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The Tomb of Daniel in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, claims to hold the biblical prophet's leg bone. Local lore says it has grown consistently since his death and is now 18m/59ft long.


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    • By César Chávez
      Well at least Theologians are beginning to see how CORRECT the Watchtower is by them demonstrating in their new Bible Studies the 3 Babylonian deportations of the Judeans.
      However, they still have to conjoin the fall of Jerusalem from 586 BC to an earlier date written in human history and scripture.
      An honest assessment, that can’t be found here by questionable people.
      NIV, Bible Study has been introduced here, not to show the publishing house but the actions that are now being considered and printed that agrees in similar fashion with the Watchtower. If they are willing to reconsider that stance, then it shouldn’t be a problem about 1914.
      The NIV Study Bible
      Copyright © 1985, 1995, 2002, 2008, 2011, 2020 by Zondervan


      Therefore, 1914 is not problematic to those that, understand.
    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      Everything we read about the "70-Week" prophecy reported in the book "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy!" (Chapter 11) is worthy of attention and demonstrates how accurate and reliable the word of God is even when pronouncing prophecies very distant in time. The historical accuracy and the numerous Scriptural references that gave weight and authority to the whole speech were also evident. Anyone who approaches the Word of God without preconceptions can not but be struck by this demonstration of power and wisdom on the part of God. The explanation of the 70 weeks is unexceptionable but can be said to be the same as other prophecies? What about those calculations on which many of us have based the hopes of a lifetime and that clashed with the criticism of the majority? We are talking about 1914. Is this also a prophecy of Daniel? Was this also treated with the same marvelous accuracy of the seventy weeks we have just read? Although it may not be easy, we try to be truly objective because understanding or not understanding the prophecy, like the rest of God's Word, can make much difference to our eternal future - John 17: 3; 2 Thessalonians 1: 8   WHAT DID OF 1914?   The book "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy" on pages 85 to 97 explains in detail the dream of Nebuchadnezzar and the 7-time prophecy asserting that it indicates the coming of the Kingdom of God in 1914. It would therefore be profitable to take the book and compare it with what will be read below. Does Nebuchadnezzar's dream really prophesy the coming of the Kingdom of God in 1914?   THAT'S IT? Let's try to examine what is written in the book without prejudices. At a first reading it seems that Jehovah God wanted to give a lesson of humility to Nebuchadnezzar, which happened. The "seven times", at least for him, were seven years and this is confirmed by the whole story. Reading all this without preconceptions, it does not seem that we should look for other explanations more or less hidden. However, let us take the thesis that "the tree indicates a dominion and a sovereignty much greater than those of the king of Babylon. It symbolizes the universal sovereignty of Jehovah, the King of the heavens, especially with respect to the earth ". This means, first of all, that the Kingdom of God is comparing, in a certain way, to the kingdom of Babylon and this strides with many biblical passages describing Babylon as the greatest enemy of God's people. It also means that the "vigilante" (ie an angel of Jehovah) decides to overthrow the Kingdom of God and this is, to say the least, strange. Some will object that we must not look for similarities in every aspect of the prophecy but also decide which part of the prophecy must have a second fulfillment and which one could be arbitrary enough. After all, we have no other scriptural references to show us which details to focus on and which to leave out. So it is being said that the prophecy of the tree applies entirely to Nebuchadnezzar while only a small part would apply to the Kingdom of God. For the prophecy of the "seventy weeks" we did not need to break the prophecy to try to understand who was applied or if it applied to more than one person because the subject was clear and recognizable from the beginning. On the contrary, all the 7-day prophecy is built on a single verse that is what it says ... "The tree grew and became strong, and its same height finally reached the heavens and was visible to the end of the whole earth" (Daniel 4:11). Meanwhile, the writing says that the tree "becomes visible" to the end of the earth and not that "embraces the end of the earth" and the meaning is very different. The aforementioned book says: "the great tree represents the 'domain that reaches the end of the earth', which embraces the whole realm of mankind. Thus it symbolizes the universal sovereignty of Jehovah, particularly in relation to the earth. - Daniel 4:17 ". "Reaching the end of the earth" means that it extends the domain to the end of the earth while "being visible to the end of the earth" means that it is known, famous. AnyhowÂ… is not it a bit fragile, let's say risky, to build a series of prophecies (all linked together) on this single explanation? Note that the specification "particularly in relation to the earth" is due to the fact that the universal sovereignty of Jehovah is, indeed, universal, for which the tree should have been seen not only in the whole earth but throughout the universe. By specifying, instead, "in relation to the earth", we can exclude the skies from the vision and take the application for good. Anyway, we should ask a question. Is the fact that the tree reaches the heavens or the end of the earth itÂ’s a demonstration or even an indication of the fact that we are talking about the Kingdom of God? We always leave the Bible to enlighten us. Notice what Jehovah told Ezekiel in reference to the Pharaoh. Ezekiel 31: 1-8 says Â… “In the 11th year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the word of Jehovah again came to me, saying: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  “Son of man, say to Phar?aoh king of Egypt and to his hordes,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ‘Whom are you like in your greatness?  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  There was an As·syr?i·an, a cedar in Leb?a·non,With beautiful branches like a shady thicket, lofty in stature;Its top was among the clouds.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  The waters made it grow big, the deep springs of water caused it to grow high. Streams were all around where it was planted;Their channels watered all the trees of the field.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  That is why it grew taller than all the other trees of the field. Its boughs multiplied, and its branches grew longBecause of the abundant water in its streams.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  All the birds of the sky nested in its boughs,All the wild animals of the field gave birth under its branches,And all the populous nations were dwelling in its shade.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  It became majestic in beauty and in the length of its branches,For its roots went down into abundant waters.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  No other cedars in the garden of GodHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. could compare to it. None of the juniper trees had boughs like it,And none of the plane trees could match its branches. No other tree in the garden of God could rival its beauty”. Do we note some similarities with the vision of Nebuchadnezzar? Both are compared to tall and mighty trees. Both reach high heights, up to the sky in fact the expressions "reach the heavens" or "reach the clouds" are equivalent - Compare Job 22:14; Isaiah 14:14; Daniel 7:13 Of both we notice the big difference with the other trees. Of both it is said that all the flying creatures and all the wild beasts find food and shelter. Now if we apply the principle that the tree that "reaches the clouds" must represent the Kingdom of God, then even the Egyptian empire should be an antitype of the Kingdom. Unfortunately, however, in this story there is no mention of the "times" and consequently it is not possible to count anything. If you think it's ridiculous that the Egyptian empire will represent the Kingdom of God, why should it be acceptable to the Babylonian empire? Jehovah goes on to say ““Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘Because itHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. became so tall, lifting its top among the clouds, and its heart became arrogant because of its height, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  I will hand it over to the mighty ruler of the nations.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. He will surely act against it, and I will reject it for its wickedness”. The Pharaoh was exalted, just as Nebuchadnezzar did, and for this reason God decided to humiliate him - Matthew 23:12 Nebuchadnezzar escaped with seven years of madness while Pharaoh's empire was besieged. Also this verse remarks the fact that God takes away and gives "the kingdom to whom he wills" (and in this case He gave the kingdom of Pharaoh to the "despot of nations"). Ezekiel 31: 12-14 continues Â… “And foreigners, the most ruthless of the nations, will cut it down, and they will abandon it on the mountains, and its foliage will fall in all the valleys, and its branches will lie broken in all the streams of the land.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. All the peoples of the earth will depart from its shade and abandon it. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  All the birds of the sky will live on its fallen trunk, and all the wild animals of the field on its branches.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.  This is so that no tree near the waters should grow so tall or lift up its top among the clouds and that no well-watered tree may reach up to them in height. For they will all be given over to death, to the land down below, along with the sons of mankind, who are going down into the pit.Â’. Even this tree is cut down and humiliated (Jehovah will do this through the king of Babylon). Because of the many similarities with the kingdom of Egypt, are we really certain that the tree that "reached the heavens" refers to the Kingdom of God?   When we talk about 1914, are we really like the Bereans? Or are we "Bereans" only when we have to refute the doctrines of Christianity?   There is another interesting detail that should make us reflect. The Bible compares the heavens to governments, be they human or celestial. Applying this concept to the tree that reaches the heavens and whose other trees do not stand comparison with it, it would simply mean that this tree has the kingdom over the other (smaller) kingdoms and of Babylon the Great is said to have " the kingdom over the kings of the earth "- Revelation 17:18 The only legitimate parallel that you can do with Babylon, without fear of taking corners, is related to Babylon the Great because it is the parallelism that makes the Bible. Indeed, all the world empires mentioned in the Scriptures had, for a time, the kingdom over the other kingdoms. Cyrus, in fact, said of himself ... "I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, legitimate king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four extremities (of the earth), son of Cambyses (Ka-am -bu-zi-ia), great king, king of Anzan, nephew of Cyrus ,. . . descendant of Teispe,. . . of a family (that) has always reigned ". (Ancient Near Eastern Texts, edited by J. B. Pritchard, 1974, p.37). Undoubtedly humility was not a characteristic appreciated by the Persians as well as by the Babylonians but in fact the kingdom had power over the other known kingdoms (so to be called "king of the four ends of the earth") and so it could be said that its height had reached the heavens and was visible or known to the ends of the earth. In the story of Ezekiel and in that of Daniel there is no reference, just anyone, to the Kingdom of God, on the contrary ... both accounts mention a judgment from God on enemy nations, proud and violent. Any chronological calculation should respect the subject in being and in fact this part of the Scripture is very different from what is said about the "seventy weeks" - Daniel 9: 24-27 In the account of Daniel chapter 9, one speaks clearly of the Messiah (see Daniel 9:25) and it is not necessary to read what is not written. Anyone who wanted to be polemical could discuss the start date from which to count the "weeks" or even the adduct method * (one day for a year) but certainly we can not discuss the subject in existence (the Messiah). It could also be absurd to discuss who the Messiah really was (which Jews are still discussing) but certainly we can not argue that Daniel chapter 9 speaks of the arrival of the Messiah! Instead, Daniel chapter 4 speaks of Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom, while all the "understanding" concerning the Kingdom of God is built on four lines in the book "Pay attention to Daniel's prophecies!" That read: "But the great tree represents the domain that reaches the end of the earth, which embraces the entire kingdom of mankind. Thus it symbolizes the universal sovereignty of Jehovah, particularly in relation to the earth. - Daniel 4:17 "(chapter 6, page 87 of the Italian edition of the book). Does not this seem like a very firm statement with a very weak base? Let us try not to tell Daniel 4:17 what he does not really say because it is enough to know the basic rules of grammar so as not to be distracted by the subject. The subject is Nebuchadnezzar and God makes him understand that, because of the fact that he is exalted, he would have taken away his kingdom and given it to whoever He had wanted (exactly as He did to Pharaoh). In practice the one who really rules is the Creator and the other kingdoms exist only because He allows it - Compare Romans 13: 1 So there is no reason to believe that the tree (that is, one of the many governments that Jehovah has permitted in the history of mankind), actually represents the Kingdom of God. If someone wants to imply that the fact that God mentions His dominion is indicative that the tree itself represents His dominion (and is an incredible semantic acrobatics) then we can take the story reported in 2 Kings 19: 14-19 and do it same reasoning. “Hez·e·ki?ah took the letters out of the hand of the messengers and read them. Hez·e·ki?ah then went up to the house of Jehovah and spread themHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. out before Jehovah.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.  And Hez·e·ki?ah began to prayHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. before Jehovah and say: “O Jehovah the God of Israel, sitting enthroned aboveHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. the cherubs,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. you alone are the true God of all the kingdoms of the earth.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. You made the heavens and the earth. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Incline your ear, O Jehovah, and hear!Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Open your eyes,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. O Jehovah, and see! Hear the words that Sen·nach?er·ib has sent to taunt the living God. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  It is a fact, O Jehovah, that the kings of As·syr?i·a have devastated the nations and their lands.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.  And they have thrown their gods into the fire, because they were not godsHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. but the work of human hands,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. wood and stone. That is why they could destroy them. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  But now, O Jehovah our God, please save us out of his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are God, O Jehovah.” Hezekiah knew very well that Jehovah was "the true God of all the kingdoms of the earth" and he prayed that Sennacherib would be stopped in his intent to destroy Jerusalem. We know very well what was the answer of Isaiah which last part reads Â… “Because your rage against meHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and your roaring have reached my ears.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. So I will put my hook in your nose and my bridleHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. between your lips,And I will lead you back the way you came.” - 2 Kings 19:28 If we did the same reasoning as for chapter 4 of Daniel, then we might suppose that the "reign of Sennacherib" was also an antitype of the kingdom of God because he too had to learn (at his own expense) that Jehovah is "the true God of all. the kingdoms of the earth "or, in other words, "dominates over all mankind ". Unfortunately, even in this story there are no numbers, days, weeks or months to be calculated and therefore no reason to read "the coming of the kingdom of God" even where no mention is made of it. Is it possible that the strong desire to see the prophecies fulfill has influenced the intention and therefore pushed to read what was not actually written? This means that if you really want to see a second fulfillment of the story reported in Daniel chapter 4, you should respect the subject in being and that is Babylon. It is likely that the story of Daniel is simply telling the humiliation of Nebuchadnezzar and that the "seven times" mean only seven years but we can not be categorical. In this regard it is useful to reflect on the fact that even the humiliation of the Pharaoh, reported in Ezekiel, could have a second fulfillment as Jehovah says that he will "shake the nations" and this could be a reference to the Armageddon war.   So, without fixing ourselves too much with a specific date, in case the story of Daniel wanted to show us a second fulfillment of the prophecy, the report is actually saying: "Babylon will fall, will remain inactive for seven times and then rise again". This can only bring our mind back to the last mention that the Bible makes of Babylon - Revelation 17:5 The clues about Babylon the Great brought us to the nation of Israel so the question we should ask ourselves is ... "From what year we should start counting the 2520 years (ie 360 * 7) until we see the rebirth (if any) of Babylon? " From the story of Daniel the possible dates from which to count the seven times are two: 1) Since Nebuchadnezzar has had the vision or has fallen into "misfortune" (in fact, Daniel says "the tree is you" - Daniel 4: 20-22) 2) From the death of Nebuchadnezzar (if Nebuchadnezzar represents the kingdom of Babylon, his death is the moment when the tree is "knocked down" but it is to be noted that there is no reference to this in the narration of Daniel who, indeed, he says that the kingdom would be assured - Daniel 4:26) As far as the first hypothesis is concerned, it is impossible to have an accurate date because neither the Bible nor the secular history tells us in which year Nebuchadnezzar was expelled from his kingdom. This happened, obviously, after 597 a.E.V. (year in which Nebuchadnezzar brings the first Jewish prisoners to Babylon according to the secular date, there is a difference of 20 years with that of the slave who, in fact, puts 617 a.E.V.) and within 570 a.E.V. (if Nebuchadnezzar dies in 562 BCE - always according to the secular date - and the period of "captivity" lasts 7 years and the kingdom is returned to him presumed to have reigned for at least a year, 570 is the last useful year) . However in the first four chapters of Daniel we mention Daniel, Sadrac, Mesac and Abednego first as children (Daniel 1: 3, 4) and later as robust men (Daniel 3:12, 27) and all this before Nebuchadnezzar has the famous dream tree. This means that, from their deportation until the day when the king erected the image of gold, at least 15, 20 years passed. So if the Jews came to Babylon in 597 a.E.V. but they pass 20 years before the construction of the golden idol and having taken for good the secular date (562 a.E.V) it is possible to restrict the period from 577 a.E.V. up to 570 a.E.V. Obviously they are only estimates but the important date is the maximum time limit (570 a.E.V) so if from the deportation until the construction of the image had passed 15 years instead of 20, the starting date would be 582 a.E.V. but the last possible useful date would always be 570 a.E.V. The eventual rebirth of Babylon, if Daniel is talking about this, would have happened between 1943 E.V. (2520-577) and 1950 E.V. (2520-570). To reinforce this hypothesis there would also be the fact that the narration of his expulsion is the last story reported to Nebuchadnezzar. Few verses later, in fact, we no longer speak of him but of Baldassarre (Daniel chapter 5). It is reasonable to conclude, therefore, that Nebuchadnezzar had the vision in the last years, perhaps during the last decade of his reign.   The second hypothesis concerns the death of Nebuchadnezzar, which takes place, according to the secular sources, in 562 a.E.V. According to the slave, in 582 a.E.V. (see the book "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy" chapter 7, page 99). Counting 2520 years we arrive at 1958 E.V. in the first case and to 1938 E.V. in the second case.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. "Babylon will fall, remain inactive for seven times and then rise again"   What does recent history tell us? If, as we have seen, Babylon the Great is the nation of Israel, this would corroborate the first hypothesis. The first hypothesis places the rebirth of Babylon between 1943 and 1950. Indeed, the "resurrection" of Israel took place in May 1948.   Knowing the fixation of human beings for dates and calculations, however, it is prudent to pay attention to the most important things. The secular dates can not be secure, based on findings and comparisons more or less incomplete, and certainly we can not base our faith on this - 2 Corinthians 5: 7 What would happen if the 597 a.E.V., as well as 607 or 537 or any other date on which we based much of the biblical prophecies (without there being a real reason for doing so) tomorrow proved to be completely wrong? The consequences could be very serious and not just from a human point of view - Amos 3: 1, 2 We must not take Jehovah's mercy for granted, so we must be cautious in our statements. Since we have no certainty that the "seven times" do not simply represent seven years, we should not lose ourselves in these speculations. Is not the most important thing to understand the identity of Babylon the Great? Those who have truly studied the Bible without preconceptions have understood that Babylon the Great is indeed Israel and this has understood it regardless of dates and calculations. This is a crucial aspect of prophecy because it is the clues that guide us in the subjects and times in which we are living, such as road signs, and not the calculations - Compare Matthew 24:32, 33 and 2 Timothy 3: 1-5 and do a contrast with Matthew 24:36 There is no temporal indication for the killing of the two clothed witnesses (see Revelation chapter 11) but we know that they are revealed at the end of the war. We know that the city called "Sodom and Egypt" is Babylon the Great, hence Israel, and as a result we also know which nation and events to watch carefully. That the Bible actually prophesises the year of his "resurrection" or not, is certainly interesting but not fundamental for those who believe that it is indeed the inspired Word of God. Fundamental, if anything, will be "get out of it" when the UN prepares to destroy it.   * However the Bible confirms the "one day for a year" method and also that this was the same method used by God's people - Ezekiel 4: 6; Luke 3:15 ** The Bible allows us to be "fully competent" then all the speeches made on 607 a.E.V. pro and contra, they are absolutely useless. Nebuchadnezzar's dream, as we have seen, has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God    
    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      "E in quanto a te, o Daniele, rendi segrete le parole e sigilla il libro, sino al tempo della fine. Molti [lo] scorreranno, e la [vera] conoscenza diverrà abbondante” - Daniele 12:4
      In Daniele 12:11, 12 si legge… “11 “E dal tempo in cui è stato soppresso il [sacrificio] continuo ed è stata posta la cosa disgustante che causa desolazione, ci saranno milleduecentonovanta giorni.
      12 “Felice colui che rimane in attesa e che arriva a milletrecentotrentacinque giorni!”
      Questa parte è fondamentale per completare il quadro di Rivelazione.   Intanto rispolveriamo la memoria in base a ciò che diceva/dice lo Schiavo in merito a questi giorni. I 1290 giorni andrebbero dal gennaio 1919 al settembre 1922 in quanto nel 1919 i membri della Società furono rilasciati e da quel momento iniziarono a fare progresso fino al 1922... anno in cui si tenne quella storica assemblea a Cedar Point (Ohio) che diede straordinario impulso all’opera di predicazione (questi sarebbero i 1290 giorni). Dopodiché a questi giorni aggiungono altri 1335 giorni arrivando così al maggio 1926, anno in cui gli unti “raggiungono una condizione felice” in quanto non ci sono più “nostalgici” (fratelli che ancora rimpiangevano Russell e ancora studiavano la Bibbia attraverso gli “studi sulle Scritture”) viene presentato il libro “Liberazione” (1926) e altri particolari. Tutto questo è riportato nel libro “Profezie di Daniele” alle pagine 298-305. C’è da dire che per far combaciare queste date i giorni sono stati “grandemente arrotondati” (Rutherford e i suoi collaboratori furono rilasciati il 26 marzo 1919, non a gennaio 1919; si veda la Torre di Guardia del 16/05/2016 all’articolo intitolato “A chi è stata affidata l’opera”) ma cosa anche più importante la scrittura di Daniele, dopo aver menzionato i 1290 giorni, dice “Felice colui che rimane in attesa e che arriva a milletrecentotrentacinque giorni!” - Daniele 12:12 “Arrivare a...” significa aggiungere a quanto c’era prima. Questo significa che se si parla di 1290 giorni e poi si dice “arriva a 1335 giorni” bisogna aggiungere altri 45 giorni e non altri 1335 giorni. Si potrebbe pensare che applicando le profezie ad assemblee o congressi o pubblicazioni o risoluzioni speciali, qualunque numero dovesse comparire nella Bibbia, forzando anche la data di inizio e fine con qualche gioco semantico, cadrebbe sicuramente su qualcosa di importante. Comunque proviamo a leggere semplicemente quello che c’è scritto dimenticando quello che sappiamo o crediamo di sapere. Intanto negli ultimi due capitoli di Daniele si parla di questa “cosa disgustante” e di un re che dice “cose meravigliose e bestemmie”. Si dice inoltre che questo re avrebbe fatto guerra contro i santi e li avrebbe fatti inciampare o vinti e che sarebbe arrivato fino al santo monte dell’Adornamento – Daniele 11:32-45 Questi particolari importanti, senza alcuna forzatura, ci riportano al libro di Rivelazione in particolare ai capitoli da 11 a 13. Inoltre Daniele 12:1 parla di Michele che sarebbe sorto in favore “dei figli del popolo di Daniele” e sarebbe quindi iniziato un tempo di angustia “come non se ne sarà fatto accadere da che ci fu nazione” – Daniele 12:1; Matteo 24:21; Rivelazione 12:12 E’ fin troppo evidente che Daniele e Giovanni stiano parlando dello stesso periodo di tempo. Partendo da questo assunto, quindi, anche i giorni descritti nei due libri devono combaciare. Tuttavia Daniele parla di 1290 giorni mentre Rivelazione parla di 1260. Come mai? La domanda di Daniele è... “Quale sarà la parte finale di queste cose?” - Daniele 12:6 In pratica Daniele, turbato da tutto quello che ha visto, deve essersi chiesto quando tutto sarebbe finito (cioè quando la cosa disgustante avrebbe finito di frantumare il popolo Santo e quando avrebbe avuto termine questo sistema politico guerrafondaio). L’angelo risponde... “Dal tempo in cui è stato soppresso il sacrificio continuo ed è stata posta la cosa disgustante che causa desolazione, ci saranno 1290 giorni” – Daniele 12:11 Quindi, prima di andare avanti, dobbiamo farci una serie di domande. 1) Chi offriva i sacrifici continui? 2) Qual è la controparte moderna? 3) Cos’è la cosa disgustante? 4) Confrontando con il libro Rivelazione, quando viene soppresso il sacrificio continuo? Dovremmo ormai saper rispondere a queste domande. 1) Erano i sacerdoti leviti ad offrire i sacrifici. 2) La controparte moderna sono i cristiani che predicano (potremmo supporre coloro che hanno incarichi speciali nell’ambito della congregazione, eletti o potenziali tali, ma il sacrificio che offriamo è, appunto, l’opera di predicazione – Ebrei 13:15) 3) La cosa disgustante, in Rivelazione, è la bestia selvaggia che ascende dall’abisso (la stessa che distruggerà Babilonia la Grande) ma fosse anche l’impero anglo-americano, il blocco Russia-Cina o qualsiasi altra forza politica, l’avvenimento che ci interessa in questo contesto è la soppressione del sacrificio continuo (cioè l’uccisione dei due testimoni vestiti di sacco). 4) Confrontando quindi con il libro Rivelazione... esaminiamo quanto segue. La soppressione del sacrificio continuo (cioè l’opera di predicazione compiuta dagli eletti) è descritta nel capitolo 11 di Rivelazione quando, “la bestia selvaggia che ascende dall’abisso farà guerra contro di loro e li vincerà e li ucciderà” – Rivelazione 11:7 E’ proprio questo il momento in cui il sacrificio continuo viene soppresso? Sembra proprio di sì perché successivamente si sentono alte voci in cielo che dicono: “Il regno del mondo è divenuto il regno del nostro Signore e del suo Cristo” e quindi si parla della nascita del figlio (il regno di Dio). Quindi questo è l’avvenimento da cui contare 1290 giorni. Questi 1290 giorni sono “la parte finale di queste cose” cioè gli ultimi atti di questo sistema di cose secondo la domanda fatta da Daniele. Sappiamo che, una volta scacciato Satana sulla terra (avvenimento successivo all'uccisione dei due testimoni vestiti di sacco) egli dà alla bestia tutta la sua potenza e autorità e Rivelazione 13:5 dice che essa avrà autorità d’agire per 42 mesi. Questi 42 mesi, ovvero 1260 giorni, sono gli stessi menzionati nel capitolo 11 dove l’angelo dice a Giovanni di “tralasciare il cortile che è fuori del santuario del tempio” perché sarebbe stato dato alle nazioni le quali lo avrebbero calpestato, appunto, per 42 mesi. Ricapitolando… Prima c’è la predicazione dei due testimoni vestiti di sacco. La cosa disgustante o bestia selvaggia, descritta sia in Daniele che in Rivelazione, sopprime il sacrificio continuo quando li uccide (Rivelazione 11:7; Daniele 12:11); da questo momento si devono contare 1290 giorni i quali portano alla “fine di queste cose”. La bestia selvaggia è libera di calpestare il cortile per 42 mesi (ovvero 1260 giorni; vedi Rivelazione 13:5) e quindi dobbiamo chiederci: cosa succede tra la morte dei due testimoni e il momento in cui Satana dà alla bestia tutta la sua potenza (la quale agirà, calpestando il popolo di Dio, per 42 mesi)? Dunque, leggiamo… “15 E il settimo angelo suonò la sua tromba. E vi furono alte voci in cielo, che dicevano: “Il regno del mondo è divenuto il regno del nostro Signore e del suo Cristo, ed egli regnerà per i secoli dei secoli”. 16 E i ventiquattro anziani che erano seduti dinanzi a Dio sui loro troni caddero sulle loro facce e adorarono Dio, 17 dicendo: “Ti ringraziamo, Geova Dio, Onnipotente, Colui che sei e che eri, perché hai preso il tuo gran potere e hai cominciato a regnare. 18 Ma le nazioni si adirarono, e venne l’ira tua, e il tempo fissato di giudicare i morti, e di dare la ricompensa ai tuoi schiavi i profeti, e ai santi e a quelli che temono il tuo nome, i piccoli e i grandi, e di ridurre in rovina quelli che rovinano la terra”. 19 E il [santuario del] tempio di Dio che è in cielo fu aperto, e l’arca del suo patto fu vista nel [santuario del] suo tempio. E ne seguirono lampi e voci e tuoni e un terremoto e grossa grandine. 12 E un gran segno fu visto nel cielo, una donna vestita del sole, e la luna era sotto i suoi piedi, e sulla sua testa c’era una corona di dodici stelle, 2 ed era incinta. E grida nelle sue doglie e nel suo travaglio per partorire. 3 E fu visto un altro segno nel cielo, ed ecco, un gran dragone color fuoco, con sette teste e dieci corna e sulle sue teste sette diademi; 4 e la sua coda trascina un terzo delle stelle del cielo, e le scagliò sulla terra. E il dragone si teneva davanti alla donna che stava per partorire, per divorarne il figlio quando l’avesse partorito.5 Ed essa partorì un figlio, un maschio, che deve pascere tutte le nazioni con una verga di ferro. E il figlio di lei fu rapito presso Dio e il suo trono. 6 E la donna fuggì nel deserto, dove ha un luogo preparato da Dio, affinché vi sia nutrita per milleduecentosessanta giorni. 7 E scoppiò la guerra in cielo: Michele e i suoi angeli guerreggiarono contro il dragone, e il dragone e i suoi angeli guerreggiarono, 8 ma esso non prevalse, né fu più trovato posto per loro in cielo. 9 E il gran dragone fu scagliato, l’originale serpente, colui che è chiamato Diavolo e Satana, che svia l’intera terra abitata; fu scagliato sulla terra, e i suoi angeli furono scagliati con lui. 10 E udii nel cielo un’alta voce dire: “Ora son venuti la salvezza e la potenza e il regno del nostro Dio e l’autorità del suo Cristo, perché è stato gettato giù l’accusatore dei nostri fratelli, che li accusa giorno e notte dinanzi al nostro Dio! 11 Ed essi lo vinsero a motivo del sangue dell’Agnello e a motivo della parola della loro testimonianza, e non amarono la loro anima neppure di fronte alla morte”. Alla morte e risurrezione dei 2 testimoni il regno del mondo diventa davvero il regno “del nostro Signore e del suo Cristo” in quanto nasce il Regno di Dio (ormai sufficientemente completo del numero degli eletti) e inizia la purificazione dei cieli e il giudizio sulla terra. Infatti il capitolo 12 parla della nascita del figlio. Quindi scoppia la guerra in cielo e Satana viene scagliato sulla terra. Da quel momento ha davvero “un breve periodo di tempo” perché potrà giocare con la sua bestia soltanto per altri 42 mesi – Confronta Rivelazione 12:12 e 13:5 con Rivelazione 19:19–20:2 Quindi se la risurrezione spirituale avviene in un “batter d’occhio” i 30 giorni sono il periodo che include la nascita del Regno di Dio e la durata della guerra in cielo o poco meno. In armonia con ciò, 30 giorni furono il periodo di tempo in cui il popolo di Dio fece lutto per la morte di Aaronne (il primo Sommo Sacerdote) – Numeri 20:29 Quindi, dopo un’interruzione di 30 giorni, il nuovo Sommo Sacerdote ricominciò ad officiare. La morte dei due testimoni “vestiti di sacco” porta ad un’interruzione dei servizi sacerdotali per 30 giorni (essi vengono risuscitati appena 3,5 giorni dopo ma evidentemente non possono cominciare ad officiare subito anche perché bisogna purificare i cieli). Questa differenza di 30 giorni sono anche i giorni abbreviati di cui parlò Gesù in quanto la grande tribolazione non inizia immediatamente dopo l'uccisione dei due testimoni – Vedi Matteo 24:22 Satana e i suoi demoni, infatti, saranno occupati a combattere una guerra in cielo che perderanno ma che li terrà occupati per un po'. Anche al tempo dei primi cristiani i giorni di tribolazione furono abbreviati sul nascere e non verso la fine; il ritiro degli eserciti romani (avvenuto all'inizio dell'assedio) permise ai cristiani di "fuggire ai monti" e salvarsi la vita. Da questo possiamo ricavare anche la durata della grande tribolazione la quale inizia nel momento in cui Satana viene scagliato sulla terra, appena 30 giorni dopo l’uccisione dei due testimoni, e dura 42 mesi. Infine l’angelo conclude dicendo... “Felice colui che rimane in attesa e che arriva a milletrecentotrentacinque giorni!” Daniele 12:12 Perché si diventa felici? Evidentemente perché, dopo che la cosa disgustante ha scatenato la sua furia su tutto il popolo di Dio, adesso è arrivato il momento del giudizio di Dio sulla bestia e su tutto il resto del mondo. Questo dovrebbe essere quel periodo di tempo di cui parla Isaia dicendo... “Va, popolo mio, entra nelle tue stanze interne, e chiudi le tue porte dietro di te. Nasconditi per un breve momento finché la denuncia sia passata” – Isaia 26:20 45 giorni sono effettivamente pochi giorni in più rispetto ai 40 giorni di tempo in cui la nazione di Israele avrebbe dovuto vagare nel deserto per raggiungere la terra promessa.   Quindi premettendo che… Se il racconto di Rivelazione è in ordine cronologico (come sembra) e se i 1290 giorni di Daniele sono i 1260 giorni (+30) di Rivelazione… 1) La risurrezione generale (spirituale) inizierà solo dopo l'uccisione dei due testimoni vestiti di sacco descritti in Rivelazione 11. 2) Questo permetterà la nascita del Regno di Dio. 3) Solo alla nascita del Regno di Dio scoppia la guerra in cielo la quale durerà 30 giorni o poco meno. 4) La grande tribolazione inizierà 30 giorni dopo l’uccisione dei due testimoni e cioè alla fine della guerra in cielo. 5) La grande tribolazione durerà 42 mesi i quali sono anche “il breve periodo di tempo” rimasto a Satana per agire. 6) Armaghedon inizierà allo scadere di questi 42 mesi e durerà 45 giorni (la "breve denuncia" in cui il popolo di Dio si chiuderà nelle sue stanze interne – Isaia 26:20)     COMMENTI SIGNIFICATIVI Ora, la mia domanda è: come facciamo a sapere che i riferimenti temporali che troviamo in Daniele e Rivelazione (che siano giorni o mesi) non sono simbolici ma letterali?
        Prima Parte. Ti ringrazio, Sagmar, per la tua domanda.
      In effetti sembra che quando "ci gira" applichiamo "un giorno per un anno" e quando "non ci gira" un giorno equivale ad un giorno.
      Bene, proviamo a fare alcune considerazioni.
      Partendo da Rivelazione, la prima menzione che si fa di questo periodo di tempo si trova al capitolo 11 il versetto 2.
      L'angelo dice a Giovanni "Ma in quanto al cortile che è fuori del [santuario del] tempio, gettalo completamente fuori e non misurarlo, perché è stato dato alle nazioni, ed esse calpesteranno la città santa per quarantadue mesi".
      Quindi il capitolo 11 si concentra su questi due testimoni vestiti di sacco i quali ricordano i sacerdoti leviti (infatti si parla della misurazione del Tempio) che officiano nel Tempio e si occupano dei sacrifici – Ebrei 13:15
      Se i due testimoni rappresentano i sacerdoti leviti, chi rappresenta "il cortile che è fuori del santuario del tempio" il quale sarà calpestato, appunto, per 42 mesi?
      Evidentemente sono il popolo di Dio nel suo insieme.
      Vediamo come continua il resoconto di Rivelazione.
      Alla fine della loro predicazione i due testimoni vengono uccisi, risorgono, suona la settima tromba, nasce il regno di Dio... (Capitoli 11 e 12 di Rivelazione).
      Alla nascita del regno di Dio scoppia la guerra in cielo e Satana è particolarmente adirato perché, da quel momento in poi, "ha un breve periodo di tempo" – Rivelazione 12:12
      Quanto breve?
      Dal momento che secondo lo schiavo il "breve periodo di tempo" sarebbe iniziato nel 1914 la domanda è più che legittima.
      Continuiamo a leggere.
      Una volta che Satana è stato scagliato sulla terra si parla della bestia con dieci corna e sette teste che ascende dal mare e della testa scannata a morte che "fu sanata"... quindi i versetti 4 e 5 (capitolo 13) dicono... "E adorarono il dragone perché aveva dato l’autorità alla bestia selvaggia, e adorarono la bestia selvaggia con le parole: “Chi è simile alla bestia selvaggia, e chi può guerreggiare contro di essa?” 5?E le fu data una bocca che diceva cose grandi e bestemmie, e le fu data autorità di agire per quarantadue mesi".
      Agire per fare cosa?
      Per "far guerra contro i santi e vincerli" – Rivelazione 13:7
      Quindi si sta parlando dell'avvenimento descritto dall'angelo, vero?
      Il cortile fuori dal tempio sarebbe stato calpestato per 42 mesi e, infatti, questa bestia agirà contro il popolo di Dio per 42 mesi.
      Questo periodo è letterale o è simbolico?
      (segue seconda parte)
        Seconda parte. Anche se per lo schiavo 103 anni possono essere considerati "un breve periodo di tempo" se rapportati a 6.000 anni di esperienza di Satana... certo non può dirsi di 1260 anni!
      Se applichiamo, infatti, la regola "un giorno per un anno", 42 mesi sono 1260 anni e certo non può essere considerato "un breve periodo di tempo" neppure rapportato all'età dell'uomo.
      Se questo è opinabile, sicuramente è difficile immaginare che questo possa essere il periodo in cui Satana è "particolarmente adirato" contro il popolo di Dio e cioè il periodo di tempo in cui cerca di distruggerlo!
      E' difficile immaginare che qualche cristiano possa sopravvivere a 1260 anni di furia satanica (continuando a leggere la Rivelazione si capisce che la persecuzione sarà molto intensa) – Matteo 24:21, 22
      Potrebbero non essere 1260 anni ma comunque un periodo di tempo non letterale, comunque breve?
      Il fatto che la Bibbia rimarchi questo periodo di tempo due volte, non c'è motivo per credere che non lo sia.
      Inoltre scopriamo che la Bibbia menziona questo periodo non due volte ma tre.
      Quando la donna "fugge nel deserto" si dice che ciò accade "affinché vi sia nutrita per milleduecentosessanta giorni".
      Dove si incastrano questi 1260 giorni (ovvero 42 mesi)?
      Ovviamente nello stesso periodo in cui la bestia avrà autorità d'agire.
      Infatti la scrittura dice che Satana si adirò contro la donna e, non riuscendo a farla annegare, "se ne va a far guerra al seme di lei".
      Questo fa ben capire che il popolo di Dio, durante tutta la grande tribolazione, continuerà ad essere nutrito (in qualche modo e in qualche misura) per tutto il tempo necessario ovvero "1260 giorni" che sono gli stessi 42 mesi in cui il popolo di Dio sarà "calpestato".
      (segue terza parte)
        Terza e ultima parte. Una volta stabilito che è un "breve periodo di tempo"... perché dovrebbero essere 5 anni (ad esempio), 74 mesi o qualsiasi altro periodo "breve" se la Bibbia dice, per ben 3 volte, che saranno 42 mesi?
      Ricordiamo inoltre che ciò che avviene in questo punto della Rivelazione è simile a ciò che avvenne ai primi cristiani.
      Quando l'esercito romano ritirò l'assedio a Gerusalemme (e in un articolo precedente si identifica Israele come Babilonia la Grande) i cristiani fuggirono ai monti in obbedienza alle parole di Gesù.
      La distruzione di Gerusalemme, però, non avvenne immediatamente ma circa tre anni e mezzo dopo (si può discutere se contare il periodo da Cestio Gallo a Tito o da Tito a Tito ma grossomodo il periodo è quello). Alla fine dei tre anni e mazzo, o giù di lì, Gerusalemme viene assediata e distrutta ("questi sono i giorni per fare giustizia" disse Gesù).
      Allo stesso modo alla fine dei 42 mesi le Nazioni Unite distruggono Babilonia la Grande.
      Il tempo per la bestia selvaggia di agire termina. Inizia Armaghedon.
      Dunque andiamo a vedere i 1290 giorni di Daniele.
      Avrai già evinto che, se i giorni di Rivelazione sono letterali, devono esserlo anche quelli di Daniele ma alcuni particolari rafforzeranno questa interpretazione.
      Sia in Rivelazione che in Daniele possiamo identificare "la soppressione del sacrificio continuo" – Daniele 12:11 Rivelazione 11:7
      Quindi a meno che non si stia parlando di due avvenimenti distinti (ma entrambi parlano del "tempo della fine", della grande tribolazione e di "Michele") dobbiamo concludere che stiano parlando dello stesso avvenimento, giusto?
      Tuttavia il calcolo riportato in Daniele parte un po' prima di quello riportato in Rivelazione.
      L'angelo dice "E dal tempo in cui è stato soppresso il [sacrificio] continuo ed è stata posta la cosa disgustante che causa desolazione, ci saranno milleduecentonovanta giorni" – Daniele 12:11
      Invece il tempo rimasto a Satana per agire (il breve periodo di tempo) parte da quando egli è stato scacciato sulla terra, giusto?
      Quindi tutti gli avvenimenti che accadano "nel mezzo" (dall'uccisione dei due testimoni fino a quando Satana da alla bestia tutta la sua potenza) rientrano in questa differenza temporale.
      Ci si aspetterebbe che se i giorni fossero letterali anche la differenza tra i due periodi dovrebbe essere minima, non è vero?
      Perché Daniele dice proprio "1290 giorni" e cioé un periodo di tempo che racchiude i 1260 giorni di Rivelazione più "qualcosa in più" (che serve a far rientrare la risurrezione spirituale e la guerra in cielo) se questi giorni non fossero letterali?
      Quindi possiamo dire che questo "breve periodo di tempo" è ripetuto per ben 4 volte tra Rivelazione e Daniele.
      Questi fatti rendono più che ragionevole considerare i 1260 giorni e i 1290 come letterali.

    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      In our path of study of the prophecies, as already seen in various previous articles, we will have come across something that we would not have believed possible. The understanding of Babylon the Great, as well as that concerning Armageddon, the Jerusalem above or the Heavenly Jerusalem, have indeed constituted great changes in the official understanding of Jehovah's Witnesses. We can not ignore the chain effects that these "changes of vision" have produced and continue to produce on many other more or less important doctrines. The author of this blog would like above all to clarify that all the theses presented so far have never been considered inspired or infallible and therefore each reader is invited to make their own evaluations (and maybe to contribute) by comparing and meditating on the Scriptures without any injury. At the same time, however, the author is equally convinced that the articles showed respect for the Bible and used it as a guide and supreme authority. Every affirmation, whenever it was possible, was accompanied or confirmed by one or more Scriptures and therefore, although certain arguments went against the official teaching, it was decided to do so in good conscience. The possible firm conviction of the author as well as certain categorical expressions used are exclusively due to this: the support of the Scriptures - John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Corinthians 10: 4, 5 The article that will be developed now, will also consist of a significant change of vision and we will see how, changing the conditions, real or possible scenarios become real that, until the day before yesterday, we would have considered really far-fetched - Job 42 :2; Mark 10:27 The wisest thing that each of us can do is to evaluate that every thesis presented is really in harmony with the Scripture, and nothing else, without closing up in shell or reshaping the power of God to what we think possible - Mark 12:24 ; Job 38: 4 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. What do we know, with certainty, of the battle of Armageddon?     What do we know about the Armageddon war? Speaking of the war of the great day of the Almighty God, what do we know for sure? - 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Well, we know that it is not total destruction due to a human war, a solar flare, a meteorite or other Hollywood nonsense - Isaiah 45:18; Psalm 78:69; Ecclesiastes 1: 4 We know it is the crucial war in which God takes revenge on his enemies and on the enemies of His people - Psalm 2: 3-6; Sofonia 1:18; Zechariah 2: 8 We also know that it is the occasion when Jehovah is magnified and makes himself known to the nations - Ezekiel 36:22, 23 It is the war that will free His people from oppression and slavery and will finally begin the Millennial Kingdom - Exodus 15: 11-13; Revelation 7:10 These are reliable informations. For the rest, when it will happen, what means it will use, which scenario will present itself just before the outbreak of this war, etc., only assumptions are made. One of these assumptions, which seems to have a strict logic, is that the place in Hebrew is called Har-Maghedon, is not a literal place but a situation. In practice it would be the situation in which all the enemies of God find themselves fighting against His People, wherever they are. This conclusion seems absolutely logical because how could a war of such proportions, which should encompass all of humanity and therefore billions of people, take place in such a small geographical area? It is absurd to even think about it. However, before closing our faculties of perception on any contrary subject we try to consider the following - James 1:19 First of all we have seen that the war between the king of the north and the king of the south, which is a prophecy to come, could greatly reduce the number of people present on earth including their armies - compare Revelation 6: 3, 7, 8 It's a raw topic we would not like to talk about but the prophecies seem clear. This topic has been dealt with in various previous articles, including the one entitled "Who is the horn that became very great?". Furthermore, as we saw in the article titled "Which nations disappear in Armageddon?" We know that the war of Armageddon will not destroy all nations and people on the planet. This war will indeed destroy the satanic system which includes the savage beast, the kings of the earth and their armies - 1 John 3: 8 Seen from this point of view, perhaps the fact that this war can be fought in a specific and relatively restricted place becomes a possibility? Furthermore it is necessary to make a couple of clarifications. Har-Magedon, which means "Mountain of Megiddo", is not a specific reference to that "tell" that you see in Volume 1 of the book "Insight" (page 953 in the edition in Italian). What you see in photography is what remains of ancient Megiddo, a small hill built on 26 layers of ruins of ancient cities. That is "Megiddo" but where's the mountain? Since there is no mountain called "Mount of Megiddo" we try to make assumptions without prematurely concluding that the whole argument is symbolic. Megiddo is located at the entrance of the pass through the chain of Mount Carmel, which overlooks the valley of Esdraelon from the south-west. So the Mount of Megiddo might be Mount Carmel (compare 1 Kings 18:19, 20, Jeremiah 46:18, Amos 1: 2; 9: 3; Naum 1: 3, 4) and could include all the hilly countryside that surrounds the valley of Megiddo, one hundred kilometers north of Jerusalem, including the valley of Esdraelon. Space is noticeable, but before assuming any calculation, we try to ask ourselves according to what logic or why the kings of the earth should / could be there. To a superficial judgment it would seem a stupid thing. The kings of the earth and their armies will not be able to fight against Christ and his elect (though they will try to - compare Revelation 19:19, 20) and so it is evident that they will take it upon His people. Why, then, to concentrate in one area of the earth (whatever it is) to try to destroy the people of God if it is found in all the inhabited earth?Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. we have seen that the earth chosen by God for His people is still the Promised Land and the gathering of Israel will be literal.
      The article in part said, "When nations have run out of time, including both the trampling of Jerusalem and the persecution, Armageddon will begin to destroy this beast and all the compact peoples in the fight against the Lamb. At that moment Jerusalem will have been freed and the people of God, after the necessary period spent in the "inner rooms", will be able to go to that country which is still part of the promise and where in a short time it will begin to flow milk and honey - Isaiah 26: 20 " What have we seen so far? We have seen that Babylon the Great is modern apostate Israel but this has to do with the people who occupy it, certainly not with the geographical area which, in itself, can not have merit or guilt - Zechariah 5: 6-8 So, once Israel is liberated from Babylon the Great, Jehovah will bring His people back to that land that bears His name and will be inhabited from generation to generation - Joel 3:20 The crucial question is therefore: will this rallying and consequent exodus to the Promised Land begin after Armageddon or its approach? Some scriptures suggest that this happens just before the final battle. How can we say it? We have seen that during the last war between the king of the north and the king of the south, some nations are able to escape - see Daniel 11:41 The writing mentions Edom, Moab and Ammon and, coincidentally, these are the same nations in which a part of the people of Israel found shelter in the past - compare Psalm 60: 8, 9; Isaiah 16: 4; Jeremiah 40:11 The logical conclusion is that the people of God who survived the war, since they will have to live again Israel now liberated by the Great Whore, are in the vicinity of the Promised Land at least some time before the final battle. This situation would also be similar to what happened in the past but on a much larger scale. If the meeting takes place before Armageddon, then it becomes logical and plausible that the "kings of the earth" will gather in the place that in Hebrew is called Har-Maghedon. This is done to prevent the achievement of the Promised Land (and kill them all at once - compares Psalm 2: 1-6) or simply to kill them once they reach. This hypothesis makes reasonable not only the literal gathering of kings and armies but also the specific place of the gathering. Let's try, for a moment, to read Revelation as if it were the first time and as if they had not taught us anything. The writing says “And I saw three unclean inspired expressionsHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. that looked like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragonHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and out of the mouth of the wild beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and they perform signs,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and they go out to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the warHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. of the great day of God the Almighty ( ... ) And they gathered them together to the place that is called in Hebrew Armageddon" – Revelation 16:13, 14, 16 Without doing any disquisition on what terms and what it means, the first image that would come to mind are the kings who are gathered together somewhere, is not it? In fact, the writing says that these frogs "gathered them", which makes one think that these kings are heading towards a specific place. After all we have never done any disquisitions on the idea that these frogs actually go to the kings of the earth; we have never hypothesized that their "going to" the kings of the earth was symbolic because it is evident that, if these kings live in different and distant nations, these frogs have to go or go towards them. But we have re-discussed that the kings go somewhere. So frogs go literally (they must reach these kings) while kings go in a symbolic sense. That is, they do not go anywhere. The question that would be spontaneous to those who did not know anything about the issues at stake would be ... "Why do the kings of the earth, at the approach of the war, go to the place called Har-Maghedon (whatever place it is)?" In a war scenario, the answer would become simple: because the object of contention is in that area or near that area. Any nation that would place its army on the borders of another nation would send a strong and clear message. He is preparing for the war. In this case, however, the question does not concern the conquest of the territory of Israel but the extermination of the people who intend to live there - Psalm 2: 1-4 Finally we must distinguish the kings of the earth from their armies. The writing of Revelation says that only the kings of the earth are gathered at Har-Maghedon. How many will be the kings of the earth, following their ministers, their officials in various capacities, their bodyguards, etc? A few thousand? A few tens of thousands? Is the entire hilly area of Carmel and the valley of Esdraelon it’s sufficient to accommodate a few tens of thousands of people? Obviously yes, even only the Carmel. Where will the armies be and for which aircraft will they be extended? We do not have a precise answer but we can make some reasoning based on what we know from the scriptures. The simple distinction, which perhaps few have noticed, between the kings of the earth and their armies, should make every hypothesis fall "of the impossibility of the event" because if the Bible does not specify the area of armies extension they could really be hundreds of millions and even billions of people. The final battle would take place "around the Mount of Megiddo" for an indefinite area (why could not they cover all of Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq for example?) God's people would still be surrounded, the writing would not it would fail and Jehovah would rise above the nations. So, regardless of all the reasoning we have just made, if the Bible does not specify the extent of the armies deployed against the people of God, all the discourse on the secure symbolic nature of writing lapses or at least is not as reasonable as it initially seemed. We will try however to "build" the extension of this army only on the basis of what we know and keeping as close as possible so that all the talk will acquire heaviness and it is really the Bible to speak - Romans 3: 4 Regarding the last dominant king described in Daniel chapters 11 and 12 we know that he will place his tents "between the great sea and the holy Mount of the Adornment" - Daniel 11:45 After this event "he will have to come to his end, and there will not be a rescuer for him" and then it is understood that "pitching the tents" is the last action he performs before his final destruction. We have also seen that the destruction of Babylon the Great (or the nation of Israel) is the prelude to Armageddon and not to the great tribulation. As a result, the army of the last ruling king should already be present on the territory of Israel before the final battle * (see footnote). He simply has to wait for all the others to come (it is to be noted, in fact, that the writing which calls for the gathering of the kings of the earth at Har-Maghedon makes no mention of the wild beast. He is not mentioned because he is among the kings or simply because it is already there?). However, for the moment we do not know whether this immense army will stand as a shield to prevent Israel from entering or whether it will wait for "the people gathered from all the earth" to actually enter the country and then surround it - see for example Joel 3: 9- 12; Nehemiah 6:16; Psalm 44:13; 59: 5, 6; 76:11, 12; 97: 1-3; Jeremiah 1: 14-16; 6:25; 25: 9; Lamentations 1:17 For the moment we can imagine both situations since concepts do not change. So, to obstruct any access to the coming people, the armies will have to cover Israel at least for its entire length. Does this seem reasonable to you? So we have to hypothesize an extension that goes from the Great Sea (the Mediterranean) to the Mount of the Adornment west of Israel and an extension at least similar to the east side of Israel (in terms of width). So a length at least equal to that of Israel if not more. What area are we talking about? We can only make an estimate but a territory equal to twice the current Israel should cover an area of 45 / 50,000 square kilometers. With this in mind, let us now assume how powerful this army could be. A site makes a list of the ten most numerous armies (updated to 2015). This is the list with the respective numbers.   CHINA (number of staff: 2.285.000). UNITED STATES (1.458.000). INDIA (1.325.000) NORTH KOREA (1.106.000) RUSSIA (1.027.000) TURKEY (666,500) SOUTH KOREA (639,000). PAKISTAN (617,000) IRAN (523,000). EGYPT (468,000)   The total number of staff would be just over ten million people. We also consider that, as we saw at the beginning, the war between the kings of the north and the king of the south by then will have greatly reduced the numbers and at least a part of the nations listed above may not exist anymore. For the benefit of the numbers, however, it must be said that in case of conflict the "effective" would not be the only ones to go to war. The numbers could be greatly underestimated (it is doubtful, in fact, that the official numbers correspond to the real ones). Finally we must consider that this is the last move of Satan before being thrown into the abyss for a thousand years so he would have every interest in making the armies as numerous as possible. So we multiply by five these numbers and assume that the final attack includes 50 million armed soldiers to the teeth. The area we estimated could contain fifty million people? Yes and fairly well if we consider that these people are not there to live or stay but simply as soldiers waiting to launch a furious attack. Every soldier would have a living space of about one square meter. Do you remember the photographs in which Hitler had his huge troops? In those large gatherings there were probably three or four people every square meter. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   In Hitler's huge gatherings there were probably 3 or 4 people per square meter   It is evident that we are making assumptions and the estimates, both of the army and of the militarized area, could vary a lot, but the point we want to illustrate is simply one. Despite the ideas that we made about the war of Har-Magedon, and how they are rooted in us, we can not exclude that the final battle takes place in this geographical area and that it will prove to be the biggest fight in the history of humanity. Indeed, the scriptures mentioned in support of the argument suggest that this is not simply a possibility. Any new understanding, however, can make other scriptures harmonious or create forcing. Forcing should be an indicator that "something is wrong". What happens with the other scriptures, understanding that the place of the final battle will be a specific and relatively restricted place? Meanwhile, as we have mentioned, this situation would be very similar to several biblical episodes we know - see for example Exodus 14: 10-14; 2 Kings 18: 19-25 Jehovah would be exalted in the midst of the nations precisely because, not being really all destroyed, the distant peoples and nations would speak of this event with terror and for centuries - compare Joshua 2: 9-11; Deuteronomy 2:25; Psalm 112: 10 Isaiah 63: 1-6 describes Jehovah coming from Edom who, as we have seen, is one of the places where God's people find refuge, and from there he begins to "tread peoples into His wrath." Psalm 2: 2 describes all the peoples and national groups united "as one man" and this gives the idea that the rulers of the earth, and therefore their armies, are effectively gathered somewhere as one army, a single mass and compact. Finally (but not "finally" because you will find many other similarities if you want to look for them) suddenly becomes clear why the king of the north is troubled because of news from the east and the north - see Daniel 11:44 So far what have we been told? In other words ... we have been told that we do not know. In the book "Pay attention to the prophecies of Daniel" on page 283 (Italian edition) we speak of Gog of Magog (among other things in the understanding that it is Satan the Devil) and paragraph 26 concludes with the words "But what at the end they will contain the news from the east and from the north only God will establish it and time will tell it ". Instead, understanding the scenario that will be created shortly before the final battle we can guess why this king is so upset. He sees the people of God, who evidently believed he had eliminated, gathered and on their way to the Promised Land! Depict the scene. It is easy to imagine that he understands that there is God, the True God and not the farce built by the false prophet behind all this. Despite his immense power and his fury, he has not succeeded in eliminating the people of God who are now reaching the Promised Land in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. It is not surprising that this causes great anger in him and comes out "with great fury to annihilate and to vote many to destruction", or the people of God gathered there - Daniel 11:43 And this explains why he "will pitch the tents of his palace between [the] great sea and the holy mount of the Adornment". Let's take a moment to imagine the scene and see us there, intent on reaching the promised land as the Israelites were in the time of Moses. Perhaps we may find ourselves imprisoned between the Great Sea and the army or we may be a few kilometers from the border and see "men of extraordinary stature" - Numbers 13:33 Perhaps some of us, seeing such a colossal army, might doubt Jehovah's power or his will to protect us - Isaiah 43:10, 11 Try to imagine how many situations described in the Bible would become the mirror of those last moments of the system of things. It is not difficult to see the harmony of the Word of God and to understand what will happen if we free ourselves from our conditioning and do not associate the word "impossible" with God. Is not it a wonderful prospect? One day, towards the end of the terrifying events that will occur on earth, someone will call us to lead us to the Promised Land, but the journey will be reserved only for those who will understand the prophecy and act accordingly. Next stop: Israel. Take the ticket. Make reservations now. The forecasts say that the area will be quite crowded.     Footnote. The article entitled "1290 and 1335 days" shows a difference of 45 days between trampling on God's people and achieving his "happiness" - see Daniel 12:12 These 45 days could include the time of the gathering of the people of God and the consequent exodus that will lead them to cross the boundaries of the Promised Land.   It is necessary to specify that even if the lowering of the waters of the Euphrates has to do with the destruction of these peoples and not simply with the loss of the defenses, this could refer to the peoples that surround Israel and not with Israel - compare Joel 3 : 4 This could mean that the payment of the sixth cup of the angel is not yet the actual destruction of Babylon the Great and therefore the people of Israel might still be alive and active when God's people approach it to "repopulate". As strange as this may seem, this seems to be in harmony with Revelation 16:19 which says that God would have remembered Babylon "to give it the cup of wine of the fury of his wrath" and by reading the context this happens during or near of the judgment of armageddon - compare Revelation 16:13 Other Bibles translate in a similar way and therefore it would seem evident that when nations gather in Armageddon, God still has to pour his wrath upon Babylon the Great. If this understanding is correct, when the king of the north "will come out with great fury to annihilate and vote many to destruction" it is possible that in his blinding fury he will strike first the nation that had always been their lover - compare Revelation 18 : 10, 15, 18 (see also Zechariah 14:13, 14) And obviously this will happen by God's will - Revelation 17:17 This possibility makes very probable the situation in which the people of God are effectively blocked between Israel (still populated) and all the armies of the world.  
    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      The sixth one poured out his bowl on the great river Eu·phra?tes,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and its water was dried upHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. to prepare the way for the kingsHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. from the rising of the sun – Revelation 16:12   Who are the "kings coming from the rising sun" described in Revelation 16:12? The question might seem silly or too simple. All Jehovah's Witnesses, or nearly all, have learned that the kings from the rising sun are Jehovah and His Son Christ. The book "Revelation its climax" in this regard says Â… This is also bad news for Babylon the Great! 21 At the height of the splendor of ancient Babylon, the copious waters of the Euphrates were a fundamental element of its defensive system. In 539 a.E.V. those waters dried up when their course was diverted by the Persian leader Cyrus. This allowed Cyrus the Persian and Darius the Medus, the kings coming from the "rising sun" (ie from the east), to enter and conquer Babylon. At the crucial moment the Euphrates failed as a defense of that great city. (Isaiah 44: 27-45: 7; Jeremiah 51:36) Something similar must happen to modern Babylon, the world system of false religion. 22 Babylon the Great "sits on many waters". According to Revelation 17: 1, 15, these symbolize "peoples and crowds and nations and tongues", multitudes of followers whom it considers a protection. But the "waters" are drying up! In Western Europe, where it once exerted great influence, hundreds of millions of people are now openly without religion. In some countries, for many years a policy has been stubbornly aimed at eradicating the influence of religion. In these countries the masses did not rise in its defense. Likewise, when the time comes when Babylon the Great will have to be destroyed, the decreasing number of her followers will turn out to be no protection for her. (Revelation 17:16) Although boasting of having billions of followers, Babylon the Great will find herself helpless before the "kings coming from the rising sun". 23 Who are these kings? In 539 a.E.V. they were Darius the Medus and Cyrus the Persian, who were employed by Jehovah to conquer the ancient city of Babylon. On this day of the Lord, the false religious system of Babylon the Great will be equally destroyed by human rulers. But once again it will be a divine judgment. Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, the "kings coming from the rising sun," will have to put the "thought" of turning against Babylon the Great and completely destroying it in the hearts of human rulers. (Revelation 17:16, 17) The pouring of the sixth cup publicly proclaims that this judgment is about to be performed! (paragraphs 20 to 23, pages 229-230 of the Italian edition).   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   Are the Almighty God and His Son Christ the "kings coming from the rising sun"?     However, some questions arise. Let us admit that Cyrus and Darius represent Jehovah and Christ (even if it seems a somewhat risky parallel) and we admit that we can skip the action of the United Nations * (see footnote) because of what Revelation 17: 17 says. "Preparing the way" means creating the conditions to pass. Also wanting to assert that instead of referring to the passage we refer to something else (how to carry out a destruction) "preparing the way" always means "creating the favorable conditions for doing something". It is clear that if we talk about Cyrus and Darius, they, being simple human beings, really needed someone to prepare the way because if they could not divert the Euphrates River they would never cross the borders of Babylon. Can we say the same about Jehovah and Christ? Do they need someone to "prepare the way for them" in order to cross or defeat anyone? Obviously not - Isaiah 40:15 It is also reasonable to believe that the angel in charge of pouring the cup on the Euphrates River to prepare the way for Jehovah and Christ as to simplify them things? The current explanation in effect says that Jehovah and Christ will destroy Babylon the Great, by which time the people (represented by the water of the river) does not protect you anymore. But does God Almighty and His Son Christ really need to weaken the defensive walls of Babylon the Great in order to destroy it? Moreover, if indeed Babylon the Great loses the love of her lovers, is not the strange reaction that kings and traders show immediately after its destruction? - compare Revelation 18: 9-19 The official explanation states "The reaction of nations may seem surprising if we take into account the fact that Babylon was destroyed by the symbolic ten horns of the scarlet wild beast. (Revelation 17:16) But once Babylon, the" kings of earth "will clearly show how useful it was to keep the people quiet and subservient" (Chapter 37, paragraph 2). So Babylon the Great had lost the love of her lovers, had not lost it or regained it after its destruction? - Compare Revelation 18: 7 Moreover, the nations were not aware even before this nation "was useful for them to keep the people quiet and subservient"? ** Let us reflect on the words of Revelation 17:15 which identify the waters as "peoples and crowds and nations and languages". If the waters are people, and these are placed to protect a nation, they can lower themselves in two different ways. Either these people lose interest in that nation (ie they do not protect it any more and then it would really mean that its lovers got fed up with her) or those people simply are gone - compare Revelation 9: 13-15 (see also Jeremiah 50: 35-38; 51:36, 37) Furthermore, in the basic writing of this article the water of the Euphrates river only dries up when the angel pours his cup.   This means that up until a moment before the river bed was normally swollen. These reflections should cast a shadow over all those disquisitions that would wish for Babylon the Great to lose more and more consensus and that this is an indication of its imminent destruction. If the angel did not pour the sixth cup of God's wrath on the Euphrates River, water would not dry up at all. Otherwise, someone will be able to find a scripture where it says that the water goes down "about his business" and the bowl of God's only serves to give "the final blow." Nowhere, however, is there any indication of this. Moreover, if it were people who were tired of Babylon the Great (as the lowering of the waters is currently being interpreted), what good is it for God to put his thought into their hearts? - see Revelation 17:17 If it is people who get tired of their lover, they would not destroy it of their own free will? Do we have to suppose that this direct action by God only serves to speed up the times? It does not seem so. As the Lord himself said: “Knowing their thoughts, he said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself comes to ruin, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  In the same way, if Satan expels Satan, he has become divided against himself; how, then, will his kingdom stand?” - Matthew 12:25, 26 Babylon the Great is a fundamental part of the system of Satan for which he, as the ruler of the world, would have no interest in bringing down or even just watching while the waters are lowering. If it were for Satan, Babylon the Great would last forever but they will lower themselves exclusively because of God's will and against all expectations. Not by chance, in fact, the cup of the previous wrath (the fifth) is poured on the throne of the wild beast and it is said that it is obscured. This means that now, these kings, at least for a while will no longer have control over it - Revelation 16:10 Here, then, that the reaction of kings and traders becomes absolutely logical. They have never ceased to love her but for a reason that they will not be able to explain themselves, during an hour of madness, they will turn into their assassins. The lowering of the waters, therefore, means that now the people present near the great Euphrates River (who could be there for protection of the borders as for any other reason) are gone. If we look at the order of events described in chapter 16 of Revelation it seems to be so. Verse 12 speaks of the sixth cup of the wrath of God which dries up the great Euphrates River and soon afterwards, in verses 13 and 14, are seen "coming out of the mouth of the dragon and the mouth of the wild beast and the mouth of the false prophet three impure expressions inspired [that seemed] similar to frogs (...) and go to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them to the war of the great day of God Almighty. " If we cling to official understanding, does not it seem that something is missing between verse 12 and verse 13? If the drying up of the Euphrates about the loss of love against Babylon the Great, after this event you should not see the king's attack and then destroy it and then, only after, see the gathering to Armageddon? Where did the missing verse go? Or ... why is this episode not even mentioned? Even the theory of the book written in "non-chronological" order here lapses because we are not talking about what is written before or after; there would simply be a whole piece missing! Piece, among other things, to which two chapters will be dedicated later (see the article "who establishes the correct interpretation?"). This makes it clear that the topic is too important to have been "skipped". The answer is always simpler than the questions would allow you to imagine. There is no "missing piece" between verses 12 and 13 and no "complicated time play" because the lowering of waters simply indicates the elimination of those people. If the waters mean "peoples, crowds, nations and languages" these peoples, crowds, nations and languages now we are gone. Babylon the Great, therefore, has already been destroyed and that is why the next action of the rulers of the world is to prepare for the battle of Armageddon. As we have seen in previous articles, in fact, the destruction of Babylon the Great is a prelude to the war of Armageddon and not to the great tribulation. Now, going back to the question "who are the kings coming from the rising sun", how many chances are there that they are Jehovah and Christ, since there are no more people? Let's think about it for a moment. Before the water went down for those who had a problem entering that city? Would any armies placed to protect a nation be a problem for any spiritual creature or for other human beings? - compare Isaiah 8: 7 It is evident that it is human beings who need someone to prepare the way for them and a nation without several inhabitants has no barriers or impediments of any kind. Are these kings therefore human beings? And if they are human beings ... who are they?   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   They are human beings the kings from the rising sun?     From what we have learned, it is now easy to link the scriptures. We have seen that the gathering to Israel will be literal (that we treated in the article entitled "The appointed times of the nations"). We also saw that the ingathering will take place shortly before the war of Armageddon ( "Next stop: Israel"). By doing two plus two it will be easy to understand who these kings are, but let us see if the Scriptures give us reason to believe that the understanding is correct. Let's see what Isaiah 60: 1-3 tells us.  “Arise, O woman,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. shed light, for your light has come. The glory of Jehovah shines on you.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.  For look! darkness will cover the earthAnd thick gloom the nations;But on you Jehovah will shine,And on you his glory will be seen.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Nations will go to your lightHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. And kingsHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. to your shining splendor”. Speaking of the period in which there would have been "thick darkness" on the national groups (which period?) the woman would have risen and the kings, taken from all the nations, would have come to her luster. This scripture can not have been fulfilled in the past, is it not? In fact, the Israelites have never accepted people from other nations in their land as kings. It can not even be fulfilled in the new world because it speaks of "thick darkness on national groups". When should it be fulfilled, then? “Foreigners will build your walls,And their kings will minister to you,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. For in my indignation I struck you,But in my favorHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. I will have mercy on you.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.  Your gates will be kept open constantly;Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. They will not be closed by day or by night,To bring to you the resources of the nations,And their kings will take the lead” - Isaiah 60:10, 11 Isaiah tells us where these kings come from (from nations around the world) and also says that they "will take the directive" in bringing their resources. “And you will actually drink the milk of nations,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. At the breast of kings you will nurse;Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. And you will certainly know that I, Jehovah, am your Savior,And the Powerful One of Jacob is your Repurchaser.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.  Instead of the copper I will bring in gold,And instead of the iron I will bring in silver,Instead of the wood, copper,And instead of the stones, iron;And I will appoint peace as your overseers. And righteousness as your task assigners” - Isaiah 60:16, 17 (see also the details of Isaiah chapter 62). Obviously someone could say that these scriptures applied to the Israelites because, among other things, they suggest that these kings come to bow, to serve, not really to govern. We know that the scriptures also say this. But is this what Isaiah is talking about? Let the Bible respond. “I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who escape to the nations—to Tar?shish,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Pul, and Lud,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. those who draw the bow, to Tu?bal and Ja?van,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and to the faraway islands—who have not heard a report about me or seen my glory; and they will proclaim my glory among the nations.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.  They will bring all your brothers out of all the nationsHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. as a gift to Jehovah, on horses, in chariots, in covered wagons, on mules, and on swift camels, up to my holy mountain, Jerusalem,” says Jehovah, “just as when the people of Israel bring their gift in a clean vessel into the house of Jehovah.” Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  “I will also take some for the priests and for the Levites,” says Jehovah” - Isaiah 66:19-21 True, this writing can apply to those who "seize the kingdom" or the elect, who are taken from every part of the earth - Matthew 11:12 However, we have also seen that the structure of the post-armageddon Promised Land will in some respects be similar to that of the shadow of things - see Colossians 2:17 Obviously it will be infinitely better (see the article entitled "The temple of Ezekiel's vision is a reality!"). For example, we know that ancient characters such as Abraham, Moses and David will serve as princes in the new world and therefore there will be a sort of hierarchy of theocratic bill even if our only King will always be only Jesus Christ. Do we have to wait for the end of a thousand years to have superintendents, kings or princes directing the affairs in the country? This would not make sense. From what we understand, among those who repopulate Israel at the end of the satanic system, will be chosen "kings", or "majestic" who will take the directive among the people - Nehemiah 10:28, 29 In harmony with this, the chief leaders of the tribes of Israel were called princes and the 68th Psalm says that kings would bring gifts - see Psalm 68: 27-29 Psalm 138: 4 says, "All the kings of the earth will praise you, O Jehovah, for they will have heard the sayings of your mouth" and it is evident that these "kings" can not be those who stand against Jehovah and His Anointed at the battle of Armageddon. They are kings definitely different. If we think about it, it's not what we've always been told? During the Millennial Kingdom and also in the New World some will be chosen to be the "sarim" and will take the directive at various levels. The difference with this understanding is that no one has told us that some of these people will be chosen already before or during the attainment of the Promised Land *** (also because the literal repopulation of Israel has never been taken into consideration and also the belief that the resurrection would have occurred "during" the millennium made it impossible to understand these scriptures). Jehovah will somehow choose "kings" among the survivors of the nations to repopulate the land that bears His Name. The fact that these kings come from the "rising sun" (ie from the east) is a further confirmation of their identity. In Daniel 11:44, or in the story parallel to the event of Revelation 16:12, it is said that the king of the north will be troubled by the news that will come from the "east and north". In the article already mentioned, namely the one entitled "Next stop: Israel" we have specifically seen why this king is so perplexed. He sees the people of God gathered and intent on reaching the Promised Land and behind all this he sees clearly the work of God. Therefore, the kings coming from the rising sun are not Jehovah and Jesus but they are those people chosen by all the nations of whom Jehovah will be pleased, who will take the directive for their whole spiritual family - Ezekiel 20:40, 41 And of course, unlike the Israelites of the past, they will not forget to have a king over them - 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 19:16 How do you feel about learning this? Do you hope to be among them?   Footnotes * In this and other articles the term "United Nations" was used, indicating the scarlet beast with seven heads and ten horns described in Revelation. We know that today it is represented by the United Nations but it is said that in the future this military / political agglomeration will not be called "Congress of the peoples" or in any other way.   ** "They were useful for keeping the people quiet and submissive": obviously the official explanation is that Babylon the Great is the world empire of false religion. We know, however, that their despair is due precisely to the fact that they lose the opportunity to continue with their illicit trafficking.   *** The fact that writing identifies them as kings before actual entry into the Promised Land may suggest that Jehovah has already named them as such. However, it is not certain that this appointment takes place only a certain period after under the Millennial Kingdom which begins with the destruction of the kings at Armageddon.   As was stated in the article entitled "Next stop: Israel," Babylon the Great could be inhabited again when "the people gathered from all nations" will approach to it to repopulate. In this case the lowering of the waters described by the sixth cup would have to do with the destruction of the people of the surrounding area. It is reasonable to conclude that if the destruction of Babylon the Great begins Armageddon (and in this case we would already be in Armageddon) the people of God must be in the area so that all the armies of the world prepare themselves in an attempt to destroy it.
    • By Jack Ryan
      UZBEKISTAN: Criminal prosecution follows Easter worship meeting?
      By Mushfig Bayram, Forum 18
      Police raided and threatened Urgench Baptists with criminal prosecution for meeting at Easter. SSS secret police and ordinary police raided Mubarek Baptists' worship, an illegal court fining two. In Karshi police targeted hearing and speech impaired Baptists. A Samarkand Jehovah's Witness was fined when enquiring about state registration.
      Uzbek police have threatened members of a Baptist Church in Urgench [Urgench] in the north-western Khorezm Region with criminal prosecution. The threats followed raids by officers of the police Department for the Struggle with Extremism and Terrorism on successive Sundays in April on the Church's Sunday meetings for worship. The first raid was on the day the Church celebrated Easter.

      On 8 April police disrupted the Baptists' shared meal to celebrate Easter. During the 15 April raid, officers confiscated Christian books and materials, detained and brought some church members to a police station, questioned them, and warned them that a criminal case would be opened against them (see below).

      On 15 April the State Security Service (SSS) secret police and ordinary police raided the Sunday meeting for worship of a Baptist Church in Mubarek in the southern Kashkadarya Region. Police filmed and questioned church members, and illegally confiscated religious literature without a warrant. A court later fined two church members without any proper hearing or due process, including one Baptist who complained about the police's illegal actions (see below).

      Similarly, on 6 May police in Karshi [Qarshi] in Kashkadarya Region broke into the home of a Baptist, Viktor Tashpulatov, where the Baptist Church was holding its Sunday worship meeting. Police targetted two hearing and speech impaired Church members, apparently to pressure them into incriminating themselves and others (see below).

      Congregations of the Baptist Council of Churches meet for worship without seeking state permission, as is their right under international human rights law. But Uzbekistan, against its international human rights obligations, bans any collective exercise of the freedom of religion and belief without state permission

      The authorities have also continued to raid and fine communities such as the Jehovah's Witnesses. When a Jehovah's Witness in Samarkand, in the centre of the country, went to their local mahalla (state district administrative committee) to enquire about registering a Jehovah's Witness community, the mahalla called the police. Police then confiscated his mobile phone, and he was subsequently fined twice the minimum monthly salary for having Jehovah's Witness publications on his mobile phone (see below).

      Jehovah's Witnesses think that the police tortured Anvar Tajiyev in Urgench because their local community had between January and March 2017 unsuccessfully asked for state registration

      The authorities have allowed Jehovah's Witnesses to register only one congregation in the country, in Chirchik in Tashkent Region. All other congregations risk raids and fines for meeting for worship without state permission

      Urgench: Easter 8 April celebration raided

      On 8 April, Easter Sunday, Urgench Police's Department for the Struggle with Extremism and Terrorism raided the flat of a Baptist, Stanislav Kim, where the local Baptist Church was meeting to celebrate Easter. "At around 11 am Struggle with Extremism and Terrorism Department officers knocked on our door," Kim told Forum 18 on 15 May. "We agreed that only one officer could come in, to see that we are peacefully worshipping."

      The police officer refused to identify himself and "after sitting down in a chair demanded that the worshippers come up to him one by one so he could write down their names". He left and then promised that police would come back in one hour.

      As soon as the Baptists finished the worship and began to eat a meal together in celebration of Easter, "a group of police officers broke into the house, and began to force the participants out of the house onto the street to take down their names." The police refused to give their names to the Baptists and then left.

      The authorities have frequently raided, prosecuted, and fined Baptists in Urgench for exercising their right to freedom of religion and belief – including staging a "show trial" for state TV

      Kim told Forum 18 that Major Khamro Masimov, Chief of Urgench Police's Department for the Struggle with Extremism and Terrorism, did not particpate in the 8 April raid but his officers did.

      Asked why police raided the Easter celebration, and why the authorities keep raiding and prosecuting the Baptists, Major Masimov claimed to Forum 18 on 15 May that "we are not doing anything unlawful. Our Religion Law demands that all exercise of freedom of religion and belief must be registered, and so we must carry on controlling all exercise of this freedom."

      Major Masimov has recently refused, against Uzbekistan's international human rights obligations, to arrest or investigate his subordinates who tortured a Jehovah's Witness in October 2017. Hospitals refused for fear of the police to treat Anvar Tajiyev who lost his hearing in one ear and still suffers headaches. Many complaints to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, national and local Prosecutor's Offices have led to no arrests or prosecutions. Masimov of the police Department for the Struggle with Extremism and Terrorism claimed to Forum 18 that "our officers did not violate the law"

      When Forum 18 pointed out that the Baptists are exercising their fundamental human rights, which are also guaranteed by the Constitution, Major Masimov replied: "Please tell this to our Parliament. We do not decide which laws there should be. We are only responsible for making sure that the laws are observed."

      Urgench: 15 April raid and criminal prosecution threat

      Seven officers of Urgench Police Department for the Struggle with Extremism and Terrorism, led by Major Masimov and his deputy Captain Mukhammad Rakhimov, once again on 15 April raided Kim's home while Baptists were meeting for Sunday worship. One of the officers filmed everyone present.

      "Officers conducted an unauthorised search, and confiscated a Bible and Children's Bible in Russian, a New Testament in Uzbek, a Bible commentary book, a Baptist song book, 12 copies of ‘Herald of Truth' Baptist magazine, 30 Baptist post-cards, and a personal diary," Kim told Forum 18.

      "Police ignored our demands to show their identity documents and the legally-required warrant for the search", Kim told Forum 18.

      Asked why they did not show their identity documents and the legally-required search warrant to the Baptists, Major Masimov replied that "if we did anything unlawful they can write a complaint to the authorities." He then refused to talk more to Forum 18.

      All seven adult participants in the meeting were taken to Urgench Police Station for questioning. Major Masimov himself questioned Kim. Police demanded that we write statements and sign a police report", Kim told Forum 18.

      "When we told the police that their actions are unlawful, and refused to sign any papers, the officers threatened that they may open a criminal case against us", he said. After two hours of questioning, police released the Baptists.

      Kim told Forum 18 on 21 May that he thinks police may be preparing a case under Criminal Code Article 244-3 ("Illegal production, storage, import or distribution of religious literature" If there has been a previous Administrative Code conviction (as there has been in Kim's case) the punishment is a fine of between 100 and 200 times the minimum monthly wage, or up to three years' corrective labour. Kim thinks that it's possible, as has happened in other cases, that the authorities may punish him with a short-term prison sentence (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey 
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      "The case is in Urgench Prosecutor's Office, and they are deciding whether to open an administrative or criminal case", Major Masimov told Forum 18 on 15 May. "It is an administrative violation, but because it is a repeated violation the Prosecutor's Office can decide to open a criminal case." He claimed that the Prosecutor's Office would make a decision "in two or three days", but refused to give Forum 18 more details.

      On 22 May Kamol Almatov, Assistant to Urgench Prosecutor Javlan Davletov, refused to answer when asked about the possible prosecution annd asked Forum 18 to call back the following day. On 23 May neither Almatov nor Davletov answered their phones.

      As of 24 May Kim has had no information on whether he may be prosecuted, and if so on what charges.

      Mubarek: Raid, arrest for complaining about police illegality

      On 15 April the Sunday meeting for worship of a Council of Churches Baptist Church in Mubarek in Kashkadarya Region was raided, The raid involved State Security Service (SSS) secret police Major Ruzimurod Narboyev, Mubarek Police Criminal Investigation Department head Senior Lieutenant Khurshid Abdiyev, local mahalla committee Chair Kholmurod Nabiyev, and four ordinary police officers.

      The Church, which refuses to seek state registration as is its right under international human rights law, has often been raided and its members fined
      "As soon as the officials arrived at the Church they began filming the worshippers without asking our permission," church member Vladimir Khanyukov told Forum 18 on 15 May. "They also without showing a search warrant confiscated our Christian literature."

      Church member Vitaly Provodin called the Regional Police in Karshi to complain about the unlawful actions of the police, but very soon after the call the police arrested Provodin and took him for questioning to Mubarek Police Station. There, police tried to pressure him into registering the Church. They also told to after his release bring a copy of his passport and a testimonial from the local mahalla committee to the Police Station.

      On 21 May mahalla Chair Nabiyev and the police contradicted each other to Forum 18 as to who was responsible for the raid, Nabiyev claiming that "I have nothing against Baptists" and that the raid was led by the SSS. He then refused to talk more. But Senior Lieutenant Abdiyev told Forum 18 that "I have a letter from the mahalla Committee informing us of the illegal activity of the Baptists and requesting us to check them."

      Mahalla committees are a key element in the state's restrictions on freedom of religion and belief

      Anonymous Judge, illegal hearing, fines

      Senior Lieutenant Abdiyev on 15 May summoned church members Khanyukov and Provodin to a hearing of Mubarek Administrative Court at a mahalla committee in a neighbouring District.

      "The Judge did not introduce himself and directly began reading us his decision," Khanyukov told Forum 18. There was no kind of hearing or opportunity for the Baptists to defend themselves He fined Khanyukov and Provodin five times the minimum monthly wage. "We have not yet been given a copy of the decision [which is an illegal action of the authorities], but we were charged with illegal religious meeting and having religious literature."

      Unfair trials and flagrant violations of due process are common in Uzbekistan
      Asked why the authorities keep raiding and fining Baptists and others in violation of Uzbekistan's international human rights obligations, Senior Lieutenant Abdiyev replied: "It's your opinion that we violate the laws. It is the Baptists who violate our Religion Law." Asked what will happen if the Baptists continue to exercise their right under international law not to register their Church, Abdiyev replied: "We will give them new fines".

      Karshi: Police raid worship meeting

      On 6 May police in Karshi broke into the home of Viktor Tashpulatov where his Baptist Council of Churches Church was meeting for Sunday worship. Major Firdavs Khamroyev from Karshi Police's Department for the Struggle with Extremism and Terrorism led six officers from Kashkadarya Regional Police in the raid. The Church, which refuses to seek state registration as is its right under international human rights law, has often been raided (including by Major Khamroyev) and its members fined

      "Police banged on our doors when we were holding our worship service, and immediately they entered officers began filming the worshippers without asking permission", Tashpulatov told Forum 18 on 21 May. Police wrote down the names of about 50 participants, including children, but despite pressure "none of us wrote statements or signed the police report." As police left they threatened "wait for the court to summon you", but there has not been any summons.

      Asked about the raid on 22 May, Major Khamroyev claimed to Forum 18 that "it's a wrong number".

      Hearing and speech impaired persons targetted

      Officer Jamol Sharapov from the police Department for the Struggle with Extremism and Terrorism on 20 May told Tashpulatov to bring two speech and hearing impaired Church mebers to police for questioning. "I told him that it is his duty to do so and not mine", Tashpulatov told Forum 18.

      Tashpulatov suspects that the police want to pressure the two Church members to write statements incriminating themselves and other Church members.

      Officer Sharopov claimed to Forum 18 on 23 May that "I am not involved in that case." When asked why he called Tashpulatov asking him to bring his fellow church members for questioning, he claimed "It's a wrong number" and refused to talk more.

      Raids, fines, punished for enquiring about state registration

      In April and May, the authorities raided Jehovah's Witness worship meetings in homes in Samarkand and Fergana [Farghona], and twice raided a home in Karshi. The authorities also Jehovah's Witnesses homes for religious literature in Urgench and in the Yangiyul District of Tashkent Region. After the Yangiyul search a court fined two members of the local community five times the minimum monthly wage each under Administrative Code Article 184-2 ("llegal production, storage, or import into Uzbekistan, with the intent to distribute or actual distribution, of religious materials by physical persons"). Such fines are common

      When a Jehovah's Witness in Samarkand, in the centre of the country, went to their local mahalla (state district administrative committee) to enquire about registering a Jehovah's Witness community, the mahalla called the police. Mahalla committees are a key element in the state's restrictions on freedom of religion and belief, including via their role in approving registration applications

      When police arrived at the mahalla they immediately confiscated the Jehovah's Witnesses mobile phone, and he was subsequently fined twice the minimum monthly salary for having Jehovah's Witness publications on the phone.

      This is not the only punishment possible for seeking state registration. Jehovah's Witnesses think that the police tortured Anvar Tajiyev in Urgench because their local community had between January and March 2017 unsuccessfully asked for state registration

      The authorities have allowed Jehovah's Witnesses to register only one congregation in the country, in Chirchik in Tashkent Region. All other congregations risk raids and fines for meeting for worship without state permission

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Urgench Police Officer Ravshan Sobirov who tortured Jehovah's Witness Anvar Tajiyev and issued death threats in October 2017 denied this to Forum 18. Tajiyev lost hearing in one ear and still suffers headaches. His many complaints to the President, national and local Prosecutor's Offices have led to no prosecutions.
      In a test of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev's newly-professed intent to ban torture and punish the perpetrators, Jehovah's Witness Anvar Tajiyev has been seeking redress since October 2017 for torture inflicted on him by police in Urgench in Khorezm Region.

      More than six months after the police torture, Tajiyev still suffers headaches and has lost hearing in one ear.

      But his complaints to many state agencies – including to the President – have ended back with Urgench City Prosecutor's Office, which wrote on 3 March: "We found that the Police Officers' actions were not unlawful."

      "The authorities refuse to punish Urgench City Police and Officer Ravshan Sobirov responsible for the torture," Jehovah's Witnesses complained to Forum 18 on 27 April.

      Officer Sobirov denied to Forum 18 that he was involved in Tajiyev's case. "I do not know that person," he claimed (see below).

      Officials of the national, regional and city Prosecutor's Offices, the Presidential Administration, and the state-sponsored National Human Rights Centre all refused to tell Forum 18 why the officer who tortured Tajiyev has not been brought to justice and why he has been given no compensation. Uzbekistan has an international obligation to arrest and prosecute those suspected of torture (see below).

      Urgench Police also threatened the lives of Tajiyev, his family and fellow believers when it questioned him on 10 October 2017 about his religious activity. They then forced him to sign a statement that they had not tortured him (see below).

      Relatives were too afraid to take Tajiyev to a hospital in Urgench. In the capital Tashkent, one state hospital and a private clinic refused to treat him, apparently because police had caused the injuries. Only another state hospital was prepared to issue a diagnosis (see below).

      Jehovah's Witnesses are considering filing an appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, they told Forum 18.

      Human rights defenders remain sceptical about government moves to ban and punish torture, one telling news agency centre1.com "many still keep silent about their torture because the law-enforcement agencies threaten them and their family members, telling them that their complaints will only worsen the situation" (see below).

      Torture as punishment for registration application?

      Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the police tortured Tajiyev "because our local community in Urgench between January and March 2017 had unsuccessfully asked for state registration".

      Back in 2006, after officials rejected the registration application of the Jehovah's Witness community in Kagan, police threatened ten members with death and a court later fined them (see F18News 9 January 2008 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1068).

      Exercising freedom of religion or belief without local state registration is illegal and punishable (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2314).

      Unauthorised police raid

      Trouble for Tajiyev began on 3 October 2017, when Urgench City Police officers carried out an "unlawful search" in his flat in Urgench without showing a warrant, Jehovah's Witnesses told Forum 18. When the police raided his home, Tajiyev was away in Tashkent. Present during the raid were Rinat Sultanov, Tajiyev's fellow believer and tenant of the same flat, and Murat Ayliyev, another local Jehovah's Witness.

      The raiding officers confiscated Tajiyev's tablet device and notebook with personal notes on it. Officers forced Sultanov to tell them the password to open the tablet device, Jehovah's Witnesses complained.

      "Police later returned the tablet to Tajiyev, but did not inform him whether or not a case was opened against him," Jehovah's Witnesses added.

      "The General Prosecutor's Office wrote to us that the police terminated the administrative case against Tajiyev since no illegal religious materials were found on his tablet device," Muradova of the National Centre for Human Rights, told Forum 18 on 25 April 2018.

      Officer tortures Tajiyev, threatens his, his family's and fellow believers' lives

      As soon as Tajiyev arrived back in Urgench from Tashkent on 10 October 2017, local Police Officer Senior Lieutenant Mamur Sobirov phoned him at 11.30 am, and summoned him to the Committee of his local mahalla (city district), Jehovah's Witnesses told Forum 18.

      Mahalla committees, theoretically independent but in practice under state control, are used to maintain controls over anyone trying to exercise freedom of religion and belief in their city district (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2314).

      When Tajiyev arrived at the Mahalla Committee at 4.45 pm, four officers were present: Mamur Sobirov; Mukhammad Rakhimov and Shavkat Bekjanov from Urgench Police's Department for the Struggle with Extremism and Terrorism; and Officer Ravshan Sobirov.

      "The officer gave his name as Ravshan Sobirov, but is possible that this is not his real name. He is the one who tortured Tajiyev," Jehovah's Witnesses told Forum 18. "We believe he is an undercover secret police officer."

      Officers of the then National Security Service secret police (renamed the State Security Service in March 2018) have often been involved in punishing individuals for exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2314).

      While questioning him "Sobirov made powerful blows to Tajiyev's head and face during the whole process, which went on for nearly four hours until 10.30 pm," Jehovah's Witnesses complained. Sobirov "humiliated Tajiyev, his wife, and his female fellow-believers with swear words, and also issued threats, saying that we will destroy all of you."

      During their interrogation, officers also named several female Jehovah's Witnesses, describing them to Tajiyev as "immoral women". In Central Asia, the authorities brand female members of religious organisations they do not like as "immoral women".

      The authorities use threats to rape female members of religious communities they do not like to put psychological pressure on the leaders and members of such communities (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2314).

      Asked about the case, duty officers at Urgench City Police (who did not give their names) referred Forum 18 on 23 April to Officer Ravshan Sobirov. He denied to Forum 18 that he was involved in Tajiyev's case. "I do not know that person," he claimed to Forum 18 on 23 April. "I did not question him."

      Told that Jehovah's Witnesses complained about him to the authorities numerous times, and asked why he questioned and tortured Tajiyev, Sobirov repeated his previous answer. He did not wish to talk further to Forum 18.

      "Officer Mukhammad Rakhimov along with other officers of our Department carried out their responsibility to investigate the case," Khamra Masimov, Chief of Urgench Police's Department for the Struggle with Extremism and Terrorism, told Forum 18 on 23 April. "But our officers did not violate the law."

      Asked what role Officer Ravshan Sobirov played in the investigation, Masimov refused to answer. "I do not know you, and I cannot discuss the case with you over the phone." He then declined to talk further with Forum 18 and asked it to send questions in writing.

      Rakhimov is the same officer, who in January harassed local Protestant Nargiza Khusainova on the street and tried to pressure her to become an informer for the police (see F18News 6 April 2018 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2367).

      Forced to sign police report denying torture 

      After four hours of interrogation and beating on 10 October 2017, officers "under threats of more severe injuries to his body", forced Tajiyev to sign the police report saying that he had no complaint against the Police, and that officers had not beaten or psychologically pressured him, Jehovah's Witnesses complained to Forum 18. Tajiyev "was afraid that the police officers could cause him physical or mental disabilities".

      State emergency medical centre refuses medical examination

      Tajiyev's relatives were afraid to take him to Urgench City Hospital because of the police. They instead took him to Tashkent the next day, 11 October 2017, Jehovah's Witnesses told Forum 18. They brought him to the Republican (State) Centre of Emergency Medical Services in Tashkent. "When Ayliyev (Tajiyev's co-believer) told the medical workers that the injuries were made by the Police officers of Urgench City, they refused to examine Tajiyev."

      Gulchohra Turayeva, medical worker on duty who answered the phone of the Republican Centre of Emergency Medical Services on 24 April, told Forum 18 that "by the Law we have to examine patients and only then inform the police if need be. We cannot refuse patients, particularly with serious injuries." Asked why then Tajiyev was refused medical examination in the Centre, she referred Forum 18 to the Centre's Administration.

      Asylbek Khudayarov, General Director of the Emergency Centre, claimed to Forum 18 on 25 April that Tajiyev "wanted to be hospitalised, but we can only do diagnosis, which is why we refused services to him."

      When Forum 18 asked why the Centre did not examine Tajiyev and whether the Police involvement in the case was the reason, Khudayarov did not answer. "Please, send your questions in writing," he said and declined to talk further to Forum 18.

      Private clinic also refuses treatment

      Relatives then contacted one of Tashkent's private clinics, Medical Diagnostics Services. But it too refused to examine Tajiyev.

      Lola Kaharova, General Director of Medical Diagnostics Service, told Forum 18 on 24 April: "We as a private clinic do not usually refuse services to patients unless we do not have the exact specialists."

      Asked why Tajiyev was refused diagnosis of his brain, Kaharova responded: "Maybe we did not have the specialists on that particular day." Asked whether this happened because of police involvement in Tajiyev's case and whether she could check their records for 11 October 2017, she told Forum 18 that Tajiyev "must write us a complaint".

      Diagnosed with concussion of brain

      Only after a search for available hospitals, the following day, 12 October 2017, Tashkent City Hospital No. 7 accepted Tajiyev. There he was diagnosed with closed cranium cerebral injury (concussion of the brain), Jehovah's Witnesses told Forum 18.

      Complaints and official responses

      On 30 October 2017, Jehovah's Witnesses asked Urgench City Prosecutor's Office for a copy of the Prosecutor's approval of the police search of Tajiyev's home. On 10 November 2017, Prosecutor Umurbek Madrakhimov passed on the request to Urgench City Police. However, the Police did not reply.

      On 15 November 2017, Jehovah's Witnesses complained to President Mirziyoyev and the National Centre of Human Rights in Tashkent. The following day they filed a further online complaint through the presidential website.

      On 25 November 2017, Urgench City Prosecutor's Office summoned Tajiyev, subjecting him to a four-hour interrogation. "During the questioning he was warned not to go on writing complaints but was promised that the authorities will punish Officer Sobirov."

      On 28 November 2017, Akmal Saidov, Director of the National Centre for Human Rights, referred the Jehovah's Witness complaint to Khorezm Regional Prosecutor's Office.

      On 13 December 2017, Oybek Shamuratov, Khorezm Region's Deputy Prosecutor, in response to the complaint to President Mirziyoyev, wrote to the Jehovah's Witnesses: "We found no unlawful actions carried out by Officer Mukhammad Rakhimov." Jehovah's Witnesses objected to Forum 18: "We did not complain against Officer Rakhimov but against Officer Sobirov."

      On 16 December 2017, Urgench City Prosecutor's Office merely referred Jehovah's Witnesses to Prosecutor Shamuratov's 13 December response. The letter was signed again by Prosecutor Madrakhimov.

      Seeing the inaction of the Regional authorities, Jehovah's Witnesses refiled their complaint on the presidential website in late December. They complained about the Regional authorities' unwillingness to investigate the torture properly and punish the responsible officials. They also drew the President's attention to the fact that "Tajiev was beaten not by Officer Rakhimov but by Officer Sobirov."

      On 7 January 2018, Deputy Prosecutor of Khorezm Region, Shamuratov again responded that Officer "Rakhimov did not violate the Law". Jehovah's Witnesses pointed out to Forum 18 that again the Regional Prosecutor's Office indicated a "wrong name."

      On 17 January, Jehovah's Witnesses again complained to the National Centre for Human Rights, which it referred to the General Prosecutor's Office. This in turn told the Centre on 29 January that it had referred the complaint to Khorezm Regional Prosecutor's Office.

      On 28 February, Deputy Prosecutor of Khorezm Shamuratov told Jehovah's Witnesses: "We halted the investigation of the complaint, because there are no new circumstances of the case."

      The last response Jehovah's Witnesses received was on 3 March from Urgench City Prosecutor's Office: "We found that the Police Officers' actions were not unlawful."

      Will authorities implement anti-torture Acts?

      Asked why the General Prosecutor's Office will not properly investigate Tajiyev's case in light of the Presidential anti-torture Decree and changes to the Criminal Code, Prosecutor Samir Rakhmanov of the General Prosecutor's Office did not respond. "No new cases of torture took place after the Decree, otherwise we would have investigated and published information on that," he claimed to Forum 18 on 26 April.

      Asked why then despite so many complaints from Jehovah's Witnesses, including those made between December 2017 and March 2018, the authorities will not properly investigate Tajiyev's torture and punish the perpetrators, Rakhmanov referred Forum 18 to Prosecutor Vakhib Sharopov.

      Forum 18 had already talked to Sharopov of the General Prosecutor's Office on 24 April on the torture of Tajiyev. Called again on 26 April, he told Forum 18: "I passed on your information to the appropriate Prosecutors, who are at the moment studying the case to prepare action. We will need at least 10 days for this."

      Asked why the authorities will not register Jehovah's Witness communities across Uzbekistan, why police and other authorities keep pressuring and torturing their members, and why the authorities will not punish officials responsible for Tajiyev's torture, officials at the reception and press service of the Presidential Administration on 26 April referred Forum 18 to Shakhzod Islamov, who oversees religious issues, and Sardor Ibrahimkhojayev, who oversees legislative issues.

      Both Islamov and Ibrahimkhojayev refused to respond to Forum 18's questions on 26 April. Ibrahimkhojayev referred Forum 18 to the Justice Ministry.

      Asked the questions, Shakhrukh Nuraliyev, Press Secretary of the Justice Ministry, referred Forum 18 on 26 April to Akmal Khamdamov of the Ministry section overseeing religious organisations.

      "I don't know why the President's Office referred you to us, because we are not an investigative organ," Khamdamov told Forum 18 on 26 April. Asked why the authorities will not register Jehovah's Witness communities across Uzbekistan, he was quick to answer, "They have registration in Uzbekistan."

      Told that Jehovah's Witnesses are registered only in one town in Tashkent Region, Chirchik, while their other communities across Uzbekistan have been denied registration, and that it is illegal to meet for worship without registration, and asked what they should do, Khamdamov was silent. He then said, "I cannot say anything, I do not know why they referred you to us."

      National Centre for Human Rights "not competent to investigate human rights violations"

      Dilnoza Muradova, Assistant to Akmal Saidov, Chair of the state-sponsored National Centre for Human Rights in Tashkent, told Forum 18 on 24 April that it had sent an enquiry to the General Prosecutor's Office about Tajiyev's torture. However, the General Prosecutor's Office response did "not say anything about any the investigation of the police actions".

      Told that Jehovah's Witnesses twice complained to her Human Rights Centre, and asked what steps it took – if any - to help Tajiyev, Muradova replied: "The Centre is not competent to investigate human rights violations – it's the duty and competence of the state organs, to which we always refer complaints."

      Asked what the role of the Centre is, and how it can help victims whose rights were violated, Muradova responded: "We inform the authorities about the violations, and they inform us on the course of their investigation."

      Asked why the authorities will not begin implementing the new anti-torture acts by punishing the police officers and compensating Tajiyev for damages he suffered, Muradova replied: "He needs to write to us and the authorities about it."

      Told that Tajiyev already wrote numerous complaints to her Centre and other state agencies, Muradova was quick to reply, "We will now prepare another letter asking the General Prosecutor's Office to open a new investigation into the police actions."

      Prosecutor's officials refuse to discuss torture

      Prosecutor Timur Gofurov answered the phone on 23 April of Gulnoza Rakhimova, Chief of the General Prosecutor's Office Public Relations and Legal Information Section in Tashkent. Asked why the General Prosecutor's Office will not properly investigate Tajiyev's case and make Officer Sobirov who tortured Tajiyev and the other police officers responsible, Gofurov claimed to Forum 18 that Khorezm Regional Prosecutor's Office "investigated that case properly and replied to the complaints."

      "If Jehovah's Witnesses are not satisfied, they can still file a new complaint," Gofurov added.

      Urgench City Prosecutor's officials (who did not give their names) refused to discuss the case with Forum 18 between 23 and 24 April and told Forum 18 that Prosecutor Madrakhimov had been "transferred to Tashkent to the General Prosecutor's Office." They also refused to put Forum 18 through to any other officials.

      Asked whether Prosecutor Madrakhimov was indeed transferred to the General Prosecutor's Office, Sharopov of the Prosecutor General, claimed to Forum 18 on 24 April: "I do not know, since there are so many departments and officials in the Office."

      Asked about Tajiyev's case, Sharopov took down the details and promised Forum 18 that "We will do our best to properly investigate the case."

      Khorezm Prosecutor's officials (who did not give their names) between 23 and 24 April refused to discuss the case with Forum 18 or put it through to Prosecutor Shamuratov or other officials.

      Will new ban end "routine" torture?

      At its most recent consideration of Uzbekistan's record, in October and November 2013, the United Nations (UN) Committee Against Torture (CAT/C/UZB/CO/4) expressed its concern "about numerous, ongoing and consistent allegations that torture and ill-treatment are routinely used by law enforcement, investigative and prison officials, or at their instigation or with their consent, often to extract confessions or information to be used in criminal proceedings".

      Uzbekistan told the UN Committee Against Torture in its report due in 2017, submitted on 16 January 2018 (CAT/C/UZB/5), that 29 state officials were convicted in 2015 for committing torture, 21 in 2016 and 8 in the first quarter of 2017. Sentences ranged from a fine to suspended sentences to prison terms. Thirteen state officials were sacked between January 2016 and June 2017 after criminal cases of torture were lodged against them.

      However, the report notes that few complaints against "illegal actions" by police were upheld (only 23 of 438 in 2016 and 5 of 39 in January-March 2017).

      The government's report claims that legislation has been tightened "to strengthen procedures for compensating the victims of crime, including torture".

      On 30 November 2017, President Mirziyoyev signed a Decree on "supplementary measures for reinforcement of guarantees of rights and freedoms of citizens in judicial-investigative activity". This banned using evidence obtained by torture and other inhuman treatment, as well as making inadmissible the use of such evidence by the judiciary or other investigative organs.

      Further amendments came in April 2018. On 4 April, President Mirziyoyev signed into law changes and new provisions in the Criminal Code criminalising torture, including psychological pressure, during investigation by Police and other law-enforcement agencies. The amendments came into force on 5 April on publication in the state-sponsored newspaper "Halq Suzi" (People's Tribune).

      According to the new legal provisions, law-enforcement officers who are aware of torture and take no action will also be made responsible as accomplices. Punishments for torture include imprisonment of between 3 and 10 years.

      However, human rights defenders are not optimistic about the changes. Yelena Urlayeva, a human rights defender from Tashkent, told centre1.com, an independent Uzbek news agency, on 11 April that "there are still many cases of torture by the law-enforcement agencies". The ban on torture initiated by President Mirziyoyev does "not work in reality, because only a few [officials] want to change," she added.

      Tatyana Dovlatova, another local human rights defender, told the agency that "many still keep silent about their torture because the law-enforcement agencies threaten them and their family members, telling them that their complaints will only worsen the situation." (END)

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    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      The immense statue of Nebuchadnezzar's dream.
      Babylon comes from the north, according to what Ezekiel 26: 7 says (see also Jeremiah 46:10).
      Comparing Jeremiah 50: 9 with Isaiah 21: 2, 9 and Daniel 5:28 it is understood that the average Persian comes from the north.
      Reading Daniel 11: 3 understands that the "mighty king" is Alexander the Great, identified as the "king of the north".
      Reading Daniel 11:16, 20-22 it is understood that Rome is the next king of the north.
      If all the kings of the statue were "king of the north" ... the last king can be the Anglo-American empire, or the king of the south?

    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      Si bien la mayoría de nosotros estàn enfocados en los "problemas burocráticos de la organización" comprometiéndonos a hacer propuestas más o menos factibles y más o menos bíblicas para "mejorar las cosas", las profecías bíblicas se cumplen flagrantemente ante nuestras narices y casi nadie se da cuenta. Nuestra actitud de sujeción (para algunos es impactante usar incluso este término), impide a la mayoría de nosotros de enfrentar al corazón la comprensión bíblica y las profecías que son una parte fundamental. Es mucho mejor hablar de "problemas organizativos", de "astillas locas" y "vacunas en lugar de pastores", engañándonos de que las dos cosas son problemas distintos e independientes unos de otros. Bueno, todos hacen sus propias evaluaciones y presentan lo que consideran más importante. El objetivo de este blog, sin embargo, es prestar atención a las profecías y ver cómo estas afectan a cada uno de nosotros. Para la mayoría de nosotros fue impactante ver cómo una nación moderna como Rusia ha violado todos los derechos humanos más básicos al prohibir el trabajo de predicación de los testigos de Jehová. Excepto luego usa las frases usuales ... "Sabemos que seremos odiados por todas las naciones ... sabemos que las cosas empeorarán", etc. muy pocos se han dado cuenta de que esta era una profecía bíblica específica y clara - Mateo 24: 9; Daniel 8: 11-13   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ¿Sabes lo que sucederá pronto?   "Específica y clara" sólo para aquellos que realmente prestado atención a la profecía y sin condiciones. Para otros son las escaramuzas habituales, los problemas habituales entre las naciones, un poco "como sucedió en el pasado con Malí o Burundi ... Un problema, por supuesto, pero nada significativo en las escrituras. Si lo que sucedió en Rusia no es relevante desde el punto de vista de la escritura, incluso los tiempos en los que vivimos no son particularmente relevantes (la consecuencia paradójica de estar en el "tiempo del fin" durante más de 100 años es que todo lo que sucede es importante "pero tampoco") - Jeremías 4: 5-7 El efecto de cadena de no haber identificado este evento también significa no reconocer la identidad del rey del norte (identidad a la que deberíamos haber llegado mucho antes de este evento) y luego perderse en desacuerdos sobre ISIS, posibles alianzas entre los EE. UU. Rusia y así sucesivamente - Daniel 7: 7, 8, 20 ¿Podría ser que alguien nos mostró la luna y estábamos mirando el dedo? Puede ser que nos hayamos acostumbrado a tener explicaciones de segunda mano, es decir, a terceros que nos han hecho investigaciones por nosotros, que ahora no logramos o hacer una investigación seria usando solo la Biblia? Si fue impactante para algunos, lo que sucedió en Rusia, esperamos a ver lo que sucederá - Jeremías 4: 16-18 Mientras tanto, el rey del norte continuará "tirando la verdad al suelo" y esto sugiere que la obra de predicación será proscrita en otros países antes o durante la guerra - Daniel 8:12. Sí, porque estallará una guerra. ¿Alguien te ha dicho que al final no habrá una batalla real entre el rey del norte y el rey del sur? ¿Alguien le ha dicho que si estallara una guerra entre Rusia y los Estados Unidos, nadie sobreviviría y, por lo tanto, Dios no lo permitiría? Falso. La última gran guerra humana se describe tanto en Daniel como en Apocalipsis - Daniel 11:40; Apocalipsis 9: 16-19 Esta guerra conducirá a la derrota del rey del sur - Daniel 11: 41-43 Antes de esto, el pueblo de Dios será severamente disciplinado por no haber enseñado la verdad como debería haberlo hecho. La advertencia contra los falsos profetas no está dirigida solo al cristianismo: Apocalipsis 8:10, 11; Jeremías 23:15; Amós 5: 7; 06:12 Esto significa que la persecución podría incluir otras denominaciones "cristianas" y es de esperar que esto se interprete como el ataque a "Babilonia la Grande" o el comienzo del ataque. Esto también es falso. Además, es de esperar que muchos hermanos piensen que la guerra entre los reyes del norte y los reyes del sur conducirá directamente al Armagedón (como ya sucedió en pasado, entre otras cosas). La luz de la "verdad" se apagará y esto sugiere no solo que la obra de predicaciòn será reprimida físicamente sino también que la reputación de quienes nos guían será cuestionada seriamente (probablemente se mostrarán noticias inconvenientes y, a pesar de lo que sea él podría pensar, esto será parte de la voluntad de Dios). El rey del norte, por lo tanto, "considerará a los que han dejado el pacto santo" (Israel) y haciendo una comparación con Apocalipsis 9, vemos que las aguas del Eufrates comienzan a descender. Comenzará a mostrar cierta hostilidad hacia Israel y la guerra que se dividirá solo pondrá a esta nación en una posición incómoda. Esta nación estará claramente incluida en esta guerra, incluso si no está claro si actuará políticamente "detrás de escena" o si estará involucrado en primera persona. Esperamos y vemos Huelga decir que el estallido de la guerra disolverá las Naciones Unidas y quizás alguien empiece a alimentar la duda de que la Liga de las Naciones de 1919 no tuvo nada que ver con eso cuando "cayó al abismo" - Apocalipsis 17: 8. Solo al final de la guerra que conducirá a la victoria definitiva del rey del norte (y por lo tanto no conducirá al Armagedón) entonces las Naciones Unidas podrán levantarse nuevamente (cualquiera sea el nombre que hayan asumido entonces) con la esperanza y la intención de traer verdaderamente "paz y seguridad" (Apocalipsis 13: 3, 4) para toda la humanidad, lo que sucederá algún tiempo después con la "ayuda" del falso profeta, y solo entonces comenzarán a predicar "los dos testigos vestidos con sacos" ... pero ya nos hemos ido muy adelante con las profecías.
        Por el momento observamos los siguientes eventos. La proscripción de los testigos de Jehová y quizás otras denominaciones cristianas en otras naciones. La reputación cada vez peor de quienes toman la directiva entre los que conocemos. Tenga cuidado con Israel (atacque, fuertes quejas del rey del norte antes, durante o después de la guerra). Brote de la guerra (que debe tener dos fases significativas); Israel será incluido en esta guerra, directa o políticamente detrás de escena. Disolución de la ONU. Victoria del rey del norte (si todavía estamos vivos ... lo veremos). Termine la demolición de la "verdad". Renacimiento de la ONU y búsqueda desesperada de paz y seguridad. Hay otros eventos por el momento que no están claros y entre ellos los signos literales probables del cielo (eclipses o meteoritos). Al no tener ciertas certezas bíblicas por el momento, prefiero evitar escribir en este sentido.   Concluyo con un mensaje sincero a mis hermanos "conscientes" que son muy poco conscientes. ¿cuántos de ustedes se han tomado la molestia de hacer una investigación exhaustiva sin repetir lo que se les ha enseñado y buscando apoyo en las Escrituras? ¿Cuántos de ustedes tienen la Biblia en casa? Cuando suceden ciertas cosas, este blog, o el blog de otra persona que llegue a conclusiones similares, sin duda tendrá un auge en las visitas, así que no me preocupo por la popularidad o impopularidad de ciertas declaraciones (mucho menos mi popularidad personal) ... pero ¿En qué posición estaràn todos aquellos que, a pesar de haber tenido la oportunidad de hacerlo, realmente no "leerán día y noche" tratando de escudriñar las Escrituras, haciendo un esfuerzo reflexivo sin ideas preconcebidas y sin temor a perder algo, cuando todas estas cosas comiencen a pasar? - 2 Corintios 13: 5 Después de haber tomado las profecías a la ligera, diremos ... "Y bueno ... ¡por otro lado no nos habían enseñado!" y luego estaremos en el lugar con nuestra conciencia y con Dios o ¿seremos responsables personalmente de no haber mostrado la atención adecuada, independientemente de nuestros límites de comprensión? 1 Tesalonicenses 5:20, 21   PD Mientras que tenemos el tiempo favorable, animo a todos los hermanos reflexivos y sensibles, en lugar de pretender nada, a estudiar realmente la Biblia y reflexionar sobre este informaciones.     Commenti
       
    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      La siguiente discusión apunta exclusivamente a identificar "el cuerno pequeño". No se ha considerado todo lo que va más allá de su mera identificación (lo que hará, en qué período, en lo que se refiere a otros eventos). Esto se hará en un artículo futuro. El artículo, es bueno recordar, aunque cito las Escrituras en apoyo de la tesis presentada, sin embargo, representa las ideas personales del autor.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.     Y el macho de las cabras, por su parte, se dio grandes ínfulasHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. hasta el extremo; pero en cuanto se hizo poderoso, el gran cuerno fue quebrado, y procedieron a subir conspicuamente cuatro en lugar de él, hacia los cuatro vientosHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. de los cielos.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.  Y de uno de ellos salió otro cuerno, uno pequeño,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. y siguió haciéndose mucho mayor hacia el surHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. y hacia el naciente y hacia la Decoración.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. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Y siguió haciéndose mayor hasta llegar al mismo ejército de los cielos,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. de modo que hizo que algunos del ejército y algunas de las estrellasHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. cayeran a la tierra, y se puso a hollarlos.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.  Y hasta llegar al mismo PríncipeHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. del ejército se dio grandes ínfulas, y de él el [rasgo] constanteHello 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. fue quitado, y el lugar establecido de su santuario fue echado abajo.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.  Y un ejército mismo fue gradualmente entregado,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. junto con el [rasgo] constante,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. debido a transgresión;Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. y siguió arrojando la verdadHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. por tierra,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. y actuó y tuvo éxito – Daniel 8:8-12   Todos los testigos de Jehová saben muy bien quién es la cabra en pocos versículos después de que se dice claramente "el macho cabrío [representa] al rey de Grecia" - Daniel 8:21. Todos los Testigos de Jehová (o casi todos) también conocen muchos detalles sobre Alejandro Magno (el cuerno pequeño que se hizo grande), la partición de su reino, etc. En el versículo 9 del capítulo 8, sin embargo, Daniel ve otro cuerno. Ya no estamos hablando de Alejandro Magno y esta parte de la visión se cumple un cierto período después de la división del reino de Grecia. ¿Cuánto más tarde? Lo comprenderemos por lo que leeremos sobre este cuerno. Mientras tanto, veamos qué dice el esclavo sobre este cuerno. Puede encontrar la información en el libro "¡Preste atención a las profecías de Daniel!" en las páginas 137-144 (edición italiana del libro).   Aislamos algunas declaraciones del libro mencionado. Haremos esto no por un espíritu crítico sino simplemente para evaluar si pueden existir otras posibilidades. Después de todo, cuando la Biblia simplemente deja pistas, es lógico pensar que esto sucede para que la gente pueda intentarlo nuevamente hasta llegar a la conclusión más lógica: compare Proverbios 2: 1-5. De lo contrario, utilizaría un lenguaje claro, sin posibilidad de error, como sucedió en el caso de Ciro el conquistador, cuyo nombre se conocía incluso doscientos años antes. En este caso, como en el caso de Babilonia la Grande, debemos llegar a la identidad del sujeto al evaluar si las pistas coinciden con lo que sabemos. El libro dice que "en 55 a.E.V, Julio César al mando de un cargamento invadió Britania pero no pudo establecer un asentamiento permanente". "Luego" continúa "en 122 E.V., el emperador Adriano comenzó la construcción de un muro desde la desembocadura del Tyne hasta el Golfo de Solway, que marcó el límite norte del Imperio Romano. A comienzos del siglo V las legiones romanas abandonaron la isla ". Así que está claro que el Imperio Romano, después de más de 170 años de asentamiento (de 55 a.E.V. a 122 E.V.), aún no había logrado conquistar completamente Britannia, a diferencia de lo que sucedió en la mayor parte de Europa. No solo eso. El libro declara explícitamente que "a principios del siglo V las legiones romanas abandonaron la isla". Entonces deberíamos preguntarnos qué fue lo que realmente quedó de Roma a partir de ese momento, pero probablemente, como veremos más adelante, este no es un punto fundamental. Hay otros problemas, ciertamente significativos desde un punto de vista bíblico. Sin lugar a dudas, Inglaterra era "un cuerno pequeño" que creció en muchos aspectos, sin embargo, la escritura establece claramente que este cuerno pequeño habría hecho caer a tres reyes. ¿Cuál es la explicación del esclavo? Se habla de la derrota de España durante el ataque naval de la famosa "armada" liderada, en 1588, por Felipe II. Es difícil establecer si una derrota en la batalla puede ser equivalente a la derrota de un reino (la escritura dice que estos cuernos se rompieron ... concepto que parece indicar algo más que una batalla que salió mal) pero de hecho esta batalla naval constituyó un gran pérdida y una gran humillación para España. Luego se señala la Francia y se dice que "durante el siglo XVIII, los ingleses y los franceses se enfrentaron en Norteamérica y la India, hasta que se firmó el Tratado de París en 1763. De este tratado William B. Willcox escribió que "sancionó la nueva posición de Gran Bretaña como la principal potencia europea en el mundo no europeo ". Incluso en este caso, podemos decir que Inglaterra mejoró ... ¿pero realmente derribó el cuerno? Sin embargo, ¿qué decir de Holanda, mencionado como el segundo cuerno que se había arrancado de Inglaterra? El libro explica ... "En el siglo diecisiete, los holandeses poseían la marina mercante más grande del mundo, pero Inglaterra, al extender sus dominios coloniales, finalmente prevaleció sobre ese reino". Entonces no se menciona la guerra o la batalla, sino simplemente la supremacía comercial. Si podemos discutir si una batalla importante puede realmente "divulgar un cuerno", ¿qué puede decirse de una batalla comercial? Parece un concepto bastante forzado porque, en la historia de la humanidad, muchos reinos han sido vencidos (incluso aplastados) desde un punto de vista económico / comercial y seguramente Inglaterra, con todas sus colonias diseminadas por el mundo, puede "jactarse" "el aplanamiento de muchos otros imperios comerciales globales. Si hacemos una investigación sobre Holanda, de hecho, leeremos acerca de las conquistas de los sajones y los francos, pero nunca de los británicos. Además, todo el libro de Daniel, cuando menciona el "romper el cuerno" o "los cuernos", se refiere a la guerra, luego a la conquista militar del reino o a la muerte del soberano. En este sentido, no incluye ninguna de las tres "batallas" mencionadas por separado, tal vez, la victoria obtenida mucho más tarde, en 1815, contra Napoleón. Tenga en cuenta las palabras del ángel, también informadas en el libro, sobre este poder: el ángel le dijo a Daniel que la cuarta bestia, o cuarto reino, "habría devorado toda la tierra". (Daniel 7:23) Hay otra dificultad y es bíblica. Si el imperio angloamericano es una extensión de la Roma antigua, como explica el mismo libro, al comentar sobre la imagen inmensa (capítulo 2), ¿por qué se identifica a este último como un rey del sur?  
      La antigua Roma, de hecho, representaba al rey del norte.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Todos los reyes de la estatua de Daniel 2 pueden ser identificados como "el rey del norte"; ¿Es posible que el último rey (pies) sea el rey del sur?   ¿Deberíamos suponer que el rey del sur nació de las raíces del rey del norte? Si es así, ¿con qué propósito o beneficio habría sido crear estas distinciones? ¿No sería suficiente y más claro decir que varias naciones habrían estado en guerra durante varios siglos? ¿Cuál fue el uso de la investigación en investigación para tratar de entender qué rey o reino habría representado al rey del sur o del norte si hubieran sido intercambiables? Esto lleva a un problema aún mayor. Según Daniel, el último enfrentamiento termina con la victoria del rey del norte y, de hecho, después de Daniel 11:40 que menciona esta batalla, no se menciona al rey del sur y, en realidad, se dice simplemente que el rey victorioso "debe alcanzar al su fin "- Daniel 11:45 Siempre hablando del mismo rey, se dice que "Y contra el Príncipe de príncipesHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. se pondrá de pie, pero será sin mano como será quebrado" - Daniel 8:25. Todo esto está en armonía con el relato de Apocalipsis que menciona una sola potencia dominante, la última, que luchará contra el Cordero - Apocalipsis 13: 2; 19: 19-21 A lo largo de Apocalipsis, al menos desde el capítulo 9 en adelante, no hay dos poderes antagónicos sino un poder dominante al cual Satanás le da "su trono, su poder y gran autoridad" - Apocalipsis 13: 2. Esta bestia, exactamente como Daniel escribe, "devora a toda la tierra" - Daniel 7:23; Apocalipsis 13: 7. En este punto nos enfrentamos a un problema insuperable. O el poder angloamericano es en realidad el rey del norte (y entonces encajarían con una parte de las palabras de Daniel y Apocalipsis) o el cuerno pequeño que se hizo grande no puede ser Inglaterra, y mucho menos el imperio angloamericano. Así que tratemos de buscar otro sujeto político y también comencemos con una suposición lógica y bíblica. Después de la derrota del último rey, el tercero, se habla de que la Corte se siente para quitar este dominio y destruirlo - Daniel 7: 24-26 Ninguna otra guerra humana u otros reyes dominantes se mencionan mientras tanto. Entonces, si este cuerno se convierte en el último rey dominante, debemos suponer que al menos el último de los tres reyes, el rey del sur, de hecho, todavía está vivo. Si esto no fuera así, nos encontraríamos ya ahora en la gran tribulación o bajo el juicio de Armagedón. Los reyes caídos, útil para identificar este cuerno pequeño, que se dispararon, pueden ser a lo sumo dos. Comenzamos la búsqueda de este cuerno, sin perder de vista al rey del norte. Si tuviéramos la certeza de aquellos que encarnan al rey del norte a lo largo de los siglos, no necesitaríamos ir "ciegamente" para ver cuántos reinos se hicieron grandes y contar los reyes caídos para cada nación probable. Debemos encontrar una nación que pueda identificarse razonablemente como un rey del norte y, al mismo tiempo, encarnar las otras características descritas. Los espejos de resumen de estos dos grupos se encuentran respectivamente en las páginas 228 y 246 del libro mencionado anteriormente. Los dos últimos reyes mencionados son el imperio germánico (en el papel del rey del norte) y el imperio angloamericano (en el papel del rey del sur). Se notará que una de las razones por las cuales Alemania es identificada como "rey del norte" es el hecho de que está aliada con Italia, esa nación histórica de la antigua Roma, así como también las conexiones con el Sacro Imperio Romano. La otra indicación es que William I asumió el título de Kaiser (César). Suponiendo que la Alemania nazi fuera el rey del norte, debemos preguntarnos quién asumió este papel al final de la guerra. Después de todo, como hemos visto da los reyes o emperadores anteriores, estos dos antagonistas siempre han resucitado. La respuesta podría ser más simple de lo que siempre hemos imaginado. Hasta ahora hemos reconstruido la identidad de sus respectivos reyes por el linaje de sangre o por los territorios ocupados. Cuando cambia la identidad de los dos reyes (ver capítulo catorce), toda la cuestión se juega en el territorio de Siria. Siria representa al rey del norte, mientras que Egipto es el rey del sur. Sin embargo, con la intervención de Roma entre los dos contendientes, Antíoco IV (sirio) debe abandonar sus reclamos sobre Egipto. Esto pone fin a la rivalidad entre los dos reyes. Podemos decir que el rey del norte en ese momento ya no existe (pero sería mejor decir que no es visible). Menos de cien años después, Siria se convierte en una provincia romana. Es solo por esta razón que podemos identificar a Roma como el rey del norte: el vínculo político / geográfico. Se podría decir que el rey del norte (y también su rival) es un sujeto extranacional que se mueve de nación en nación pero que, en cada movimiento, siempre se aleja del último lugar donde estuvo. Por lo tanto, no importa cuál sea la nación, el linaje, la etnia o la cultura en la que terminará este tema, pero solo cuenta su última etapa (y al límite la huella que dejó en esta última etapa). Además, por lo que hemos visto hasta ahora, el rey del norte nunca se convierte en el rey del sur y viceversa, incluso si una parte de los territorios conquistados puede ser compartida por ambos. Partiendo de esta suposición, abrimos el libro "¡Presten atención a las profecías de Daniel!" en la página 257 (capítulo quince, siempre de la ediciòn italiana: en otras ediciones puede tener pagina diferente).   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. En esta fotografía vemos claramente a los ganadores de la última gran guerra que llevó a la derrota de la Alemania nazi, o al viejo rey del norte. Usted ve al primer ministro británico Winston Churchill (por lo tanto parte del rey del sur), Franklin D. Roosvelt (presidente de los Estados Unidos, también parte del rey del sur) e Iosif Stalin (¿cuál rey?). ¿Quién dividió a la Alemania nazi entre estos? Inicialmente, en agosto de 1945, se dividió en cuatro partes: francés al sur-oeste, británico al noroeste, EE. UU. Al sur y soviético al este. De uno de estos imperios nacería el rey del norte, pero ... Inglaterra y los Estados Unidos, en la parte del rey del sur, no podían cambiar su identidad. Las únicas dos posibilidades permanecieron, por lo tanto, Francia y Rusia. Sin embargo, la Francia de Napoleón puede haber desempeñado el papel de rey del sur cuando infligió un golpe mortal al Sacro Imperio Romano en 1805. ¿Quién permaneció, entonces? La Rusia de Stalin, naturalmente. Además, quizás pocos saben que incluso la palabra rusa hecha "Zar", al igual que kaiser en alemán, significa César * (ver nota al pie). El último zar ruso, Nicolás II, fue depuesto en 1917 y hasta ahora hemos hablado de la división de Alemania casi treinta años más tarde, pero es interesante observar cómo "franco" este imperio para el papel de rey del norte (así como el Impresión romana evidente). Rusia, en su crecimiento desproporcionado, también ha incorporado algunas naciones que originalmente fueron colonias romanas. Así que profundicemos en la historia de Rusia para ver si coincide con la descripción que la Biblia hace de ella. No nos confundamos: cualquier nación que desempeñe el papel del rey del norte en nuestros días, no necesariamente tiene que identificarse como tal en sus primeros días (lo importante es que no es parte del rey del sur). De hecho, hasta la segunda guerra mundial, el rey del norte está representado por la Alemania de Hitler. Las pistas para rastrear la identidad de este rey, que en el último momento interpretará al rey del norte, pueden ser mucho más antiguas. Exactamente como con la explicación del libro citado, que señala a Inglaterra como el cuerno pequeño, solo muchos años después "crece mucho" (con la alianza de los Estados Unidos) pero las batallas mencionadas son útiles para su identificación (España, Holanda, Francia) ocurrió cuando todavía era pequeño (es decir, los Estados Unidos no entraron en estos conflictos). Simplificando: encontramos una nación que derrota a dos reyes, que crece mucho, que está presente en nuestros días y se convierte en el rey del norte debido al territorio conquistado en la última guerra.   Habitado desde la antigüedad, en el primer milenio aC el territorio de la Rusia actual albergaba poblaciones de diferentes razas, idiomas y culturas, entre los cuales surgieron primero los escitas y los sármatas. Entre el 3ro y el 9no siglo AD los godos, los hunos, y luego una serie de poblaciones eslavas que se establecieron principalmente en Ucrania y en las regiones circundantes, llegaron al país. Un punto de inflexión importante se produjo en la segunda mitad del siglo IX, cuando una población escandinava, la Variaghi, también llamada Rus (de ahí el nombre de Rusia), fundó con Rjurik el primer núcleo del estado ruso en torno a la región de Nóvgorod.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. El nacimiento de este pequeño asentamiento, Rjurik, podría considerarse el cuerno pequeño. Algo realmente insignificante. Mucho más insignificante que Inglaterra podría considerarse en el momento de las conquistas romanas. Si también quisimos movernos seiscientos años al Gran Ducado de Moscovia bajo la guía de Iván III (1462-1505), no se puede negar que desde entonces este cuerno ha crecido de una manera muy desproporcionada. ¡Este imperio ha continuado expandiéndose exponencialmente para alcanzar un área de más de 17 millones de kilómetros cuadrados!   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Los Rus fundaron Rjurik en el siglo IX. Hoy supera los 17 millones de kilómetros cuadrados   Podría discutirse sobre guerras internas, sobre formas de agregación, en tiempos no lineales ... no importa. La única cosa que importa, con el fin de identificar, es su crecimiento desproporcionado. La objeción de que muchas naciones de la antigua Unión Soviética no pueden identificarse a sí mismas como el cuerno porque se separaron del imperio original en independencia (quince estados son postsoviéticos) no es válida. Incluso el imperio angloamericano se considera como un poder único, sin embargo, Gran Bretaña y los Estados Unidos han sido soberanos e independientes entre sí. ¿Cuál y cuántos reyes derrotó este cuerno? Sin duda, el primero fue Napoleón. En este sentido, leemos …   Las pérdidas del Gran Ejército en Rusia fueron catastróficas y tuvieron una influencia irreversible en el equilibrio militar en Europa; de acuerdo con Georges Lefebvre, Napoleón tenía aproximadamente 400,000 muertos y desaparecidos y 100,000 prisioneros [3]; David G. Chandler habla en lugar de 370,000 muertos y desaparecidos y 200,000 prisioneros, incluyendo 48 generales y 3,000 oficiales; además de las pérdidas humanas, las pérdidas materiales sufridas por el ejército también fueron desastrosas; los franceses trajeron solo 250 cañones de Rusia, los rusos aseguraron haber capturado 925; La pérdida de más de 200,000 caballos para los franceses, que privó a la caballería napolitana de los medios para regresar al poder original en las campañas de guerra posteriores, también fue muy grave. ( … ) Sobre las causas de la catástrofe del Gran Ejército, Napoleón en el 29 ° Boletín y luego en el Memorial de Santa Elena condujo la ruina de su empresa casi exclusivamente al clima invernal ruso temprano que debilitaría a las tropas y convertiría la campaña rusa en un desastre [204] ]. Esta interpretación tradicional fue tomada de los testimonios y los primeros historiadores franceses; Philippe-Paul de Ségur, participante y primer gran historiador de la empresa, explicó la catástrofe también destacando las precarias condiciones de salud de Napoleón, lo que habría afectado la actividad y la resolución, y se refería a factores externos como el destino adverso y falta de suerte.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Es verdad que Napoleón fue oficialmente derrotado en Waterloo por la "séptima coalición", pero ¿cómo hubieran ido las cosas si el emperador todavía hubiera tenido a todos sus generales y sus hombres más poderosos? Dado que la historia no se hace con el “quizàs” y con el “pero”, no podemos saber, pero la derrota pensante que sufrieron los franceses en Rusia (y los números hablan claramente) no podía que cambiar el destino. Muchos historiadores estàsn de acuerdo que fue la Rusia el verdadero ganador de la guerra. También en este caso es difícil ser categórico sobre quién realmente rompió el cuerno, pero seguramente la derrota que el ejército de Napoleón sufrió en Rusia no es remotamente comparable a lo que le sucedió a la armada española en 1588. Además, esta batalla prejuzgó el destino de la guerra, así como la caída de la propia Francia, algo que no se puede decir de la España del 1588.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   Napoleòn es el primero cuerno ¿Quién podría ser el segundo? Solo Adolf Hitler, último rey del norte en orden de tiempo.   La batalla de Stalingrado, iniciada en el verano de 1942 con el avance de las tropas del Eje hasta el Don y el Volga, finalizó en el invierno de 1943, después de una serie de fases dramáticas y sangrientas, con la aniquilación del 6. ° ejército alemán permaneció rodeado por Stalingrado y con la destrucción de la mayoría de las otras fuerzas germánicas y del Eje comprometidas en el área estratégica del sur del frente oriental. Esta larga y gigantesca batalla, definida por algunos historiadores como "la más importante de todas la Segunda Guerra Mundial", [12] marcó la primera gran derrota político-militar de la Alemania nazi y sus aliados y satélites, así como el comienzo de avanzado soviético hacia el oeste que terminaría dos años más tarde con la conquista del edificio del Reichstag y el suicidio de Hitler en el búnker de la Cancillería durante la batalla de Berlín. [13]  

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   Aquí también, las pérdidas en términos de vidas humanas son realmente increíble Ningún historiador serio puede negar el papel decisivo que tuvo Rusia en la derrota de la Alemania nazi.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   Hitler es el segundo cuerno Se cumplieron todas las condiciones para identificar al último rey del norte. Tenía que nacer como un cuerno pequeño. Se había convertido en enorme. Tenía que identificarse como un rey del norte. Tenía que soltar tres cuernos.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   ¿Quién es, por lo tanto, el tercer rey? Él será el rey del sur, como las Escrituras predicen. Es en ese punto que se dará grandes arias "hasta el ejército de los cielos, para que deje caer parte del ejército y parte de las estrellas" ... pisoteando la verdadera adoración y los verdaderos cristianos. Después de esta tercera victoria no habrá otros reyes e imperios capaces de luchar contra él y es en este punto que "devorará toda la tierra" - Daniel 7:23; Apocalipsis 13: 4 También es en este punto que el Príncipe de los príncipes intervendrá y lo destruirá "sin mano". De hecho, hay un último detalle, podemos decir la condición, que debería haberse respetado, pero esto es evidente en otras escrituras. Este rey habría comenzado a suprimir el sacrificio continuo, o la obra de predicación, en su territorio - Daniel 11:31 También está claro que esta supresión, ya que se habría "inundado e invadido" durante la guerra, se habría extendido a otras naciones (pero no se excluye que esta proscripción se extendería incluso antes de la guerra). Los recientes eventos que han involucrado a nuestros hermanos en Rusia ... ¿no parecen una clara indicación para identificar al pequeño cuerno?   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   Nota de pie de página * La continuidad real y legal legítima del Imperio Romano continúa con Iván III, (según algunos descendientes de Druso Germanico, emperador romano) cónyuge de Zoe Paleologa, sobrina y heredera del trono del último emperador bizantino (Imperio Romano de Oriente).   Referencias históricas para profundizar 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. 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. 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. 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. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
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    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      "After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible and unusually strong. And it had teeth of iron, big ones. It devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped what was left with his feet. And it was something different from all the [other] beasts that were before it, and had ten horns "- Daniel 7: 7   "I beheld then because of the sound of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld till the beast was slain and his body was destroyed and it was given to the burning fire "- Daniel 7:11   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   This treatment has the objective to correctly identify not only the beast of Daniel's vision but also the period of prophecy in connection with his murder. This will be a fundamental prophecy. Err the reference period, as was the case within Christianity, inevitably leads to straining and inconsistencies. What some say about this beast and how it should interest us personally? Since the dreadful and terrible beast makes its appearance after the leopard-like beast (Daniel 7: 6), which we know to be the Macedonian o greco empire, it must be the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire, in fact, as we have seen in several previous articles, takes the place of Greece on the world stage. Since we do not see other animals that was, it concludes Roma to be "killed" and this creates a domino effect on many subsequent interpretations. The prophecy would end the fall of Rome (Roma whom?), The Son of man of whom we read in the following verses is vested with the authority in the first century (see footnotes) and the book of Revelation, written before 70 EV, actually speak of the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century and so on. As a result of the fact that everything would be fulfilled by the fall of the Roman Empire, the beasts that you give a "life extension" for a time and a season, would the nations of today. I have simplified: there would be many other things but this is enough to understand how such an interpretation can change much our view of things. Leaving aside the various contradictions and unanswered questions that this interpretation creates, we must see if there is really a credible supporting them with scriptures. As we have done so far, the only reliable modus operandi is the comparison of records and respect for the authority of God's Word. Let us first of all that the prophet's attention is captured by this beast and in particular by its horns - Daniel 7: 8 This is a key aspect of the vision. We have already discussed the meaning of the horns in a previous article but now we will see it from another point of view. We take as an example the Macedonian Empire because there is more than ever useful to acquire the right key to the vision. We know that this empire represented by the goat, when he was in command of Alessandro Magno, was depicted with a "notable horn" - Daniel 8: 5 After the death of Alessandro Magno, when the empire was divided among four of his generals, the same goat is described as having "four horns" - Daniel 8: 8 We can see immediately a strangeness . The original empire is actually divided into four smaller empires and yet there is always only one goat. Why? Why do not you see four different beasts? Let's keep in mind these questions to answer later. Now let's speculate. If the goat, described by Daniel had been shot down in the time that he had "the great horn", what period of time would refer the vision and what territory would understand? The answer is simple. If the goat was shot down at the time of the great horn, this would take place during the rule of Alessandro Magno (between 356 and 323 BCE) on the only his vast empire. If the goat in Daniel, however, was shot down in the time when he had four horns, what period and what territory would embrace? The answer becomes more interesting. In this case, the empire is divided into four and see the goat fall would mean the defeat of all four generals and their occupied territories. In the vision, however, he would fall one beast. From these considerations we understand that the beast represents an empire, but the horns are the powers that share or compete for the domain or the territory of that empire - Compare Revelation 17:12; Daniel 11:39 These horns can be allied, as in the case Medo-Persian empire, but they can also fight against each other as seen for example in Daniel 7: 8 When an empire is divided, because it is seen as other horns on the beast itself and not as the beasts? Evidently because they emphasize from original empire. The horns present in the same beast tells us that all those powers have arisen from the same original empire. Having all the same origin, we could say that are "unrelated" to each other. The Medes and the Persians, in fact, had many differences but also many things in common. With this in mind, we can begin to understand the meaning of the vision of the fourth and final beast seen by Daniel. As we explained in another article, previous empires are seen "hornless" because they do not have power or are not dominant in the vision of the reference time . Understanding the vision reference time is very important. This allows us to establish that at the time that Daniel has the vision, the dreadful and terrible beast is already divided into various powers. What does this mean? The empire is rising after the Macedonian Roma and on this there is very little to discuss as confirmed by the dream of the statue of Nebuchadnezzar - Daniel 2:39, 40 So the first part of the hypothesis is correct: the beast that Daniel sees is Rome. That said, however, we must focus on the horns as did Daniel himself. If the beast has ten horns, in harmony with what we have seen so far, it follows that the original Empire (Roma) is already divided into an unknown number of powers. This, by itself, drop the hypothesis that Rome has to be "killed" as well as the time in which it would fulfill the prophecy. From these ten horns, at some point in history, check yet another horn that is what speaks great things (Daniel 7:11); what is the time in which the animal is killed . In Rome there is only the origin. In simple words the prophecy is saying that the latter horn, whatever the time of fulfillment, is one of the many powers born of ancient Rome. This beast is the final, there are no other - Daniel 7:17 So, since we should not expect the appearance of other animals, it is clear that his killing is done in the end time. This king is the same which is discussed below and "grandiose words" that pronounces we can find in Daniel 11: 36-38 From the point of view of God, since this king will become an object of worship for many people, it pronunciation "grand words", that is exaggerated and completely out of place for a human being or human military power - Compare Revelation 13: 3-6 Intending to correct the vision we need not climb over backwards in an attempt to demonstrate that there is talk of two kings and two different times because the similarities are obvious. Obvious for those who read the scriptures without trying to defend, at all costs, his own idea. This means that what you read in the following verses, which the Son of man who is given dominion, authority and kingdom, is fulfilled in the end time. This also leads us to realize what it is actually killing the beast and the fact that being thrown "into the burning fire." This expression can only bring our minds to the "lake of fire" reported at Revelation 19:20 The lake of fire is a place from which there is no return and therefore you would expect, if this had happened in Rome, that there was no longer any trace of this empire. Instead Europe and much of Asia and Africa is full of Roman remains, aqueducts from the statues the ancient buildings. This does not give precisely the idea that was thrown into the "burning fire", is not it? Instead of the last dominant empire on earth, as described in Revelation, it says that the whole beast will be cast into the lake of fire. Besides, this is an action that can only make the Almighty God and His Son Christ, not an invading empire. Unless speculate that the fall of Rome intervened personally God, there is no way to "harmonize" this expression. Rome, in fact, never really died and was never really replaced. The social fabric is wore out, and this allowed many people simply "get" and divide it but was never really defeated in battle. He fell under his vices and under its own weight. The vision speaks of the beast that is not killed except in time when this remarkable horn appears. As we saw in the previous article, this horn is the last king of the north on the world stage, namely Russia. It goes without saying that this explanation, as we have already seen, a wonderful window opens in verse 12. The explanation that would apply all this to the fall of Rome, can not explain why, between kingdoms currently present (those to which a prolongation of life in our days) still exists Rome and even all the nations would be allowed that were exclusively owned by Rome. If Rome is burned in the blazing fire and the other allows himself a "life extension", should exist Iran (Persia), Iraq (Babylon) and Greece ... but should not exist Italy (the when Rome is still the capital), should not exist France nor Germany nor Spain and so on. Instead it appears that this extension of life a little 'at all is granted. If instead the beast is killed at Armageddon, it is clear that the other animals are given a life extension for "a time and a season" after the judgment of Armageddon. This allowed us to sensibly understand how he can "check" this Gog of Magog full Millennial Kingdom. We just carefully observe, then, that world events, without being distracted by explanations forced and unscriptural, as we await the fulfillment of the angel's following words recorded in Daniel 7:18: "But the saints of the Supreme receive the kingdom, and take possession of indefinitely kingdom, even indefinitely to times indefinite '- see also Revelation 20: 4 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Footnotes * This interpretation asserts that the Son of man receives the kingdom in the first century to the fact that Jerusalem was under Roman rule (cf. Matthew 28:18), but obviously does not explain why, according to the order written by Daniel, this does not happen the fall of Rome. Reading Daniel 7: 11-14 we understand that the enthronement of the Son of Man takes place after the killing of this beast and, therefore, the enthronement could not take place in the first century since, at that time, Rome was well far from being "killed." That if we do not play the usual chronological order is not in the book. However, it should be argued that when considering the order of the beasts as chronological (ie the order of the appearance of empires is chronologically Correctly or ) can not be determined in an arbitrary way that the next part is not written chronologically. What it is written in chronological order it is also evident from the words of Daniel that says, more than once, "I continued watching ..." - Daniel 7: 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13 The writing of Matthew 28:18 does not prove that he began to reign in the first century (if not on the Christian congregation) because there is a difference between taking power legally and take it effectively. If Christ had taken power in effect in the first century, it would mean that the world would no longer be ruled by Satan since then. But sixty years after these words of the Lord, the apostolo Giovanni said "the whole world lies in the power of the wicked" - 1 John 5:19 ** You do not even understand the "what Rome" would be talking about the prophecy since this empire was split in two in 395 EV The beast can not be considered "killed" at the time of his division. The Eastern Empire fell in 476 EV while that of the West in 1453 with the fall of Constantinople. The beast can not be considered to be "killed" in 476 since a portion of it continued to exist and therefore in theory of Christ the enthronement event would occur after 1453. However even 1453 can be considered the date of the beast dsell'uccisione for the reasons spiegat the in this article. *** On the same line of this false interpretation of "Babylon the Great" Roma would be that would be killed (it is not clear by whom) to his downfall. To support this hypothesis is often referred to "the seven hills of Rome" and many flights of fancy to determine who would be the seven most important king of Rome - compares Revelation 17: 9 **** "Finally," but not really seen that the inconsistencies are many, you can not explain for what reason the writing says "there are four kings that will rise from the earth" (Daniel 7:17) meaning it clear that there would have been only the most four kings , not one more. The explanation would like the angel speaks to Daniel, the four powers, but that would not have all the powers that would arise on earth. The vision, in short, get to a certain point but not to the time of the end - Look instead Daniel 7:18    
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Tales redadas y  búsqueda de literatura religiosa continúan. Los testigos de Jehová le dijeron a Forum 18 que entre septiembre de 2016 y julio de 2017 habían sufrido 185 redadas en sus reuniones de adoración y registros de hogares privados. Esto resultó en 155 condenas por ejercer la libertad de religión y creencias, 148 multas (19 de ellas entre 50 y 100 veces el salario mínimo mensual) y siete encarcelamientos de corto plazo. La policía torturó severamente a 15 testigos de Jehová y asaltó sexualmente a mujeres. La tortura y la impunidad de los torturadores continúan, dirigidas contra musulmanes, protestantes, testigos de Jehová y personas de otras religiones. Las mujeres son atacadas y, en otro caso de tortura, la policía le dijo a un testigo de Jehová que las quejas no hacen ninguna diferencia ya que "quedaremos impunes" (ver F18News 12 de octubre de 2017
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .  
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      A Muslim hairdresser and one of his regular customers with his family is being intensively investigated by Uzbekistan's Anti-Terrorism Police for sharing a Muslim book electronically. Several Protestants also have been fined – two illegally threatened - for keeping Christian material in their own homes.
      Muslim Hairdresser Abduboki Yunusov and regular customer Gayrat Ziyakhojayev is being investigated by Uzbekistan's Anti-Terrorism Police for sharing a Muslim book electronically. The two Muslims and their families have been illegally searched and intensively questions since April to this month (October) (see below).

      Liliya Sitdikova and her son Vildan Sitdikov, both members of Tashkent's officially registered Seventh-day Adventist Church, have been fined for keeping their own Christian material in their own home (see below).

      In Urgench local Protestant Sharofat Allamova is facing attempts to illegally fine her twice for keeping her own Christian books in her home. Local Protestants think that this may be bacause she present during a raid on a meeting for worship of local Protestants (see below).

      And an Andijan Protestant has also been ordered to pay the same fine for having Christian books in her home twice (see below).

      Approved and then banned Islamic book sparks intensive questioning

      Hairdresser Abduboki Yunusov and regular customer Gayrat Ziyakhojayev is being investigated by Uzbekistan's Anti-Terrorism Police for sharing a Muslim book electronically. On 2 April police in the capital Tashkent's Uchteppa District questioned Yunusov and some of his family, some being fined Muslims who are anonymous for fear of state reprisals told Forum 18.

      This followed an incident in March when one of Yunusov's cousins was stopped late at night on the street and searched. Islamic materials were found on his phone and police then began from April to this month (October) repeatedly interrogating Yunusov, his family, and Ziyakhojayev, who are all Muslims. Police have claimed they will bring prosecutions, but have not specified the charges. This is not unusual in Uzbekistan's "justice system" (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2314).

      State-approved and then state-banned book?

      Some years ago Ziyakhojayev bought a book entitled Islam between Two Fires, which had passed state censorship and was published by the still-operating Mavoronnahr publishing house. He had shared the book, which is critical of non-Islamic missionary movements, with Yunusov. In May police found the book on Yunusov's phone and then summoned Ziyakhojayev for questioning in July.

      In July police claimed to Ziyakhojayev that the book was banned and had been sent for "expert analysis" to the Religious Affairs Committee. Alleged "expert analysis" is often used by the authorities as an excuse to confiscate and destroy religious literature (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2314).

      Ziyakhojayev was also questioned repeatedly in August and on 12 and 16 October. Senior Lieutenant Dilmurod Akhmedov of Uchteppa's Anti-Terrorism Police questioned Ziyakhojayev. Akhmedov on 16 October stated that police had found the book on Yunusov's phone.

      In January police confiscated a car from a Seventh-day Adventist Pastor because he did not pay illegal fines for giving religious books away. The books were approved by the Religious Affairs Committee, which apparently changed its mind so as to fine the Pastor (see F18News 10 February 2017 http://forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2255).

      Illegal search

      Uchteppa Anti-Terrorism Police, led by Senior Lieutenant Akhmedov, on 12 October raided Ziyakhojayev's parents' flat in the District, but without a search warrant signed by the District Prosecutor's Office. Such violations of the rule of law are common in Uzbekistan (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2314). Police confiscated his father's two computers, and sent them for "expert analysis" to the Religious Affairs Committee.

      Senior Lieutenant Akhmedov and Major Jahongir Gaziyev, the head of Uchteppa Anti-Terrorism Police refused to discuss the case with Forum 18 on 25 October. Both put the phone down and did not answer subsequent calls.

      Tashkent Police and Anti-Terrorism officers (who would not give their names) on 25 October claimed that no-one called Yusupov works for them. 

      As this and many similar "Anti-Terrorism Police" cases illustrate, the regime's definition of "terrorism" includes people exercising their human rights (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2314).

      Severe state censorship, harsh punishments

      There is severe state censorship of all religious literature, and the import and production of literature – including the Koran and the Bible - is strictly controlled. This includes material on mobile phones, tablets, personal computers, memory sticks and other electronic devices and media, with compulsory prior censorship by the Religious Affairs Committee. Officials often search mobile phones and other electronic devices in the hunt for religious materials. Punishments can be severe, and from around 2013 the authorities have often jailed for up to five years or fined Muslims (including foreign citizens) found with the Koran and Muslim sermons on their mobile phones (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2314).

      Tashkent fine for keeping own Christian material in own home

      On 2 June Liliya Sitdikova and her son Vildan Sitdikov, both members of Tashkent's officially registered Seventh-day Adventist Church, were fined 2,995,500 Soms or 20 times the minimum monthly under Administrative Code Article 184-2 ("Illegal production, storage, or import into Uzbekistan, with the intent to distribute or actual distribution, of religious materials by physical persons"). Judge Bobyr Inagamov of Mirabad District Criminal Court also ordered the destruction of the notebooks and computers with Christian material confiscated from the family, local Adventists who wished to remain unnamed for fear of state reprisals told Forum 18.

      Numerous court verdicts seen by Forum 18 order that such literature – including Muslim books or Christian Bibles - be destroyed, which is often carried out by burning see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2314). 

      The Adventists appealed, but on 27 September Judge Mumin Astanov of the Supreme Court upheld the fine and destruction.

      Judge Inagamov of Mirabad District Court refused to answer, when asked by Forum 18 on 26 October why Christians and other religious believers cannot keep religious books or materials in their private homes or on their electronic devices. "You need to ask that question to the Supreme Court", he claimed. When Forum 18 repeated the question, he claimed that "I gave my reasoning in the decision." He then refused to talk further to Forum 18.

      Judge Astamov of the Supreme Court also would not answer, when asked by Forum 18 twice on 26 October why Christians and other religious believers cannot keep religious books or materials in their private homes or on their electronic devices. He asked Forum 18 to call back the next morning, but did not answer his phone when repeatedly called again on 27 October.

      Raids, literature searches, torture continues

      Such raids continue and searches for religious literature continue. Jehovah's Witnesses told Forum 18 that between September 2016 and July 2017 they had experienced 185 raids on their meetings for worship and searches of private homes. These resulted in 155 convictions for exercising freedom of religion and belief, 148 fines (19 of them for between 50 and 100 times the minimum monthly wage), and seven short-term jailings. Police severely tortured 15 Jehovah's Witnesses and sexually assaulted women. Torture and impunity for torturers continues, directed against Muslims, Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses and people of other faiths. Women are targetted for assault, and in another torture case police told a Jehovah's Witness that complaining makes no difference as "we will remain unpunished" (see F18News 12 October 2017 http://forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2325).

      Urgench illegal fine order as reprisal?

      On 21 August Sharofat Allamova, Protestant from Urgench [Urganch] in the north-western Khorezm Region, received a summons dated 14 August from Urgench Bailiff D. Yuldashev that she must in person pay a May 2012 fine to the Bailiff. Allamova was fined on 18 May 2012 for keeping her own Christian books in her home (see F18 News 6 August 2012 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1729).

      But under the law the maximum time for Bailiffs to make such demands is three years after a fine, local Protestants who asked not to be named for fear of state reprisals told Forum 18. Local Protestants told Forum 18 that Allamova did not pay the fine "because she is only guilty of peacefully exercising her freedom of religion and belief as guaranteed by the Constitution".

      After the May 2012 fine the authorities then brought criminal charges against her, for the same "crime" of keeping her own Christian books in her own home. In April 2013 she was sentenced to 18 months' corrective labour, for the "illegal production, storage, import or distribution of religious literature". She was placed in a low-paid state job, her salary being further reduced by having to pay 20 per cent of it to the state during her sentence (see F18News 21 May 2013 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1838).

      Local Protestants think that Bailiffs may have summoned Allamova because she was present during a raid on a meeting for worship of local Protestants. Urgench Police armed with automatic weapons raided the meeting, took all present to the Police Station, and strip searched all the women (see F18News 7 August 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2304).

      Urgench Bailiffs (who refused to give their names) on 26 October refused to discuss their actions with Forum 18. They also claimed that they have no Bailiff called Yuldashev.

      Pastor Ahmadjon Nazarov, who led the Urgench meeting for worship, was put under surveillance and followed to a neighbouring region where another meeting was raided. A Bible was ordered to be destroyed, and one person was tortured. Police replied to complaints about torture: "We do not care, you can complain anywhere" (see F18News 19 October 2017 http://forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2326). On 13 October Judge Zh Sultanova of Khorezm Regional Court upheld fines and short-term jail sentence imposed on five of the Protestants.

      Andijan Protestant ordered to pay same fine twice

      On 14 September 2014 police and the NSS secret police raided a meeting for Sunday worship of state-registered Baptists in Andijan [Andijon]. The police halted the worship meeting, confiscated the Christian books they found, threatened those present (see F18News 1 October 2014 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2003). On 17 October Zamira Kurbangaliyeva was fined 538,175 Soms under Administrative Code Article 184-2 ("Illegal production, storage, or import into Uzbekistan, with the intent to distribute or actual distribution, of religious materials by physical persons"). She paid the fine plus a 5,381 Soms payment fee on 30 March 2015, and has documentation seen by Forum 18 of this payment.

      But on 23 August 2017 Andijan City Court Bailiff Sardor Goipov, in a letter received on 9 September, ordered Kurbangaliyeva to pay the fine again. The letter threatens that if she does not pay the same fine twice that she will also be fined 1,497,750 Soms, or 10 times the minimum monthly salary, local Baptists who wish to remain unnamed for fear of state reprisals told Forum 18. 

      Bailiff Oybek (who would not give his last name) of Andijan's Bailiffs Department on 26 October claimed to Forum 18 that Bailiff Goipov opened the case because he did not have the receipt for the payment. He then claimed that the case was closed after Kurbangaliyeva presented them. He refused to answer when Forum 18 pointed out that the Bailiffs had been given the receipt in March 2015 and asked why she was ordered to pay the same fine again. Other calls to Andijan Bailiffs on 27 October were not answered. (END)

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    • Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The Uzbek authorities and the religious organization «Jehovah’s Witnesses» (the activity of its main centre is recognised as extremist and banned in Russia) are engaged in a constructive dialogue about its activities in the Republic, told RIA Novosti on Thursday, the Committee on religious Affairs under the government of Uzbekistan.
      In April, the US Commission on international religious freedom has identified 16 countries, including Uzbekistan, in a number of countries-violators of religious freedoms for the use of the law against extremism for restricting the activities of the «Jehovah’s Witnesses».
      The Committee on religious Affairs of Uzbekistan said that the Deputy Chairman of the Committee of Utkir Hasanbaev met with representatives of the governing Board of «Jehovah’s Witnesses» in the United States Kenneth Flodine and the European Association of organization Lorenzo Trapanese. «Flodin thanked for reception and conveyed the information and told about the purpose of his visit, which was to discuss the activities of the religious organization «Jehovah’s Witnesses» in the Republic. They also expressed satisfaction from the talks with the leadership of the Committee,» — said the representative office.
      According to him, during the meeting the Uzbek side noted that legislation of Uzbekistan in compliance with all the norms of international covenants and agreements on human rights concerning freedom of conscience. «Following the talks, the sides agreed to continue relevant consultations on the discussed issues. The meeting was held in constructive and friendly atmosphere,» added the Committee.
      Uzbekistan’s law enforcement bodies have repeatedly detained by representatives of the «Jehovah’s Witnesses» for illegal involvement in the ranks of the locals and the secret meetings in different regions of the country. «Jehovah’s witnesses» was just one city of Chirchik near Tashkent. By law, they have the right to hold meetings only in places besides conducting religious propaganda is prohibited. Under Uzbek law, the detainees are brought to administrative responsibility and fined up to 100 times the minimum wage (about 4.5 thousand dollars).
      In Uzbekistan registered more than 2,2 thousand religious organizations, of which more than 90% are Muslim. However, in carrying out activities 157 Christian organizations, eight Jewish communities, six Baha’i communities, one hare Krishna society and one Buddhist temple.
      «Jehovah’s witnesses» is an international religious organization with headquarters in Brooklyn (new York). As reported on the website of Jehovah’s witnesses, «Witnesses» exist in Russia more than 100 years. Since 2004, the courts were closed a number of communities and local offices, «Jehovah’s Witnesses» in the regions — the Belgorod, Samara, Rostov and Orel oblasts and other constituent entities of the Russian Federation. Russia’s Supreme court on 20 April as extremist activity «administrative center of Jehovah’s witnesses in Russia» — the head of the organization, managing the branches of «Jehovah’s Witnesses» in Russia.

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    • By ARchiv@L
      CZĘŚĆ 15
      Wygnaniec ogląda prorocze wizje przyszłości
      Daniel prorokuje o Królestwie Bożym oraz o przyjściu Mesjasza. Upadek Babilonu
      DANIEL, wyjątkowo bogobojny młodzieniec, został uprowadzony do niewoli w Babilonie jeszcze przed zburzeniem Jerozolimy. Razem z grupą innych Żydów — wygnańców z pokonanego królestwa Judy — otrzymał pewną miarę swobody. Podczas długiego życia w Babilonie Daniel dostąpił licznych błogosławieństw Bożych: uszedł nawet z życiem po wtrąceniu do lwiej jamy i otrzymał wizje dotyczące dalekiej przyszłości. Najważniejsze spisane przez niego proroctwa skupiały się na Mesjaszu i jego panowaniu.
      Danielowi wyjawiono, kiedy przyjdzie Mesjasz. Bóg wyjawił Danielowi, kiedy można się spodziewać przyjścia „Mesjasza Wodza” — miało to nastąpić
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. po ogłoszeniu dekretu o odbudowie murów Jerozolimy. Rozkaz ten został wydany długo po śmierci Daniela, w 455 roku p.n.e. Wtedy też zaczął się wspomniany okres 69 „tygodni”. Normalny tydzień trwa siedem dni, zaś proroczy „tydzień” — siedem lat. A zatem 69 tygodni lat trwało 483 lata, do roku 29 n.e. W następnej części tej broszury zobaczymy, co się wtedy wydarzyło. Daniel dowiedział się również, że Mesjasz zostanie zgładzony i dokona przebłagania za grzechy ludzkości (Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ). Mesjasz zostanie Królem w niebie. W niezwykłej wizji nieba Daniel ujrzał, jak Mesjasz, „podobny do syna człowieczego”, podchodzi do tronu samego Jehowy. Bóg daje mu „panowanie i dostojeństwo oraz królestwo”. Królestwo to ma być wieczne, a władzę wraz z Mesjaszem ma sprawować grono nazwane „świętymi Najwyższego” (
      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. ). Królestwo zniszczy rządy tego świata. Bóg umożliwił Danielowi zrozumienie snu, który zaniepokoił babilońskiego króla Nebukadneccara. Monarcha ujrzał wielki posąg z głową ze złota, piersią i ramionami ze srebra, brzuchem i udami z miedzi, goleniami z żelaza oraz ze stopami z żelaza zmieszanego z gliną. Kamień odcięty od góry uderzył w kruche stopy posągu i go zniszczył. Daniel wyjaśnił, że poszczególne części posągu wyobrażają następujące po sobie mocarstwa światowe, począwszy od Babilonu — głowy ze złota. Daniel zapowiedział, że w czasie panowania ostatniego mocarstwa zacznie działać Królestwo Boże. Zmiażdży ono wszystkie rządy tego świata, a samo będzie istnieć wiecznie (
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ). W późnej starości Daniel ujrzał na własne oczy upadek Babilonu. Król Cyrus zdobył miasto dokładnie tak, jak zapowiadali prorocy. Wkrótce potem Żydzi mogli wrócić do ojczyzny, która była spustoszona przez 70 lat. Pod kierownictwem wiernych namiestników, kapłanów i proroków w końcu odbudowali Jerozolimę i świątynię Jehowy. Co się jednak stało po upływie wspomnianych 483 lat?
      Na podstawie
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      By Mushfig Bayram, Forum 18
      A car has been confiscated from a Protestant because he did not pay illegal fines for giving religious books away. The books were approved by the Religious Affairs Committee, which apparently changed its mind so as to fine the Pastor. Raids and fines continue.
      Bailiffs in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent in January confiscated a car from Seventh-day Adventist pastor Andrei Ten because he did not pay an August 2016 fine for giving religious books away. The books had originally been approved by the Religious Affairs Committee, which then apparently changed it mind so as to fine the Pastor. He was denied the chance to appeal against the fine, and an extra fine was imposed for not paying the first fine. The confiscated could be worth more than three times the value of the fines (see below).

      In Nukus, police are pressuring a local Protestant to sign a record officers want to dictate admitting to the "offence" of having religious literature in his home (see below).

      A total of 19 Jehovah's Witnesses across Uzbekistan are known to have been fined between August 2016 and January 2017 for possessing religious literature and other materials. In the same period, customs officers have confiscated religious books and electronic devices containing religious material from 17 Jehovah's Witnesses arriving in the country (see below).

      Severe state censorship

      Uzbekistan enforces strict censorship of all religious publications and all aspects of their distribution. The authorities also impose a de facto ban on religious literature of any belief in homes or in public places. If found such literature is frequently ordered to be destroyed. State pressure is so great that for their own safety some religious believers have destroyed their own sacred texts. The so-called "expert analyses" used to justify such freedom of religion and belief violations are often flawed, or even violate published law. The resulting court trials also often violate the rule of law (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1862).

      The harshest punishments for the possession of banned religious literature, including on electronic devices, are normally imposed on Muslims. For example, in late 2016 courts imprisoned two more foreign citizens – for five years and three years - for having Islamic sermons on their mobiles as they entered Uzbekistan. One was tortured. Three Tashkent Muslims were given suspended prison sentences, after the father of one was "severely tortured" (see F18News 19 December 2016 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2241).

      Car confiscated for unpaid illegal fines

      In August 2016 police and National Security Service (NSS) secret police arrested four men riding in a taxi in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent. They then confiscated copies of a religious book which the Religious Affairs Committee had in writing stated that, after "expert analysis", was allowed to be imported and distributed in Uzbekistan.

      One of the men, Pastor Andrei Ten of the registered Seventh-day Adventist Church, was summoned to a police station and asked to write a statement that he gave out copies of the book. He was only then shown a second "expert analysis" in which the Religious Affairs Committee contradicted itself banning the book. Pastor Ten was on 19 August fined 100 times the minimum monthly wage, the other three men being each fined five times the minimum monthly wage (see F18 News, 4 October 2016 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2221).

      Denied chance to appeal

      Pastor Ten has not been given a copy of the 19 August 2016 decision fining him, so denying him a chance to appeal. Neither his 25 August complaint to Olmazor District Court and 28 December cassation appeal to Tashkent City Court were answered, Adventists who wish to remain anonymous for fear of state reprisals told Forum 18 on 1 February.

      Instead Judge Musa Yusupov sent the decision, which had not entered into force, for execution to bailiffs.

      Asked why the Judge did this, Aziz Rakhimov, Judge Yusupov's Assistant, on 9 February 2017 claimed that: "I myself gave a copy to Ten three days after the decision". He then declined to discuss the case further.

      On 18 January Ten received two letters. The first was a decision to exact the administrative fine imposed in August 2016. The second was a new 19 December 2016 decision imposing an extra fine of 10 times the minimum monthly wage, or 1,497,750 Soms, for failure to pay the first fine. The second fine was signed by Bailiff Imamjan Tuychiyev under the Code of Administrative Offences' Article 198-1 ("Failure by a debtor to obey executive orders").

      On 19 January Bailiff Tuychiyev with five colleagues broke into the grounds of Ten's home. They waited for Ten, and when he returned home at 8 pm illegally confiscated his car. "Pastor Ten doesn't know where they took the car," Adventists stated.

      Bailiff Tuychiyev claimed to Forum 18 on 8 February that "we did everything according to the law". Told that Ten was not given a copy of the original court decision and so could not pay the first fine, and that his complaint and cassation appeals were ignored, Tuychiyev replied: "That's not our problem. You need to ask the court which ordered us to exact the fine."

      Told that the market value of Ten's car could be up 30 million Soms, several times the level of the fine, Bailiff Tuychiyev answered: "I am not a market specialist. When he pays the total sum of the fine he can get it back."

      Pressure to admit to "offence"

      Nine police officers, only one of whom was in uniform, broke into Bakhbergen Abdikarimov's flat in Nukus in the afternoon of 27 November 2016. The police did not have a search warrant, so both their breaking into his home and subsequent search were illegal. Police confiscated one Christian book, three CD and DVD discs - one of which contained a video of Abdikarimov's wedding - and one memory chip, local Protestants who wish to remain unnamed for fear of state reprisals told Forum 18 on 2 February.

      Police then took Abdikarimov to Nukus Police Station and questioned him for three hours. The unnamed officers demanded that he write a statement they would dictate, in which he would claim to be illegally storing Christian books in his home. Abdikarimov refused to do this and the police then released him.

      Since then Nukus Police have been "constantly making phone calls to summoning him to Nukus Police Station", Protestants stated. The police are still trying to force Abdikarimov to sign a police report incriminating himself for allegedly violating Administrative Code Article 184-2 ("Illegal production, storage, or import into Uzbekistan, with the intent to distribute or actual distribution, of religious materials by physical persons").

      Major Isak Soliyev of Nukus Police's Criminal Investigation Division refused to discuss the case on 9 February. He asked Forum 18 to call back in one hour, and when called claimed: "We don't know you, and we cannot talk to you over the phone".

      Fines follow literature, electronic device seizures

      Police raided and searched homes of 43 Jehovah's Witnesses across Uzbekistan for religious literature between August 2016 and January 2017, Jehovah's Witnesses told Forum 18. This resulted in the confiscation of 43 publications and electronic devices and 19 Jehovah's Witnesses being fined. A recent example took place in Jizakh Region. Judge Sherzod Peshmirzayev of Jizakh City Criminal Court fined 23-year old Muborak Abdurakhmanova on 22 December 2016 for reading Jehovah's Witness literature. The Judge fined her 20 times the minimum monthly wage or 2,995,500 Soms under Administrative Code Article 184-2, the Court's Chancellery told Forum 18 on 9 February. 

      Jizakh Regional Administration's official website on 27 January published an article titled "Regret of a woman of thoughtless actions." It instructs readers that "one must not act based on one's impulses but on science and a world view", before adding that: "Wilfulness and thoughtless actions can bring any person like Abdurakhmanova into the court room." The article claims that Abdurakhmanova admitted in Court that she "became interested in Jehovah's Witnesses, and recorded on her mobile phone video-films made by the followers of this sect. She also made notes in her notebook on various religious topics."

      Abdurakhmanova "studied the Bible, listened to sermons by Jehovah's Witnesses and sang religious songs for one year", the article said. She "illegally kept" the religious materials in her phone until 18 November 2016, when police confiscated it from her.

      A Jizakh Criminal Court Chancellery official (who would not give his name) refused to discuss the case with Forum 18. Calls to Judge Peshmirzayev went unanswered on 9 February.

      Uzbekistan frequently raids, arrests, fines, and jails people exercising freedom of religion and belief who possess religious literature. For example, two Protestant five-day prisoners of conscience were ordered in November 2016 to pay 15 per cent each of a month's minimum salary as "compensation" for state prison costs (see F18News 1 December 2016 http://forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2235).

      Customs seize religious literature

      Between August 2016 and January 2017, Uzbek customs officers confiscated religious literature and electronic devices from 17 Jehovah's Witnesses entering the country. Jehovah's Witnesses complained to Forum 18 on 8 February that "in 2006 the Religious Affairs Committee forbade the import of any Jehovah's Witness publications after a shipment of Bibles were confiscated by customs officers (see F18News 24 October 2007 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1039).

      Asked why the Religious Affairs Committee bans the import of such religious texts, and why customs officers keep confiscating religious literature from people, Begzod Kadyrov, Committee Chief Expert, replied: "Come to our office". He then put the phone down. (END)

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Uzbekistan arrested four men, confiscating a book a government "expert analysis” stated was permitted. Adventist Pastor Andrei Ten was later shown a second "expert analysis” banning the book and fined 100 times the minimum monthly wage, the other three being each fined smaller amounts.
      Police and National Security Service (NSS) secret police on 2 August arrested four men riding in a taxi in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent. They then confiscated copies of a religious book, "The Great Controversy”, which the Religious Affairs Committee had in writing stated that after "expert analysis” was allowed to be imported and distributed in Uzbekistan.

      On 8 August one of the men, Pastor Andrei Ten of the registered Seventh-day Adventist Church, was summoned to a police station and asked to write a statement that he gave out copies of the book. He was only then shown a second "expert analysis” in which the Religious Affairs Committee contradicted itself banning the book. Pastor Ten was on 19 August fined 100 times the minimum monthly wage, the other three men being each fined five times the minimum monthly wage (see below).

      Many similar cases take place in Uzbekistan against physical and electronic religious literature held by people of many beliefs, often involving sometimes very large fines and jail sentences. In some cases, rape threats and physical abuse has been used by male officials against female religious believers (see below).

      Arrested in taxi

      On 2 August, police and NSS secret police officers in the Olmazor District of Tashkent detained Pastor Andrei Ten, Olimzhan Mirzamambetov, Anarvoy Ergashev and Rahim Tursunov while they were riding in a taxi. Pastor Ten is from the officially registered local Seventh-day Adventist Church, but Mirzamambetov, Ergashev and Tursunov are not part of this Church and had been hired to do work on its building, Adventists who wished to remain unnamed for fear of state reprisals told Forum 18 on 12 September. Officers searched the men and confiscated from each of them a copy of a Russian translation of "The Great Controversy”, a book by Ellen White. She was one of the founders of what would become the Adventist Church.

      Adventists told Forum 18 that the Religious Affairs Committee had on 2 May written to the Bible Society stating that, after "expert analysis”, it was allowing "The Great Controversy” to be imported and distributed in Uzbekistan.

      Uzbekistan imposes strict censorship on all religious publications and all aspects of their distribution. There is a de facto ban on religious literature of any faith in homes and if found such literature is frequently ordered to be destroyed. State pressure is so great that for their own safety some religious believers have destroyed their own sacred texts (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1862).

      Contradictory "expert analysis”

      On 8 August, six days after the men were stopped in the taxi and the books confiscated from them, Officer Shavkat (who did not give his last name) of Olmazor District Police phoned Pastor Ten. Shavkat asked Ten to come to Olmazor Police Station at 5 pm the same day. When Ten came to the Police Station, Officer Shavkat demanded that he write a statement that he gave the books to the three men.

      After Pastor Ten wrote the statement, police then showed him another "expert analysis” by the Religious Affairs Committee. This contradicted the first "analysis” and stated that "The Great Controversy” is banned.

      So-called "expert analyses” are often flawed, or even violate published law. Court trials also often violate the rule of law (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1862). Shovkat Khamdamov, Press Secretary of the Religious Affairs Committee in Tashkent, refused to tell Forum 18 on 27 September why the Committee contradicted itself on the book "The Great Controversy”. He referred Forum 18 to Begzod Kadyrov, Chief Expert of the Committee. Khamdamov also refused to answer Forum 18's other questions, and put the phone down. The phones of Kadyrov and other Committee officials were not answered on 27 September.

      Cases launched

      After showing Pastor Ten the contradictory "expert analysis”, Olmazor Police then opened cases against all four men under the Code of Administrative Offences' Article 184-2 ("Illegal production, storage, or import into Uzbekistan, with the intent to distribute or actual distribution, of religious materials by physical persons”).

      Olmazor Police told Forum 18 on 26 September that the only officer named Shavkat who works for Olmazor District Police is Deputy Chief of Olmazor Police Myrzajanov. Forum 18 on 26 September called the mobile phone number from which Ten was called. Officer Shavkat (who refused to give his last name) answered the phone. But after Forum 18 started asking about the case he then claimed that it was a "wrong number” and put the phone down. Subsequent calls went unanswered.

      Deputy Police Chief Myrzajanov's land line phone number went unanswered on 26 September.

      "Anti-terrorism” ?

      Asked why cases were opened against Ten and the other three men, Olmazor Police Department on 26 September referred Forum 18 to Makhmud Tolipov, the head of the local Anti-Terrorism Police. Police did not explain what so-called "anti-terrorism” has to do with these cases.

      Asked about the case on 27 September, Anti-Terrorism Police officer Tolipov refused to comment. "These are internal issues of Uzbekistan,” he claimed to Forum 18. "Talk to our Foreign Ministry and they will explain them to you.” He put the phone down.

      Four fines

      On 19 August Judge Musa Yusupov of Olmazor District Criminal Court of Tashkent fined Pastor Ten, Mirzamambetov, Ergashev and Tursunov. Ten was fined 100 times the minimum monthly wage, 13,024,000 Soms. The other three men were each fined five times the minimum monthly wage, 651,200 Soms. (Large discrepancies exist between the market and official currency exchange rates.) "Judge Yusupov unlawfully ordered the confiscation of the books,” the Adventists stated.

      Olmazor Court officials (who would not give their names) between 26 and 27 September refused to comment on the case or put Forum 18 through to Judge Yusupov.

      Many fines, jail sentences, rape threats and assaults

      Many similar cases take place in Uzbekistan. For example, Jehovah's Witnesses have told Forum 18 that between January and July 2016 at least 51 Jehovah's Witnesses across all of Uzbekistan were fined for "offences” related to the possession of religious literature. Fines imposed varied between three and 60 times the minimum monthly wage. They commented that "the use of or even the mere possession of the Bible” outside the building of their only state-registered religious community, in Chirchik, "is considered to be an administrative violation”.

      Only belief communities that have state registration are allowed to exist, violating international human rights law (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1862). 

      These kind of fines and other punishments for having religious literature affect people of many beliefs. One Baptist, Stanislav Kim, was on 26 August given two years corrective labour living in his home for having religious books at home (see F18News 29 September 2016 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2219). Similarly, two Jehovah's Witnesses were on 27 January jailed for 10 days and, with 28 others, fined for "illegal” literature and meeting for worship (see F18News 28 June 2016 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2192).

      Materials in electronic form are also targeted, Jehovah's Witnesses noting that religious literature and electronic devices were confiscated from the homes of two Jehovah's Witnesses in Chirchik on 11 May and from two others in Fergana on 11 June. No prosecutions appear to have followed. Bakhtiyor Khudaiberdiyev was arrested on 9 January at Tashkent Airport for having suras [verses] from the Koran and other material on his phone, and at least two Muslims are serving five-year prison terms for the Koran and sermons in their mobile phones (see F18News 7 April 2016 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2165).

      During some of raids and confiscations in 2016, male police threatened female Jehovah's Witnesses with rape and also physically assaulted women (see F18News 25 May 2016 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2182). Torture is "routine” in Uzbekistan, the United Nations (UN) Committee has found (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1862). (END)

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Stanislav Kim could be jailed for up to three years if convicted of having "illegal" religious literature in his home in Urgench. In Bukhara, two Jehovah's Witnesses were jailed for ten days and, with 28 others, fined for "illegal" literature and worship meeting.
      Police in Urgench [Urganch] in Uzbekistan's north-western Khorezm Region appear about to hand to court a criminal case against a local Baptist to punish him for "illegal possession" of religious literature in his home. Stanislav Kim could face up to three years' imprisonment if convicted. The Investigator who prepared the indictment refused to tell Forum 18 if Nikolai Serin, another Baptist questioned as a witness in the case, also faces prosecution. Courts routinely punish people for "illegal" religious literature as well as holding meetings for worship.

      Khorezm authorities also raided a Baptist worship meeting in February. In late March the host and her non-believing husband were fined for possessing "illegal" literature in their home when the meeting was raided.

      Meanwhile in the southern Bukhara Region on 27 January, 30 Jehovah's Witnesses were punished for meeting for worship and possessing religious literature officials claimed was "illegal". They received fines totalling more than 1,050 times the minimum monthly wage or 136,752,000 Soms (390,000 Norwegian Kroner, 42,000 Euros or 47,000 US Dollars at the inflated official exchange rate). Two of the Jehovah's Witnesses - Andrei and Yelena Yu - were fined 30 times the minimum monthly wage each and given 10-day jail terms for exercising their freedom of religion and belief.

      Against its international human rights obligations, Uzbekistan imposes strict censorship on all religious publications and all aspects of their distribution. There is a de facto ban on religious literature of any faith in homes and if found such literature is frequently ordered to be destroyed. State pressure is so great that for their own safety some religious believers have destroyed their own sacred texts (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1862).

      Imprisonment for religious literature?

      On 27 June Investigator Lieutenant Sarvar Artykov of Urgench City Police in Khorezm Region prepared and signed the indictment (seen by Forum 18) against local Baptist Stanislav Kim. He is accused of "illegal possession" of Christian literature under Criminal Code Article 244-3.

      Article 244-3 punishes "Illegal production, storage, import into the territory of Uzbekistan with a purpose to distribute or distribution of religious materials, committed after enforcement of an administrative penalty for a similar violation" with a fine of 100 to 200 times the minimum monthly wage or corrective labour of up to three years.

      "The Investigator warned us that Stanislav might be fined or even jailed for up to three years," Nikolai Serin, Kim's fellow-Baptist from Navoi Region, told Forum 18 on 27 June. Police told Serin and Kim that Urgench City Court will hear the case in up to fifteen days (by about 10 July), Serin added.

      Both Kim and Serin are members of separate Council of Churches Baptist congregations. Council of Churches Baptist churches do not – as Uzbekistan against its human rights obligations requires – seek state permission to exist (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1862).

      Urgench Police questioned Serin on 26 June as a witness in the case, he noted. On 19 June Police in Navoi had already raided his home there and confiscated his Christian books. Navoi Police told him that a case had been opened against him under Administrative Code Article 184-2, which punishes "Illegal production, storage, import or distribution of religious materials" with a fine for individuals of 20 to 100 times the minimum monthly wage, as well as confiscation of the materials and any equipment used to produce them.

      "We've done nothing criminal, but only exercised our Constitutional rights which allow us peacefully to practice our faith, which does no harm to anyone," Serin insisted to Forum 18. He said that when he told Investigator Artykov, who is leading the case, that he refuses to be a witness, the Investigator warned him that "I also may be punished with up to three years' imprisonment unless I cooperate with the Police."

      Serin did not sign any Police reports or statements prepared by Urgench Police during questioning either on 17 May or 26 June, he told Forum 18.

      "Extremist"?

      Investigator Artykov argues in the 27 June indictment that the materials found in Kim's home "contain ideas of converting believers of one confession to another, which is against Article 5, Part 3 of the Religion Law". He concludes therefore that Kim "stored illegal religious materials in his private flat".

      The indictment says that among the items officers seized from Kim was a Russian-language book "To Mecca", which "propagates the Protestant religion". The book is a "testimony of a former [non-Uzbek] Muslim man who became a Christian", Serin told Forum 18. He confirmed that Kim had a copy.

      The "expert analysis" by the government's Religious Affairs Committee says that the book "does not contain ideas against Uzbekistan's Constitutional order, or of an extremist or separatist nature". But it claims that the book "can be used for missionary purposes", Serin noted.

      Arslan Ruzimov, Chief of Khorezm Regional Police Criminal Investigation Department, adamantly defended the charges against Kim. Asked on 28 June why the authorities want to imprison him, he told Forum 18 from Urgench: "The religious expert analysis found the materials confiscated from Kim to be extremist."

      Told that the confiscated literature consisted of Christian magazines, children's stories, song-books and Kim's personal notes, and asked what specifically is "extremist" in those materials, Ruzimov could not answer. "They have a lawyer, they can ask him to defend them," he retorted. Asked why Serin was pressured to be a witness against Kim, his co-believer, he did not answer. He then declined to talk to Forum 18.

      Investigator Artykov also used a July 2001 conviction in a non-religious criminal case to justify the unrelated new case. Kim was sentenced that year to 20 years' imprisonment as an alleged accomplice in an intentional killing. Artykov argues that although Kim was freed from his sentence, "he continued violating the Law".

      Serin told Forum 18 that Kim was released from prison in 2009, and that "he became a believer while in prison." He said that "it looks like the authorities want to imprison him again, which is why they bring up his criminal conviction from the past in the indictment."

      Investigator Artykov told Forum 18 on 28 June that the case against Kim has not yet been handed to the Court, but refused to answer Forum 18's other questions. Asked whether any charges were brought against Serin, as well as why a criminal case was opened against Kim simply for having Christian books and materials in his home, Artykov replied: "If you want to know the answers then send your representative to our office. I will not answer your questions over the phone." Artykov also did not say when the Police will refer the case to the Court.

      Why criminal charges?

      The indictment explains that police opened a criminal case against Kim because this is the second case against him within one year for possessing "illegal" religious literature.

      Urgench City Criminal Court fined Kim ten times the minimum monthly wage, 1,184,000 Soms, on 8 August 2015 under Administrative Code Article 184-2, according to the June 2016 indictment. The Court ordered part of the Christian literature confiscated from him to be destroyed and the rest to be handed over to the Khorezm Department of the state-backed Muslim Board.


      Secret police and anti-terrorism police raid and confiscations

      The latest trouble began for Kim on 17 May, when Major Shukhrat Masharipov of Urgench Anti-Terrorism Police and two unidentified officers raided his home in the city, Serin told Forum 18. The indictment indicates that the two officers represented the National Security Service (NSS) secret police. The officers pretended to be conducting a passport inspection.

      Without showing a search warrant, officers confiscated Christian literature, including the book "To Mecca", one copy each of "Herald of Truth" magazine, two Baptist song books ("Hold on to Christ" and "Youth for Christ"), a book of Christian children's stories, and several notebooks with personal notes.

      Serin told Forum 18 that he was present during the Police raid on Kim's home, since he happened to be visiting him that day.

      Six hour interrogation

      Officer Masharipov and the other officers took Kim's and Serin's passports and left, demanding that the two appear at Urgench Police Station the next morning.

      On 18 May, Major Masharipov and Police Investigator Shavkat Bekjanov questioned the two Baptists for six hours, Serin told Forum 18. "They suggested that we write statements but we refused." The Police told the Baptists that as Kim had been found for the second time "illegally possessing" Christian literature in his home, this time he may be jailed. The two were released from the Police Station that evening.

      February Khorezm raid and fines

      On 17 February in Gullanbog, in Yangiaryk District of Khorezm Region, two plain-clothes Anti-Terrorism Police officers and the local ordinary police officer raided the home of Oybek and Gulnara Rahimov as 15 Council of Churches Baptists were meeting for worship.

      "When the local police officer saw we were worshipping, he called for a police squad," Baptists told Forum 18 on 15 April. Police then began filming those present and took down their names. Police also confiscated a Bible, a children's Bible, one other Christian book and two Baptist song-books.

      All the meeting participants were taken to Yangiaryk District Police Station, where they were questioned for three hours.

      Oybek Rahimov is not a Baptist and was not at home during the raid. But that did not stop Judge Yerpolat Berdiyev, Chair of Bogot District Criminal Court, on 22 March fining both wife and husband 10 times the minimum monthly wage each. Baptists have particularly expressed outrage at the fine imposed on Oybek.

      Judge Berdiyev also ordered the destruction of Christian literature confiscated from the Rahimovs' home. Courts frequently order that such confiscated religious literature be destroyed (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1862).

      Asked why the Baptists were raided, Bogot District Police on 8 June referred Forum 18 to Anti-Terrorism Police officer Dilshot Fayzullayev. However, asked the same day why officers conducted the raid, fines and confiscations, he refused to answer.

      Neither Bogot District Court, nor Judge Berdiyev, answered their phones on 9 June.

      Two short-term prisoners of conscience, 30 large fines

      Meanwhile, in Kogon in Bukhara [Bukhoro] Region on 27 January, 30 Jehovah's Witnesses received fines totalling more than 1,050 times the minimum monthly wage or 136,752,000 Soms (390,000 Norwegian Kroner, 42,000 Euros or 47,000 US Dollars at the inflated official exchange rate). Two of the Jehovah's Witnesses - Andrei and Yelena Yu - were fined 30 times the minimum monthly wage each and given 10-day jail terms for exercising their freedom of religion and belief.

      The fines and jailing of the two prisoners of conscience followed an early January raid by Kogon Anti-Terrorism Police and the ordinary police on the home of Aziz Pulatov. Jehovah's Witnesses were meeting together for worship, they told Forum 18 on 8 June.

      Numon Tukhtayev, Deputy Head of Kogon Anti-Terrorism Police, refused on 8 June to explain why the raid took place. The same day the ordinary police similarly refused to explain their actions.

      Judge Zarif Sherov, Chair of Kogon Criminal Court, found the accused guilty under Administrative Code Articles 184-2 ("Illegal production, storage, or import into Uzbekistan, with the intent to distribute or actual distribution, of religious materials by physical persons") and Article 240 ("Violation of the Religion Law"), Part 1 ("Carrying out of unauthorised religious activity, evasion by leaders of religious organisations of registration of the charter of the organisation, the unauthorised organisation and conduct of worship by religious ministers, and the organisation and conduct of special children's and youth meetings, as well as vocational, literature and other study groups not relating to worship").

      Aziz Pulatov and Fazliddin Tukhtayev were fined 100 times the minimum monthly wage each; Akpar Pulatov, Shahzoda Pulatova, Mukaddas Rakhmatova, Zuhra Tashayeva, and Malyuda Kuldasheva were fined 50 times the minimum monthly wage each; Shahnoz Gulomova, Shahzoda Mavlyanova, Mukhabbatkhon Mirzayeva, Mokhidil Zairova, Gulnora Norova, Dilfuza Kobilova, Orom Khaydarova, Soliya Niyazova, Mahliyo Zhurayeva, Ibodillo Zhurayev, Gulchehra Ibadova, Shoista Mamedova, Shahin Norov, Zarina Kosimova, Munavvar Mardonova, Azamzhon Ismatilloyev, Farida Amonova, and Zarina Amonova were fined 30 times the minimum monthly wage each; and Gulbahor Mavlonova, Nilufar Ibrohimova, and Mizhgona Ismatillayeva were fined 5 times the minimum monthly wage each.

      Judge Sherov denied that he had jailed prisoners of conscience Andrei and Yelena Yu. "I do not know about the jailing," he claimed to Forum 18 on 9 June.

      However, the Judge admitted that he had imposed fines totalling 1,050 times the minimum monthly wage. Asked why he did this to people exercising their freedom of religion and belief, Sherov stated: "I explained to them during the hearing that the fines were given based on the existing law."

      Asked about the restrictions the Religion Law, Administrative and Criminal Codes put on the exercise of freedom of religion and belief, the Judge replied: "I cannot comment on that". He then said "let them appeal if they do not agree with our decision" before declining to talk further to Forum 18. (END)
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Of four female Jehovah's Witnesses detained by Samarkand police for meeting for worship, one faced rape threats, Forum 18 has learnt. Three were fined for "illegal" religious literature. Two Protestants – one spent 16 days in prison - have fled Uzbekistan to escape "police persecution".
      Individuals across Uzbekistan continue to face fines for religious literature found during police raids in homes. Samarkand City Criminal Court in the central Samarkand Region on 15 March handed down huge fines to three Jehovah's Witnesses women for religious materials found on their tablet device, Forum 18 notes. During nearly 24 hours in detention at Samarkand City Police in early February, officers hit the women and demanded that they renounce their faith, Jehovah's Witnesses complained to Forum 18. Officers threatened one with rape.

      Two Protestants - Latipzhon Mamazhanov and Murot Turdiyev - have chosen to flee Uzbekistan with their families after what fellow Protestants have described to Forum 18 as continuous pressure from the authorities.

      The Court and Police in Fergana are searching for Mamazhanov to punish him for a second time for the same "offence" of possessing religious literature. Local Protestants complained to Forum 18 that he became very sick during 16 days in prison in Fergana in March.

      Between February and March Almalyk City Police raided Turdiyev's home in Almalyk, cut off its electricity, ambushed his home waiting to catch him, threatened him with a criminal case, and asked him to become a police informer. Also Fergana Police seized his car for 12 days, and Fergana Court warned him (see below).

      Tight controls

      Uzbekistan retains tight state controls on all exercise of the right to freedom of religion or belief. Printed literature, videos and DVDs of religious content have long been subjected to harsh prior compulsory state censorship. Police and secret police officers frequently raid homes and confiscate religious literature from their owners, including Arabic-language Korans, and Uzbek and Russian-language Bibles and New Testaments. Courts frequently order that such confiscated religious literature be destroyed (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1862). A court in Tashkent ordered Bibles and New Testaments destroyed in December 2015.

      Prisoners of conscience Zuboyd Mirzorakhimov, a Tajik citizen, and Zoirjon Mirzayev are both serving five year prison terms for having Muslim sermons on their mobile phones when they entered Uzbekistan (see F18News 21 March 2016 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2160).

      Mass raids, fined, short-term jailings

      Across Uzbekistan the authorities continue raiding individuals' homes – including those of Protestants of various denominations and Jehovah's Witnesses - and confiscating their religious literature. On 17 May, officers raided Council of Churches Baptists in Khorezm Region.

      Between January and May, at least 14 Protestants and 49 Jehovah's Witnesses are known to have received fines of up to 100 times the minimum monthly wage under Administrative Code Article 184-2 ("Illegal production, storage, or import into Uzbekistan, with the intent to distribute or actual distribution, of religious materials by physical persons").

      A fine of 100 times the minimum monthly wage – currently 1,302,400 Soms – is equivalent to 3,700 Norwegian Kroner, 400 Euros or 450 US Dollars at the inflated official exchange rate.

      In one case in Nukus in the autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan, 14 Protestants received total fines of 350 times the minimum monthly wage or 45,584,000 Soms (130,000 Norwegian Kroner, 14,000 Euros or 15,600 US Dollars at the inflated official exchange rate). In another case, 30 Jehovah's Witnesses received fines totalling more than 1,050 times the minimum monthly wage or 136,752,000 Soms (390,000 Norwegian Kroner, 42,000 Euros or 47,000 US Dollars at the inflated official exchange rate). Two of the Jehovah's Witnesses were also given ten-day jail terms.

      A total of 52 Jehovah's Witnesses are also known to have been fined for "illegal" religious activity in the first three months of 2016 (see forthcoming F18News article).

      Samarkand literature fines follow raid on religious meeting

      Judge Zafar Kholikulov of Samarkand City Court on 15 March fined three female Jehovah's Witnesses for meeting for worship in a home in February. Each was fined 50 times the minimum monthly wage, 6,512,000 Soms. They were punished under Administrative Code Article 184-2 for possessing "illegal" literature.

      On the evening of 3 February Samarkand Police arrested the three together with another local resident with whom they were meeting for worship and religious study. Police held the four women at a Samarkand Police Station for almost 24 hours. The Police confiscated their tablet device and passports before releasing them in the afternoon of 4 February.

      While in detention, two of the women were "physically abused", while another female Jehovah's Witness was "subjected to sexual harassment", Jehovah's Witnesses complained to Forum 18 on 25 April.

      Asked why Judge Kholikulov fined the Jehovah's Witnesses, the official who answered his phone on 23 May, replied that he (refused to give his name) is the Assistant to the Judge, and that he is "on a vacation." He declined to comment on the decision and tell Forum 18 whether the Court investigated the police abuses. He referred Forum 18 to the Chancellery.

      A Chancellery official (who refused to give his name) looked up Kholikulov's decision, but refused to explain the reasons of the fines. "I cannot comment," he told Forum 18 on 23 May.

      Police torture female Jehovah's Witnesses

      At Samarkand's Police Station No.6 in early February, the four women were questioned by Officer Sanjar Esanov, Chief of the Station, Lieutenant Askarali Boykobilov and Officer Sobir Rakhimov (both of whom are Esanov's subordinates), as well as Officer Khusrav Shamsiyev of Samarkand's Anti-Terrorism Police.

      The officers who questioned the women were "drunk and very aggressive", Jehovah's Witnesses complained to Forum 18. "They demanded that the women deny their faith." Lieutenant Boykobilov "roughly grasped the shoulders of [one of the women] and kept pushing her". Another was also "pushed", and Officer Shamsiyev "slapped her on the face".

      Chief Officer Esanov took another of the four women to a dark room and "strangled her and hit her on the body", Jehovah's Witnesses complained. Officer Rakhimov also slapped her face. Officer Esanov threatened to "undress her and rape her, after which he will take her out of the room naked so the others could see. Then he began unbuttoning her overcoat but she resisted and he stopped."

      Police Chief Esanov adamantly denied to Forum 18 that he or his colleagues abused the Jehovah's Witnesses. "It's all a pack of lies. Police in Uzbekistan never act in such a way," he told Forum 18 from Samarkand on 23 May.

      The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which Uzbekistan acceded to in 1995, defines torture as: "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity".

      Under Article 6 of the Convention Uzbekistan is obliged to arrest any person suspected on good grounds of having committed torture. Under Article 4 Uzbekistan is obliged to try them under criminal law which makes "these offences punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature" (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1862).

      Asked why police arrested the four women, Esanov responded: "Ask the Court, everything is explained in its decision."

      Told that Forum 18 has documented many cases where police in Samarkand and elsewhere in Uzbekistan have arrested and abused individuals for exercising the right to freedom of religion or belief - including Jehovah's Witnesses - and asked why Police and other authorities violate individuals' human rights, Chief Esanov paused and Forum 18 could hear him consult his officers. "If you disagree with us then talk to the Court," he responded, before declining to talk to Forum 18 further.

      Families flee "police persecution"

      Two members of the same Protestant Church, Latipzhon Mamazhanov from Fergana in eastern Uzbekistan and Murot Turdiyev from Almalyk in Tashkent Region, have fled Uzbekistan after continuous pressure from the authorities, their fellow-believers complained to Forum 18 on 12 May. Both were "sick and tired of the police persecution, and therefore took their families and left Uzbekistan," they said.

      Mamazhanov was arrested and jailed on 12 March for 15 days in Fergana, the same day police illegally raided his home and those of other local Protestants searching for religious literature. He was released only on 28 March, one day after he should have been released under the law. Mamazhanov was imprisoned in the Region's Kuva District Police Detention Centre where up to seven inmates were put in a cell designed for two people, no sanitary and hygiene rules are followed, and food is given only once a day. He and other prisoners who insisted they were innocent of crime were also tortured several times (see F18News 13 April 2016 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2167).

      After his release from prison, Mamazhanov "felt very sick and found he had developed several diseases", Protestants complained to Forum 18. They said that during his imprisonment he lost seven kilos in weight, developed shingles and experienced stomach problems. "The prison made him practically an invalid," Protestants lamented.

      Harsh treatment and even torture in prisons is common (see Forum 18's Uzbekistan religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1862).

      Protestants note that Mamazhanov suffers from hepatitis, diabetes, osteochondrosis of his back and spine, and two hernias of his spine.

      New case against Mamazhanov?

      Since early May Fergana City Court and Police have attempted to bring Mamazhanov before the Court to hand him an administrative fine for the 12 March confiscation of religious literature from his home, his fellow-believers told Forum 18. "He was already jailed after that Police raid and confiscation, and now the authorities are looking to punish him a second time for the same alleged offence," local Protestants complained to Forum 18.

      An official of Fergana City Court Chancellery (who did not give her name) told Forum 18 that the Police had brought a case against Mamazhanov under Administrative Code Article 184-2, but that the Court referred it back to the Police for further investigation. She declined to give any further information.

      Rustam Yegamberdiyev, Chief of Criminal Police of Fergana Region, on 24 May referred Forum 18 to the Anti-Terrorism Police. "I don't know the details, ask them, they are leading the case," he said.

      Asked about the case, Anvar Myrzayev, Chief of the Anti-Terrorism Police in Fergana, refused to talk to Forum 18. "I don't know you, and it's a wrong number," he said. Subsequent calls to him on the same day went unanswered.

      Asked about the case on 24 May, duty officers (who did not give their names) at Fergana Police refused to put Forum 18 through to any other officials, but referred Forum 18 to Myrzayev.

      Police threaten Turdiyev with criminal case

      Police detained Turdiyev, together with Mamazhanov's brothers, in Fergana on 12 March as they tried to defend Mamazhanov against the unlawful police actions. Police confiscated his car the same day. The car was returned to him 16 days later, on 28 March, when Judge Shukhrat Sotivoldiyev who gave the administrative arrest to Mamazhanov issued Turdiyev with a warning (see F18News 13 April 2016 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2167).

      On 28 April, one month after the Fergana Court warning, two plain-clothes officers of the Criminal Police in Almalyk stopped Turdiyev while he was trying to get in his car, local Protestants told Forum 18. Turdiyev was taken to Almalyk Police Station where he was questioned.

      Officer Alisher (last name not given) of the Criminal Police questioned Turdiyev, demanding that he write a statement. Turdiyev was "threatened that he will be put in prison unless he stops writing complaints about police actions," local Protestants complained. Officer Alisher told Turdiyev that "Police will plant drugs or bullets on him, and open a fabricated case against him." However, Turdiyev refused to do so or sign the police report. Officers, "seeing that they could not achieve what they want", then released him.

      Turdiyev's home ambushed by Police

      While Turdiyev was being tried by the Fergana Court on 28 March, one police officer in uniform and several plain-clothes officials came to his home in Almalyk at 8 am and "began pounding and kicking on the doors for one hour." Turdiyev's "neighbours came out to the noise and asked them why they behaved in such an unruly way." The officials answered that "they want to see Turdiyev and check up on his flat."

      The officials then "took turns putting their ears to the door to see whether or not Turdiyev was in the flat." After this they turned off electricity to Turdiyev's flat and left. However, "unidentified Police officers set up an ambush not far from the home, and began waiting to catch him."

      When Turdiyev returned from Fergana to Almalyk on 1 April, he found out that all the food in their refrigerator was spoiled because the electricity had been cut off. Food, which included beef, sausage, and lard and products, cost Turdiyev some 107,000 Soms.

      Turdiyev harassed earlier

      Two officers of Almalyk Police also earlier on 20 February raided Turdiyev's home at 6.30 am under the guise of a passport inspection in the building, Protestants complained to Forum 18.

      They checked the passports of Turdiyev, his wife and children, as well as the title deed of their flat, taking copies of it. "We found out later that in the entire building, police checked up only on Turdiyev's flat. This shows that there was no passport regime check-up. The police only wanted to harass him and his family."

      Turdiyev was on the same day "against his will" taken to Almalyk Police Station. There an officer who would not give his name but said he was Chief of the Criminal Police "demanded that he write a statement explaining why he travels abroad, which countries and for what purpose he visited, why he chose to buy a flat in Almalyk, why he was registered with his family and lives in Almalyk." Police also demanded that he should write about the lifestyle of his family members, their sources of money, and about his family and other relations.

      The Police Chief then asked Turdiyev to become an informer for the police, Protestants complained. However, Turdiyev refused to do so.

      Asked why the police are pressuring Turdiyev, Ravshan Amilov, Chief of Almalyk's Criminal Police, claimed to Forum 18 on 24 May that "I know him but we do not have such facts." When Forum 18 asked why his colleagues ambushed Turdiyev's home and turned off his electricity, as well as why he was brought to the Criminal Police and threatened with a criminal case, Amilov did not say. "I will ask the terrorism Police about the case and you call us back some time later," he said.

      Jahongir Baltayev, Chief of Almalyk Anti-Terrorism Police refused to talk to Forum 18 on 24 May. "It's a wrong number," he replied. Told that Almalyk Police gave his number to Forum 18, he put the phone down. (END)
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      By Mushfig Bayram, Forum 18 News Service
      Tashkent Regional Customs Department held Kazakh citizen Boris Prokopenko for two days in mid-March after discovering religious materials on electronic devices as he entered Uzbekistan, fellow Baptists complained to Forum 18 News Service. Freed after an "expert analysis" found nothing "extremist", he still faces administrative prosecution. "Aren't you exaggerating by saying he was detained? He was only staying with us temporarily since we were waiting for the expert analysis from the Religious Affairs Committee," Chief Customs Inspector Tahir Nasirkhodjayev told Forum 18. He denied any violation of Prokopenko's rights, as "we only enforce the Law, which demands us to stop and clarify what kind of religious materials people carry with them". Six Muslims were fined after being stopped in December 2015 for carrying "illegal" religious materials on their mobile phones, customs officials told Forum 18. Such punishments are part of the rigid control of religious materials entering and being transported within the country on mobile phones, tablets, personal computers, memory sticks and other electronic devices and media. At least two Muslims are serving five-year prison terms for the Koran and sermons in their mobile phones.
      Uzbekistan continues its rigid control of religious materials entering and being transported within the country on mobile phones, tablets, personal computers, memory sticks and other electronic devices and media, Forum 18 News Service notes. This control parallels the control of printed and other religious materials. Uzbek Customs officials on 13 March stopped a Baptist from neighbouring Kazakhstan, Boris Prokopenko, at a border-crossing between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, for carrying religious materials on electronic devices. Officials kept him for two days at Tashkent Regional Customs Department. They released him after opening an administrative case against him.

      Meanwhile, six Muslims were fined after being stopped in December 2015 for carrying "illegal" religious materials on their mobile phones, Tashkent City Customs Department told Forum 18 on 10 March. Officials refused to give specific details of any of the cases (see below).

      Forum 18 tried to find out whether it is legal or illegal for individuals to have religious material in electronic devices and why individuals are punished – often severely – if they do. However, the state Religious Affairs Committee in Tashkent refused to discuss the issue and cases with Forum 18.

      Artykbek Yusupov, Chair of the Committee, Press-Secretary Shovkat Hamdamov and Sobitjon Nasimov, Chief of the "Expert analysis" Section, all refused to talk to Forum 18 on 16 March. Shukhrat, as he introduced himself, the official who answered the phone of Zulhaydar Sultanov, Chief of the International Relations Section, said that Sultanov is "not available" to talk and that he himself "cannot comment" on the issues since "I am only a volunteer worker".

      A January 2014 Cabinet of Ministers Decree on religious literature requires the State Customs Committee and the State Borders Protection Committee (part of the National Security Service secret police) to seize all religious materials being imported. They are to be sent for "expert analysis" by the Religious Affairs Committee. Only if it approves them are such materials allowed to be handed back to travellers (see F18News 12 February 2014http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1928).

      Searches, seizures, fines, prison terms

      Printed literature, videos and DVDs of religious content have long been subjected to harsh prior compulsory state censorship. Police and secret police officers frequently raid homes and confiscate religious literature from their owners, including Arabic-language Korans, and Uzbek and Russian-language Bibles and New Testaments. Courts frequently order that such confiscated religious literature be destroyed, as happened to Bibles and New Testaments in Tashkent in December 2015. In March 2016, a Christian in Fergana [Farghona] in eastern Uzbekistan was jailed for 15 days after a police search for religious literature (see F18News 18 March 2016http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2159).

      The growth in the use of electronic devices in recent years has seen officials devote increasing attention to them. Officials often search mobile phones and other electronic devices in the hunt for religious materials. When they find such content - including holy books, sermons or religious music - punishments can range from long prison terms (especially when the material is Muslim) to administrative fines.

      Prisoner of conscience Zuboyd Mirzorakhimov, a Tajik citizen arrested in Uzbekistan in 2013 for carrying the Koran and Muslim sermons on his mobile phone, is serving a five-year prison term. Also serving a five-year prison term handed down in 2014 is Zoirjon Mirzayev, originally from Fergana. He was arrested at a Tashkent Region train station on returning from Russia to his native Uzbekistan, after customs officials found 29 sermon recordings (see F18News 17 February 2016 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2149).

      In 2015 the authorities stopped the import of 50,000 religious materials into Uzbekistan and opened 1,200 cases, the state news agency UzA on 11 January 2016 cited State Customs and other law-enforcement agencies as declaring. "Extremist religious materials were found on mobile electronic devices of many citizens traveling back from abroad," it complained.

      Two individuals were stopped at Tashkent airport after religious sermons were found in their phones, while two more individuals were stopped at a train station after materials officials claim were "extremist" were found in their phones (see below).

      In another instance, an Uzbek citizen who returned to the country in late 2015 was fined for religious content in a mobile phone, friends told Forum 18, asking that the individual not be identified. Officers had discovered the religious materials when the mobile phone was checked as the individual re-entered the country. An administrative case was prepared and a court fined the individual 30 times the minimum monthly wage, 3,907,200 Soms.

      However, when an officer at a regional airport discovered Christian materials in an individual's mobile phone in early 2016, the officer merely deleted the material before handing back the phone, the individual told Forum 18.

      Also Police in Samarkand Region in summer 2015 stopped two Jehovah's Witnesses in a park for carrying a tablet device which contained religious materials. A Samarkand Court then fined the two (see below).

      Two day detention, administrative case for religious materials on device

      On 13 March Uzbek Customs officials stopped Prokopenko, a Kazakhstan citizen, at Gisht-Kuprik border-crossing point between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, his fellow Council of Churches Baptists told Forum 18 on 16 March.

      Prokopenko, who came to visit Baptist friends in Uzbekistan, was stopped "because customs officials found a leaflet in his pocket during a search. The leaflet had the word Christ on it, and so the officials took him to a separate room, where his luggage was thoroughly checked." Officials then found that the electronic book and memory stick he carried with him had on them Christian materials in Russian.

      "Boris was taken from Gisht-Kuprik Station to the Tashkent Regional Customs Department in Tashkent City, and detained for two days," the Baptists complained. Customs officials sent his religious materials for an "expert analysis" at the state Religious Affairs Committee. Officials also opened an administrative case against him.

      When they released him on 15 March, officials did, however, return Prokopenko's electronic book and memory stick as he left the Department, the Baptists added.

      "Aren't you exaggerating by saying he was detained?"

      Tahir Nasirkhodjayev, Chief Customs Inspector of the Department, told Forum 18 that an administrative case was opened against Prokopenko under Administrative Code Article 227-22 for not declaring that he carried with him religious materials. This carries a fine for individuals of five to ten times the minimum monthly wage and confiscation of the items. "But we may confine ourselves to only giving him a warning, since he is not an Uzbek citizen," he claimed.

      Asked why his Department detained Prokopenko for two days, Inspector Nasirkhodjayev responded: "Aren't you exaggerating by saying he was detained? He was only staying with us temporarily since we were waiting for the expert analysis of his materials from the Religious Affairs Committee. And then we let him go after we received an answer that nothing extremist was found in his materials."

      Asked if he does not think this a violation of Prokopenko's rights, Inspector Nasirkhodjayev replied: "No, because we only enforce the Law, which demands us to stop and clarify what kind of religious materials people carry with them." Asked whether he does not think the controls on religious literature enshrined in the Religion Law and the Cabinet of Ministers Decree violate the rights of individuals, he referred Forum 18 to the state Religious Affairs Committee. He refused to discuss the issue further.

      Cases for religious sermons in mobile phones

      After searching the mobile phones of I. Khamidov and M. Salimov, two passengers arriving from Ufa, Customs officials at Tashkent airport discovered respectively ten and thirty "illegal" religious sermons on various topics, state-controlled news agency UzA on 11 January cited State Customs and other law-enforcement agencies as declaring. Cases were opened against the two. UzA did not say when the incident occurred or whether the cases were administrative or criminal.

      Asked what charges were brought against Khamidov and Salimov, officials of Tashkent City Airport Customs (no names were given) on 10 March referred Forum 18 to its Investigations Department. Investigator Ilhom (who did not give his last name) told Forum 18 the same day that Chief Investigator Akmal Jalilov was "not available at the moment" and asked it to call back in 30 minutes. Called back, the same officer told Forum 18: "Even if we are investigating the cases, we cannot inform you over the phone. Please send us a letter."

      "Importing into Uzbekistan illegal religious materials on electronic devices"

      Two individuals returning to Uzbekistan from Russia – identified as F. Bekmatov and Sh. Odilov - were stopped by customs officials at Keles train station in Tashkent, UzA also reported. Bekmatov was travelling from Moscow and Odilov from Ufa. Searches "revealed extremist religious video materials on the mobile phone propagating violence".

      UzA did not identify the video materials, so it is impossible to find out whether the materials were indeed violent or not.

      Cases were opened against both Bekmatov and Odilov. UzA did not say when the incident occurred or whether the cases were administrative or criminal.

      Asked what charges were brought against Bekmatov and Odilov, Keles Station customs officials, who would not give their names, refused to discuss the cases. They referred Forum 18 on 10 March to Tashkent City Customs Investigations Department.

      Asked about the cases against all four men, Shavkat Salihov, Chief of Tashkent City Customs Investigators, claimed to Forum 18 on 10 March he could not find "such names or such cases". However, he admitted that "six cases were opened in December 2015 for importing into Uzbekistan illegal religious materials on electronic devices". Salihov declined to give any names or more specific details of the cases but said that all cases were administrative and the punishments consisted of fines.

      Asked whether he does not think the censorship is a violation of the rights of travellers, Salihov referred Forum 18 to the Religious Affairs Committee. "We as Customs organs only enforce the Law, and the Law makes the Religious Affairs Committee responsible for the import of any religious materials into the country. They must give their prior consent to any import."

      Fined for religious materials in tablet device

      On 2 July 2015, Kattakurgan City Criminal Court of Samarkand Region punished two local Jehovah's Witnesses, Galina Podtikhova and Nilufar Bulatova, for carrying religious materials on their tablet device in a local park, Muzaffar Azykulov of the Court Chancellery told Forum 18 on 14 March 2016. Each was fined ten times the minimum monthly wage, 1,184,000 Soms, under Administrative Code Article 184-2.

      Asked why the Court fined the two, Azykulov told Forum 18: "Police found religious materials on their tablet device." Asked why individuals cannot carry an electronic device containing religious materials on the street without committing an "offence", he refused to say. He also refused to identify the Judge who heard the case, or to put Forum 18 through to any other Court officials.

      The Police had stopped the two women in the park on 22 June 2015 after noticing that they carried a tablet device, Samarkand Regional Administration's official newspaper "Samarkand Herald" reported on 23 January 2016.

      Shukhrat Anorov, the author of the report, described the Jehovah's Witnesses as "sectarians" whose "activity was stopped" by the Police. He attacked the Jehovah's Witness organisation saying that it is "aiming at enslaving the conscience of man". The report said that the tablet device was "confiscated for the benefit of the state by the Court decision," and that "illegal religious materials were stored on it". (END)
      Source: http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2160




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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)

      · 3 replies
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