Not according to Bible prophecy. ‘When you see all these things,’ Jesus promised, ‘know that he is near at the doors. Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.’--Matthew 24:33,34” - The Watchtower, May 1, 1992, p. 3

      “Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away.” - Awake!, October 22, 1995, p. 4


      “Eager to see the end of this evil system, Jehovah’s people have at times speculated about the time when the ‘great tribulation’ would break out, even tying this to calculations of what is the lifetime of a generation since 1914. However, we ‘bring a heart of wisdom in,’ not by speculating about how many years or days make up a generation, but by thinking about how we ‘count our days’ in bringing joyful praise to Jehovah. (Psalm 90:12) Rather than provide a rule for measuring time, the term ‘generation’ as used by Jesus refers principally to contemporary people of a certain historical period, with their identifying characteristics.” - The Watchtower, November 1, 1995, p. 17


      “Therefore, in the final fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy today, ‘this generation’ apparently refers to the peoples of earth who see the sign of Christ’s presence but fail to mend their ways...Does our more precise viewpoint on ‘this generation’ mean that Armageddon is further away than we had thought? Not at all! Though we at no time have known the ‘day and hour,’ Jehovah God has always known it, and he does not change.” - The Watchtower, November 1, 1995, pp. 19-20

      “Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world that is about to replace the present wicked, lawless system of things.” - Awake!, November 8, 1995, p. 4
       
      One hundred years on from the Great War

       




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    • Eric Ouellet

      Que vos prières soit préparées comme une encens apaisante pour Jéhovah

      Chez les Israélites, l’offrande d’encens était un symbole approprié pour désigner les prières que Dieu entend. C’est pourquoi le psalmiste David a chanté à Jéhovah : 

      “ Que ma prière soit préparée comme l’encens devant toi. ”
      — Psaume 141 : 2
      JÉHOVAH DIEU a chargé son prophète Moïse de préparer un encens sacré à l’usage du culte qui lui était rendu dans le tabernacle d’Israël. Il a donné lui-même la formule de ce mélange composé de quatre ingrédients aromatiques qui dégageaient une bonne odeur. — Exode 30:34-38.
      L’alliance de la Loi dans laquelle la nation d’Israël avait été admise prévoyait de faire brûler quotidiennement de l’encens (Exode 30:7, 8). Ce geste avait-il une signification particulière ? Oui. En témoignent ces paroles du psalmiste : “ Que ma prière soit préparée comme l’encens devant toi [Jéhovah Dieu], l’élévation de mes paumes comme l’offrande de grain du soir. ” (Psaume 141:2). De plus, dans le livre de la Révélation, l’apôtre Jean dit de ceux qui se tiennent autour du trône céleste de Dieu qu’ils ont des bols d’or pleins d’encens. “ Et, précise le récit inspiré, l’encens représente les prières des saints. ” (Révélation 5:8). Il apparaît donc que la combustion d’encens odorant symbolise les prières agréées que les serviteurs de Jéhovah offrent jour et nuit. — 1 Thessaloniciens 3:10 ; Hébreux 5:7
      Pour que Dieu agrée nos prières, nous devons le prier au nom de Jésus Christ (Jean 16:23, 24). Au demeurant, comment pouvons-nous améliorer la qualité de nos prières ? L’examen de quelques exemples pris dans les Écritures devrait nous aider à préparer nos prières comme l’encens devant Jéhovah. — Proverbes 15:8.
      Prions avec foi
      Si nous voulons que nos prières montent vers Dieu comme un encens de bonne odeur, il nous faut les lui offrir avec foi (Hébreux 11:6). Lorsque des anciens ont affaire à une personne spirituellement malade qui réagit bien à leurs conseils bibliques, ‘ leur prière de foi rétablit celui qui est souffrant ’. (Jacques 5:15.) Notre Père céleste prend plaisir à voir quelqu’un le prier avec foi et étudier consciencieusement sa Parole. Un psalmiste qui manifestait cet excellent état d’esprit a écrit : “ Je lèverai mes paumes vers tes commandements que j’ai aimés, et je veux m’intéresser à tes prescriptions. Enseigne-moi la bonté, le bon sens et la connaissance, car j’ai exercé la foi en tes commandements. ” (Psaume 119:48, 66). ‘ Étendons nos paumes ’ en priant avec humilité et exerçons la foi en observant les commandements de Dieu.
      La prière un lien véritable à la sagesse divine
      Supposons que nous manquions de sagesse pour surmonter une épreuve ; par exemple, nous pourrions ne pas être convaincus qu’une certaine prophétie soit déjà en train de se réaliser. Plutôt que de laisser cette incertitude nous déstabiliser spirituellement, prions pour recevoir de la sagesse (Galates 5:7, 8 ; Jacques 1:5-8). N’escomptons pas cependant que Dieu nous réponde d’une manière spectaculaire, mais démontrons la sincérité de nos prières en faisant ce qu’il attend de tous ses serviteurs : qu’ils bâtissent leur foi en étudiant les Écritures à l’aide des publications fournies par l’intermédiaire de “ l’esclave fidèle et avisé ”. (Matthieu 24:45-47 ; Josué 1:7, 8.) Nous avons besoin également d’augmenter notre connaissance en prenant part régulièrement aux réunions du peuple de Dieu. — Hébreux 10:24, 25.
      Certains chrétiens semblent avoir perdu de vue que nous sommes à un stade avancé du “ temps de la fin ”. (Daniel 12:4.) C’est ce que révèlent l’orientation qu’ils donnent à leur vie et leurs centres d’intérêt. Il convient de prier pour que ces chrétiens ravivent ou affermissent leur foi dans les preuves que fournit la Bible que la présence du Christ a commencé en 1914 et que, ayant été intronisé au ciel par Jéhovah cette année-là, il règne depuis lors au milieu de ses ennemis (Psaume 110:1, 2 ; Matthieu 24:3). Nous devrions tous être bien conscients du fait que des événements annoncés, tels que la destruction de la fausse religion (“ Babylone la Grande ”), l’attaque satanique de Gog de Magog contre les serviteurs de Jéhovah et l’intervention salvatrice de Dieu le Tout-Puissant lors de la guerre d’Har-Maguédôn, peuvent survenir avec une rapidité saisissante et s’enchaîner sur une période relativement courte (Révélation 16:14, 16 ; 18:1-5 ; Ézékiel 38:18-23). Aussi, prions Dieu de nous aider à rester spirituellement éveillés. Puissions-nous tous prier avec conviction pour que le nom de Jéhovah soit sanctifié, pour que son Royaume vienne et pour que sa volonté se fasse sur la terre comme elle est faite au ciel ! Puissions-nous aussi continuer à exercer la foi et à démontrer par des actes la sincérité de nos prières (Matthieu 6:9, 10) ! Que tous ceux qui aiment Jéhovah puissent vraiment chercher d’abord le Royaume et Sa justice, et participer le plus possible à la prédication de la bonne nouvelle avant que vienne la fin ! — Matthieu 6:33 ; 24:14.
      Louons et remercions Jéhovah
      Une manière importante de ‘ préparer nos prières comme l’encens ’ consiste à louer et à remercier Dieu du fond de notre cœur. Le roi David a prononcé une prière de ce genre quand lui et le peuple d’Israël ont fait des contributions pour la construction du temple de Jéhovah. Il s’est exprimé ainsi : “ Béni sois-tu, ô Jéhovah le Dieu d’Israël notre père, depuis des temps indéfinis et pour des temps indéfinis. À toi, ô Jéhovah, sont la grandeur, la puissance, la beauté, la supériorité et la dignité ; car tout, dans les cieux et sur la terre, est à toi. À toi est le royaume, ô Jéhovah, Celui qui t’élève aussi en chef au-dessus de tout. La richesse et la gloire sont grâce à toi, et tu domines tout ; dans ta main il y a force et puissance, et dans ta main est le pouvoir de rendre grand et de donner de la vigueur à tous. Et maintenant, ô notre Dieu, nous te remercions et nous louons ton nom magnifique. ” — 1 Chroniques 29:10-13.
      Quelles splendides expressions de louange et de reconnaissance ! Même si nos prières ne sont pas aussi éloquentes, elles peuvent témoigner de la même sincérité. Les actions de grâces et les louanges abondent dans le livre des Psaumes. Les Psaumes 148, 149 et 150, en particulier, louent Dieu en des termes particulièrement choisis. La gratitude envers Dieu imprègne également de nombreux psaumes. “ J’ai demandé une chose à Jéhovah, a chanté David, — c’est ce que je chercherai : Que j’habite dans la maison de Jéhovah tous les jours de ma vie, pour contempler le charme de Jéhovah et pour regarder avec admiration son temple. ” (Psaume 27:4). Agissons en harmonie avec de telles prières en participant avec zèle à toutes les activités des “ foules rassemblées ” par Jéhovah (Psaume 26:12). Ajoutons à cela la méditation quotidienne de sa Parole, et nous aurons quantité de raisons de louer et de remercier sincèrement Jéhovah.
      Recherchons humblement l’aide de Jéhovah
      Nous avons l’assurance que Jéhovah entend les appels à l’aide de ses Témoins qui le servent d’un cœur entier (Isaïe 43:10-12). C’est ce qu’illustre un épisode de la vie d’Asa, qui a été roi de Juda pendant 41 ans (977-937 av. n. è.). Après dix premières années de règne marquées par la paix, le pays a été envahi par une armée de un million d’hommes conduite par Zérah l’Éthiopien. Bien qu’infiniment moins nombreux, Asa et ses hommes sont sortis à la rencontre de l’ennemi. Cependant, avant de livrer bataille, Asa a prononcé une prière fervente, dans laquelle il a exprimé sa confiance dans le pouvoir salvateur de Jéhovah. Implorant son aide, il a dit : “ Sur toi nous nous appuyons et c’est en ton nom que nous sommes venus contre cette foule. Ô Jéhovah, tu es notre Dieu. Que le mortel ne conserve pas de vigueur contre toi. ” En conséquence, Jéhovah a sauvé Juda à cause de son grand nom ; il a donné aux Israélites une victoire totale (2 Chroniques 14:1-15). Qu’il nous délivre de l’épreuve ou qu’il nous donne la force de l’endurer, il est hors de doute que Dieu entend nos appels à l’aide.
      Soyons certains que Jéhovah entend tout autant nos requêtes lorsque nous ne savons pas comment agir dans une certaine situation critique. C’est ce qu’a pu vérifier le roi de Juda Yehoshaphat, dont les 25 ans de règne ont commencé en 936 avant notre ère. Quand Juda s’est trouvé menacé par les armées coalisées de Moab, d’Ammôn et de la région montagneuse de Séïr, Yehoshaphat a fait cette supplication : “ Ô notre Dieu, n’exécuteras-tu pas le jugement sur eux ? Car en nous il n’y a pas de force devant cette foule nombreuse qui vient contre nous ; et nous, nous ne savons que faire, mais nos yeux sont tournés vers toi. ” Jéhovah a répondu à cette prière humble : il a combattu en faveur de Juda en semant la confusion dans les rangs des ennemis de sorte que ceux-ci se sont entretués. À la suite de cela, la crainte a saisi les nations d’alentour, et Juda a connu la paix (2 Chroniques 20:1-30). Lorsque nous manquons de la sagesse nécessaire pour résoudre une grave difficulté, reconnaissons, comme Yehoshaphat : ‘ Nous ne savons que faire, mais nos yeux sont tournés vers toi, Jéhovah. ’ L’esprit saint peut nous rappeler alors à la mémoire des pensées bibliques qui nous donneront la solution, à moins que l’aide divine ne revête une forme qui dépasse l’entendement humain. — Romains 8:26, 27.
       Avant de recevoir l’aide de Dieu, peut-être nous faudra-t-il persévérer dans la prière. Nehémia a mené deuil, a pleuré, jeûné et prié pendant des jours à propos de la muraille en ruine de Jérusalem et de la situation pitoyable des habitants de Juda (Nehémia 1:1-11). Ses prières sont manifestement montées vers Dieu comme un encens de bonne odeur. Devant la mine abattue de Nehémia, le roi perse Artaxerxès lui a un jour demandé : “ Que cherches-tu donc à obtenir ? ” “ Aussitôt, raconte Nehémia, je priai le Dieu des cieux. ” Cette requête courte et silencieuse a été exaucée : Nehémia a reçu l’autorisation d’accomplir ce qui lui tenait à cœur : se rendre à Jérusalem pour y rebâtir la muraille. — Nehémia 2:1-8.
      Jésus nous apprend à prier
      De toutes les prières qui ont été conservées dans les Écritures, il en est une particulièrement instructive ; c’est la prière modèle, que Jésus Christ a présentée comme un encens de bonne odeur. Voici ce que nous lisons dans l’Évangile de Luc : “ Un [des] disciples [de Jésus] lui dit : ‘ Seigneur, apprends-nous à prier, comme Jean aussi l’a appris à ses disciples. ’ Alors il leur dit : ‘ Quand vous priez, dites : “ Père, que ton nom soit sanctifié. Que ton royaume vienne. Donne-nous notre pain pour le jour selon les besoins du jour. Et pardonne-nous nos péchés, car nous-mêmes aussi nous pardonnons à tous ceux qui nous doivent ; et ne nous fais pas entrer en tentation. ” ’ ” (Luc 11:1-4 ; Matthieu 6:9-13). Cette prière n’était pas destinée à être récitée, mais plutôt à donner une indication de ce pour quoi il faut prier. 
       “ Père, que ton nom soit sanctifié. ” Jéhovah accorde à ceux qui le servent et lui sont voués le privilège spécial de l’appeler Père. Comme des enfants qui confient tout à un père qu’ils savent miséricordieux, nous devrions prendre régulièrement le temps d’adresser à Dieu des prières empreintes de dignité et de vénération (Psaume 103:13, 14). Nos prières devraient traduire l’intérêt que nous portons à la sanctification de son nom, que nous aspirons à voir lavé de tout l’opprobre dont il a été couvert. Oui, nous voulons que le nom de Jéhovah soit mis à part et tenu pour saint, ou sacré. — Psaumes 5:11 ; 63:3, 4 ; 148:12, 13 ; Ézékiel 38:23.
      “ Que ton royaume vienne. ”
      “ Que ton royaume vienne. ” Le Royaume représente la domination que Jéhovah exerce par l’intermédiaire du gouvernement céleste messianique qu’il a confié à son Fils, Jésus, et aux “ saints ” qui lui sont associés (Daniel 7:13, 14, 18, 27 ; Révélation 20:6). Bientôt, ce Royaume ‘ viendra ’ contre tous ceux sur la terre qui s’opposent à la souveraineté divine et il les fera disparaître (Daniel 2:44). Après cela, la volonté de Jéhovah sera faite sur la terre, comme elle l’est au ciel (Matthieu 6:10). Quelle joie ce sera pour toutes les créatures qui servent fidèlement le Souverain de l’univers !
       “ Donne-nous notre pain pour le jour selon les besoins du jour. ” En demandant à Jéhovah la nourriture “ pour le jour ”, nous montrons que nous ne cherchons pas à avoir abondance de biens, mais seulement de quoi satisfaire nos besoins quotidiens. Tout en comptant sur Dieu, nous travaillons et mettons à profit les moyens à notre disposition pour nous procurer la nourriture et les autres choses nécessaires à la vie (2 Thessaloniciens 3:7-10). Nous devrions évidemment remercier notre Bienfaiteur céleste, car c’est grâce à son amour, à sa sagesse et à sa puissance que nous avons tout cela. — Actes 14:15-17
       “ Pardonne-nous nos péchés, car nous-mêmes aussi nous pardonnons à tous ceux qui nous doivent. ” Étant donné que nous sommes imparfaits et pécheurs, il nous est impossible de nous conformer absolument aux normes parfaites de Jéhovah. Nous avons donc besoin de le prier de nous accorder son pardon en vertu du sacrifice rédempteur de Jésus. Mais pour que ‘ Celui qui entend la prière ’ applique le mérite de ce sacrifice à nos péchés, il nous faut également nous repentir et accepter toute discipline qu’il juge bon de nous administrer (Psaume 65:2 ; Romains 5:8 ; 6:23 ; Hébreux 12:4-11). Enfin, nous ne pouvons nous attendre à ce que Dieu nous pardonne que si nous “ avons remis à nos débiteurs ”, c’est-à-dire à ceux qui ont péché contre nous. — Matthieu 6:12, 14, 15.
       “ Ne nous fais pas entrer en tentation. ” Quand la Bible dit que Jéhovah fait telle ou telle chose, c’est parfois simplement pour dire qu’il permet qu’elle se produise (Ruth 1:20, 21). Ce n’est pas lui qui nous tente pour nous faire pécher (Jacques 1:13). Les tentations de commettre le mal viennent du Diable, de notre chair imparfaite et du monde. Satan est le Tentateur qui essaie par ses manœuvres de nous faire pécher contre Dieu (Matthieu 4:3 ; 1 Thessaloniciens 3:5). Lorsque nous prions Dieu de ‘ ne pas nous faire entrer en tentation ’, nous lui demandons en fait de ne pas permettre que nous cédions si nous sommes tentés de lui désobéir. Il peut nous indiquer la voie à suivre pour ne pas succomber ni nous laisser vaincre par Satan, le “ méchant ”. — Matthieu 6:13 ; 1 Corinthiens 10:13.
      Agissons en harmonie avec nos prières
      Comment pouvons-nous agir en harmonie avec les prières dans lesquelles nous demandons à être heureux en mariage et dans notre vie de famille?
      La prière modèle de Jésus aborde les points principaux, mais il y a toutes sortes de choses qui peuvent faire l’objet de nos prières. Ce peut être, par exemple, le désir d’être heureux en mariage ; ou bien celui de rester pur jusqu’au jour des noces. Dans ce cas, prions pour avoir de la maîtrise de soi. Mais soyons également conséquents avec nos prières en rejetant les lectures et les divertissements impurs. Soyons déterminés aussi à ‘ nous marier seulement dans le Seigneur ’. (1 Corinthiens 7:39 ; Deutéronome 7:3, 4.) Une fois mariés, ne nous contentons pas de prier pour être heureux : appliquons les conseils venant de Dieu. Si nous avons des enfants, aspirons-nous à les voir devenir de fidèles serviteurs de Jéhovah ? Alors, tout en priant dans ce sens, faisons tout notre possible pour leur inculquer les vérités divines en étudiant la Bible avec eux et en les emmenant régulièrement aux réunions chrétiennes. — Deutéronome 6:5-9 ; 31:12 ; Proverbes 22:6.
      Prions-nous pour que Dieu bénisse notre ministère ? Agissons en harmonie avec ces prières en participant de façon significative à la prédication du Royaume. Si nous prions pour avoir des occasions d’aider les autres à emprunter le chemin de la vie éternelle, ayons soin de bien prendre note des personnes qui manifestent de l’intérêt et soyons prêts à adapter notre programme pour y inclure des études bibliques. Enfin, si nous poursuivons l’objectif de devenir pionniers afin de prendre part à l’œuvre d’évangélisation à plein temps, allons dans le sens de nos prières en augmentant notre participation au ministère et en prêchant avec des pionniers. Nous montrerons ainsi que nous agissons en harmonie avec nos prières.
      Si nous servons Jéhovah fidèlement, nous pouvons être certains qu’il répondra aux prières conformes à sa volonté que nous lui adresserons (1 Jean 5:14, 15).. Faisant une comparaison avec l’odeur agréable de l’encens que les prêtres offraient dans le temple, la Parole de Dieu nous donne cette assurance : “ La prière des hommes droits est pour lui un plaisir. ” — Proverbes 15:8.
       

      · 0 replies
    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Hello Eric, as tu déjà préparé le sujet des joyaux du 10 novembre concernant le but des sacrifices et offrandes, sachant que nous devons d'abord présenter le livre du Lévitique. Comment être concis?
      Le but des sacrifices et des offrandes.dot la Mer Morte.pps
      · 1 reply
    • Emma Rose

      Would a kind soul please help me with how to reply using the quote more than once.
      · 5 replies
    • Dee Gordon  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      HI TWYLA...DEE GORDON HERE.  WOULD LIKE  TO CHANGE MY EMAIL ADDRESS YOU SEND MY MEETING WORKBOOK TO.  I DON'T USE FACEBOOK BUT WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE TO RECEIVE THE WORKBOOK INFO AND WATCHTOWER NOTES PLEASE . THIS ONE STILL RUNNING YOU HAVE ME SIGNED UP FOR...JUST THAT IT WOULD BE MORE CONVENIENT AT THIS TIME.
      · 3 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Apprenons à craindre Jéhovah
      “ La crainte de Jéhovah est le début de la sagesse. ” — PROVERBES 9:10.

      IL FUT un temps où dire de quelqu’un craignait Dieu était un compliment. Beaucoup jugent aujourd’hui désuète et illogique l’idée de craindre Dieu. " Pourquoi craindre Dieu s’il est amour?" s’étonnent-ils. C’est que la crainte est à leurs yeux un sentiment forcément négatif, voire paralysant. Or, la crainte de Dieu, la vraie, est bien autre chose que de la peur et, comme nous allons le voir, elle ne se résume pas à un sentiment.
       La Bible présente la crainte de Dieu sous un jour positif (Isaïe 11:3). Craindre Dieu, c’est éprouver envers lui un profond respect et désirer vivement ne pas lui déplaire (Psaume 115:11). C’est aussi accepter ses normes morales et s’y conformer strictement, appliquer dans notre vie ses critères du bien et du mal. Un ouvrage de référence indique que cette crainte salutaire exprime “ un rapport à Dieu, une disposition d’esprit dominante, qui incite à se conduire avec sagesse et à rejeter le mal sous toutes ses formes ”. La Bible dit d’ailleurs que “ la crainte de Jéhovah est le début de la sagesse ”. — Proverbes 9:10.
      La crainte de Dieu influe sur de nombreux domaines de l’existence. Outre la sagesse, elle favorise la joie, la paix, la prospérité, la longévité, l’espoir, la confiance (Psaume 2:11 ; Proverbes 1:7 ; 10:27 ; 14:26 ; 22:4 ; 23:17, 18 ; Actes 9:31). Elle est étroitement liée à la foi et à l’amour. Pour tout dire, elle touche tous les aspects de nos relations avec Dieu et avec les humains (Deutéronome 10:12 ; Job 6:14 ; Hébreux 11:7). Craindre Dieu, enfin, c’est avoir la ferme conviction que notre Père céleste se soucie de nous personnellement et qu’il est disposé à pardonner nos transgressions (Psaume 130:4). Il n’y a donc qu’aux pécheurs non repentants que Dieu devrait inspirer de la terreur. — Hébreux 10:26-31.
      APPRENONS À CRAINDRE DIEU
      Puisqu’il est indispensable de le craindre pour prendre de sages décisions et recevoir ses bénédictions, comment "apprendre à craindre Jéhovah"
      dans le bon sens du terme (Deutéronome 17:19) ? De nombreux exemples d’hommes et de femmes qui craignaient Dieu ont été consignés dans les Écritures “ pour notre instruction ”. (Romains 15:4.) Intéressons-nous à la vie de l’un de ces personnages, le roi David.
      Saül, le premier roi d’Israël, avait la crainte du peuple, mais pas la crainte de Dieu. Cela lui a valu d’être rejeté par Jéhovah (1 Samuel 15:24-26). David, lui, était un homme qui craignait vraiment Dieu ; sa vie et son intimité avec Jéhovah en témoignent. Les nombreuses nuits à la belle étoile qu’il avait passées dans sa jeunesse à faire paître les moutons de son père l’avaient certainement aidé à comprendre ce qu’est la crainte de Jéhovah (1 Samuel 16:11). De l’immense univers, il n’avait contemplé qu’une infime partie, mais cela lui avait suffi pour saisir l’essentiel : Dieu mérite respect et adoration. “ Quand je vois tes cieux, les œuvres de tes doigts, la lune et les étoiles que tu as préparées, écrira-t-il plus tard, qu’est-ce que le mortel pour que tu penses à lui, et le fils de l’homme tiré du sol pour que tu t’occupes de lui ? ” — Psaume 8:3, 4.
      Il était normal que David soit impressionné quand il comparait sa petitesse à l’immensité des cieux étoilés. Mais, loin de l’effrayer, cette connaissance le portait à louer Jéhovah. “ Les cieux proclament la gloire de Dieu, a-t-il écrit ; et l’œuvre de ses mains, l’étendue l’annonce. ” (Psaume 19:1). Ce profond respect le rapprochait de Jéhovah ; il lui donnait envie d’apprendre ses voies parfaites et de les suivre. Percevez-vous les sentiments qui l’habitaient quand il chantait ce psaume : “ Tu es grand et tu fais des choses prodigieuses ; tu es Dieu, toi seul. Instruis-moi de ta voie, ô Jéhovah ! Je marcherai dans ta vérité. Unifie mon cœur pour craindre ton nom. ” — Psaume 86:10, 11.
      Quand les Philistins ont envahi le pays d’Israël, leur champion, Goliath, a provoqué les Israélites du haut de ses trois mètres. " Envoyez donc quelqu’un m’affronter en combat singulier ! les narguait-il. S’il me bat, nous serons vos serviteurs. " (1 Samuel 17:4-10). Saül et toute son armée étaient terrifiés. Mais pas David. S’il devait craindre quelqu’un, c’était Jéhovah, et non un homme, si fort soit-il. “ Je viens vers toi avec le nom de Jéhovah des armées, a-t-il lancé à Goliath. [...] Et toute cette assemblée saura que ce n’est ni par l’épée ni par la lance que Jéhovah sauve réellement, car à Jéhovah appartient la bataille. ” Grâce à Jéhovah, une fronde et une pierre ont suffi à David pour abattre le géant. — 1 Samuel 17:45-47.
      Il peut arriver que nous nous trouvions devant des obstacles ou des ennemis aussi intimidants que ceux qu’a dû affronter David. Que faire alors ? Imiter David et d’autres fidèles du passé en s’armant de la crainte de Dieu. La crainte de Dieu l’emporte sur la crainte de l’homme. À ses compatriotes en butte à l’opposition, le fidèle Nehémia a adressé cette exhortation : “ N’ayez pas peur à cause d’eux. Souvenez-vous de Jéhovah le Grand et le Redoutable. ” (Nehémia 4:14). C’est parce qu’ils avaient son soutien que David, Nehémia et d’autres ont réussi à faire ce que Jéhovah attendait d’eux. Nous le pourrons également si nous craignons Dieu.
      Après celle sur Goliath, Jéhovah a accordé d’autres victoires à David. Jaloux, Saül a tenté de tuer le jeune homme, d’abord dans un geste de colère, puis par des moyens détournés, enfin en mobilisant toute une armée contre lui. Même si David avait reçu l’assurance qu’il serait roi, pendant des années il a dû fuir, se battre, et attendre le moment fixé par Jéhovah. Dans toutes ces situations, il ne s’est jamais départi de sa crainte du vrai Dieu. — 1 Samuel 18:9, 11, 17 ; 24:2.
      À un moment donné, David s’est réfugié auprès d’Akish, le roi de Gath, ville philistine d’où était originaire Goliath (1 Samuel 21:10-15). Les serviteurs d’Akish l’ont dénoncé comme ennemi. Comment a-t-il réagi à cette situation périlleuse ? Il s’est confié à Jéhovah de tout son cœur (Psaume 56:1-4, 11-13). Il s’est finalement sorti du guêpier en simulant la démence, mais il était bien conscient de devoir son salut à Jéhovah, qui avait béni son stratagème. David a prouvé qu’il craignait vraiment Dieu en plaçant toute sa confiance en lui. — Psaume 34:4-6, 9-11.
      À l’exemple de David, nous montrerons que nous craignons Dieu en ayant confiance en sa promesse de nous aider dans les épreuves. “ Roule ta voie sur Jéhovah, compte sur lui, et c’est lui qui agira ”, a affirmé David (Psaume 37:5). Cela ne veut pas dire qu’il faut mettre nos problèmes entre les mains de Jéhovah sans rien faire d’autre qu’attendre son intervention. David ne s’est pas contenté de prier et de voir venir. Il a cherché une solution à son problème en utilisant les capacités physiques et intellectuelles dont Jéhovah l’avait doté. Pour autant, il ne pensait pas que ses efforts d’humain suffiraient. Cette façon de voir devrait aussi être la nôtre. Faisons tout ce qui est en notre pouvoir, puis laissons Jéhovah se charger du reste. Cela étant, il est fréquent que nous ne puissions rien faire d’autre que compter sur Jéhovah. C’est là que la crainte de Dieu revêt un caractère très personnel. Combien est réconfortante cette réflexion de David : “ L’intimité avec Jéhovah appartient à ceux qui le craignent. ” — Psaume 25:14.
      Il s’agit donc de ne pas banaliser nos prières et nos relations avec Dieu. Lorsque nous nous ‘ avançons ’ vers Jéhovah, nous devons “ croire qu’il est, et qu’il devient celui qui récompense ceux qui le cherchent réellement ”. (Hébreux 11:6 ; Jacques 1:5-8.) Et quand il vient à notre aide, il nous faut, conformément au conseil de l’apôtre Paul, ‘ nous montrer reconnaissants ’. (Colossiens 3:15, 17.) Ne ressemblons jamais à ceux dont un chrétien oint expérimenté a dit : “ Ils prennent Dieu pour une sorte de garçon de café. Ils aimeraient qu’il réponde à un claquement de doigts dès qu’ils ont besoin de quelque chose, et qu’il disparaisse dès qu’ils ont eu ce qu’ils voulaient. ” Où est leur crainte de Dieu ?
      Le fait que Jéhovah l’ait secouru a augmenté la confiance et la crainte que David éprouvait envers lui (Psaume 31:22-24). Trois fois, cependant, David a mis notablement sa crainte de Dieu entre parenthèses, ce qui a eu des conséquences tragiques. La première fois, c’est quand il a décidé de faire transporter l’arche de l’alliance à Jérusalem sur un chariot, et non sur les épaules des Lévites comme le prescrivait la Loi. Ouzza, qui conduisait le chariot, a saisi l’Arche pour l’empêcher de tomber. Dieu l’a fait mourir sur le champ pour cet “ acte d’irrévérence ”. Certes, Ouzza avait commis un péché grave, mais c’est bien David qui, pour n’avoir pas respecté la Loi divine, était responsable de ce drame. Craindre Dieu suppose que l’on fasse les choses comme lui l’entend. — 2 Samuel 6:2-9 ; Nombres 4:15 ; 7:9.
      Une autre fois, sous l’impulsion de Satan, David a procédé au dénombrement des hommes de guerre en Israël (1 Chroniques 21:1). Là encore, il a cessé momentanément de craindre Dieu, ce qui a coûté la vie à 70 000 de ses compatriotes. Bien qu’il se soit repenti devant Jéhovah, lui et le peuple ont beaucoup souffert en la circonstance. — 2 Samuel 24:1-16
      C’est aussi parce qu’il avait oublié sa crainte de Dieu que David a couché avec Bath-Shéba, la femme d’Ouriya. David savait qu’il était mal, non seulement de commettre l’adultère, mais aussi de désirer la femme d’un autre (Exode 20:14, 17). Tout a commencé quand il a aperçu Bath-Shéba qui se baignait. La crainte de Dieu lui commandait de détourner son regard immédiatement et de maîtriser ses pensées. Mais il a manifestement ‘ continué à regarder ’, si bien que la passion l’a emporté sur sa crainte de Dieu (Matthieu 5:28 ; 2 Samuel 11:1-4). David a oublié que Jéhovah devait être présent dans tous les domaines de sa vie. — Psaume 139:1-7.
      De son adultère avec Bath-Shéba est né un fils. Peu après, Jéhovah a envoyé le prophète Nathân dénoncer le péché de David. Retrouvant la crainte de Dieu en même temps que la raison, celui-ci s’est repenti. Il a supplié Jéhovah de ne pas le rejeter et de ne pas lui retirer son esprit saint (Psaume 51:7, 11). Jéhovah lui a pardonné et a atténué le châtiment, mais il ne lui a pas épargné toutes les conséquences de ses actes. Le fils de David est mort ; les malheurs se sont succédé dans sa famille. Quel prix à payer pour avoir momentanément fait abstraction de la crainte de Dieu ! — 2 Samuel 12:10-14 ; 13:10-14 ; 15:14.
      Aujourd’hui de même, ne pas craindre Dieu dans le domaine de la moralité peut avoir des conséquences graves et durables. Imaginez la douleur de cette jeune femme qui découvre que son mari chrétien l’a trompée lors d’un déplacement professionnel à l’étranger. Choquée, anéantie par le chagrin, elle enfouit son visage dans ses mains et pleure toutes les larmes de son corps. Combien de temps faudra-t-il au mari infidèle pour regagner la confiance et le respect de sa femme ? Des situations aussi pénibles peuvent être évitées grâce à la crainte de Dieu. — 1 Corinthiens 6:18.
      Satan détruit les valeurs morales de la société humaine les unes après les autres, et il cherche particulièrement à corrompre les vrais chrétiens. Pour ce faire, il exploite le chemin le plus direct vers le cœur et l’esprit : nos sens, avec une prédilection pour l’ouïe et la vue (Éphésiens 4:17-19). Comment réagissez-vous quand, involontairement, vous vous trouvez exposé à des images ou à des paroles obscènes, ou encore en présence d’individus immoraux ?
      Voyez le cas d’André. Cet ancien et père de famille est médecin dans un pays d’Europe. Quand il était de garde de nuit à l’hôpital, des collègues féminines avaient pris l’habitude d’épingler sur son oreiller des mots doux ornés de petits cœurs pour l’inviter à coucher avec elles. André s’interdisait résolument d’accorder la moindre pensée à ces avances. Mieux, pour se soustraire à cet environnement malsain, il a changé d’établissement. Sa crainte de Dieu s’est révélée sage et lui a valu des bénédictions, puisqu’il effectue aujourd’hui une partie de ses activités au siège des Témoins de Jéhovah de son pays.
      Troquer nos précieuses relations avec Jéhovah contre quelque chose auquel nous n’avons pas droit : voilà où nous risquons d’en arriver en cultivant de mauvaises pensées (Jacques 1:14, 15). Si nous craignons Jéhovah, en revanche, nous nous tiendrons éloignés — et même nous nous écarterons délibérément — des gens, des lieux, des activités ou des divertissements qui pourraient nous faire baisser notre garde (Proverbes 22:3). Quel que soit l’inconvénient ou le sacrifice que cela implique, il n’est rien à côté de la perte de la faveur divine (Matthieu 5:29, 30). La crainte de Dieu nous commande de ne jamais nous exposer intentionnellement à quoi que ce soit d’immoral — à commencer par la pornographie sous toutes ses formes —, mais aussi de faire en sorte que nos yeux “ passent sans s’arrêter à la vue de ce qui n’est que néant ”. Soyons convaincus que Jéhovah, alors, nous ‘ gardera en vie ’ et nous donnera tout ce dont nous avons réellement besoin. — Psaume 84:11 ; 119:37.
       Assurément, c’est toujours faire preuve de sagesse que de laisser la crainte de Dieu dicter nos actions. C’est aussi la source du vrai bonheur (Psaume 34:9)

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