What are some other things I should inquire about at my study?
What are some other things I should inquire about at my study?
Unbaptized, please send me a private e-mail so we can discuss this privately. If you have not used e-mails before, they are found in the yellow envelope looking boxes by our name.
unbaptized, if you like, I will defer to larc and let you two work together on these questions. Also, my e-mail is open as well, if you want to contact me.
In any case, good luck with your process of discovery.
Hi Unbaptized, and welcome from me too!
Actually, JW's believe that Jehovah alone is God and the Holy Spirit is his "active force", his power used to accomplish His purposes, and does not have a "personality" and that Jesus is His son and 2nd in command.
To Robdar: What do you mean"black masses"?
Thank you for the nice welcome. But how is it that Jehovah and his Holy Spirit are separate. That doesn't make since. I know it's not a person, But it makes sense that his power would surge from him and flow through everything. All Holy Spirit comes from Jehovah correct!
I want to sincerely thank you so much again just for discussing things with us.
There are not very many Jehovah's Witnesses who even want to discuss things on this Website.
Thanks for your replies to my questions.
My E-Mail is also open if you want to send an E-Mail to me.
I have a few questions that are really very important questions about the Bible that I think would be good for you to ask the person you are studying with.
Always keep the following Scripture in mind:
Acts 17:10: The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroea. When they arrived, they went into the Jewish synagogue.
Acts 17:11: Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of the mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
The Noble-Minded Beroeans carefully and closely examined and searched the Scriptures to make sure what the truth is and that is the example that everyone should follow today -- the Jehovah's Witnesses teach that also in some of their Publications.
That must have involved asking the Apostle Paul and Silas questions about the Bible.
Here are three questions I came up with that you may want to ask the person who is studying with you:
1: Is Jesus Christ your Mediator? (1st Timothy 2:5: For there is One God, and One Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus)
2: Was Jesus Christ raised from the dead in His Original Human Body? (See John 2:21, Luke 24:37-39, John 20:25-27)
3: Does the Bible ever say that people should be Baptized in the name of God's Organization or Congregation?
Also, here are some Watchtower Publication Quotes:
The Watchtower, August 15th 1950 Issue, Page 263:
"...The Watchtower... invites careful and critical examination of its contents in the light of the Scriptures."
The Watchtower, March 1st 1965 Issue, Page 151:
"The best method of proof is to put a prophecy to the test of time and circumstances. The Bible invites such a test."
"The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life" Book, 1968, Page 13:
"However, you have no doubt heard people say: "It doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you lead a clean moral life and deal kindly with your neighbors." But is that all there is to worshiping God in an acceptable way? These things are necessary, but God requires more. Doctrines are also involved. The Bible informs us that "the true worshipers will worship the Father with spirit and truth." (John 4:23) If our worship is to be acceptable to God, it must be firmly rooted in God's Word of truth. Jesus reproved those persons who claimed to serve God but who relied heavily on the traditions of men in preference to God's Word. He applied to them God's own words from Isaiah 29:13, saying: "It is in vain that they keep worshiping me, because they teach commands of men as doctrines." (Matthew 15:9) Since we do not want our worship to be in vain, it is important for each one of us to examine his religion."
"We need to examine, not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organization with which we may be associated. Are its teachings in full harmony with God's Word, or are they based on the traditions of men? If we are lovers of the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination. It should be the sincere desire of every one of us to learn what God's will is for us, and then to do it.-John 8:32."
Awake!, October 22nd 1973 Issue, Page 6:
"Examine the Evidence"
"Reasonable persons agree that the only fair method is to examine the evidence on both sides, both for and against a disputed theory. That is how one arrives at the truth."
Awake!, November 22nd 1984 Issue, Pages 3-10:
"What Is an Open Mind?"
"An open mind is free from the fetters of prejudice, which by one dictionary is defined as follows: "A judgment or opinion, favorable or unfavorable, formed beforehand or without due examination; a mental decision based on other grounds than reason or justice; especially, a premature or adversely biased opinion." "
"A necessary part of life is that we make decisions and reach judgments. But decisions made "without due examination" or judgments reached "on other grounds than reason or justice" are evidences of a closed mind."
"Having an open mind, on the other hand, means to be receptive to new information and ideas. It means being willing to examine and to evaluate information without a biased attitude. By retaining what is worthwhile and rejecting what is worthless, we can reach definite conclusions on a solid basis and still leave our minds open to further revision should additional information become available at a future time. He who feels he has learned it all can be sure that this attitude will prevent him from ever learning more."
"Why People Have Closed Minds"
"A closed mind may indicate lack of knowledge. We may know so little about a subject, or have information so distorted or incomplete, that the facts necessary to reach proper conclusions are missing."
Six Benefits From an Open Mind
OF THE many advantages of an open mind, we would like to discuss six. Give thought to whether you could perhaps derive greater benefit or pleasure from life by developing an open mind in this or that particular aspect.
1 Enriches Life
Remember when you were a child? How exciting life was! How thrilling to explore everything new that came along. You wereas most children normally areopen-minded, receptive to new impressions. You did not know what prejudice meant.
But have you retained this open-minded attitude toward new things? Or have you become like the foreign traveler who complains that he cant find the food he is accustomed to eating at home? Of course, taking certain health precautions as regards food and drink when traveling may be necessary. For example, it may be wise to drink only bottled water and, particularly in the tropics, to avoid raw vegetables and salads. But, outside of that, what prevents you from at least trying some of the local cuisine? The natives have been enjoying it for years. You may not know what you are missing!
And how do you feel about foreign customs? They may be somewhat strange viewed from your standpoint. But strange does not mean inferior. It is a closed mind that insists that our way of doing things is better. So even though you may still prefer a knife and fork to chopsticks, your life will be enriched once you learn to eat with them.
Why rob yourself of association with other ethnic groups because their way of life may be different? A German graduate of the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead recalls that he had never enjoyed close contact with people from other nations until he attended this missionary school in 1962. I was part of a student body composed of students from 50 different countries, he remembers, from such faraway places as Japan, Papua New Guinea, the Congo, Argentina and India. At first my feelings toward them were mixed, but in the course of time, after becoming better acquainted with them, I learned to love them. It was an experience that greatly enriched my life and broadened my horizons. Your life, too, will become more meaningful if you widen out to enjoy the full variety to be found within the human family.
2 Contributes to Better Health
The total and lasting cure for illness is beyond mans power to find, either at present or in the future. But divine help is on the way. Gods new system of things will soon displace todays society that is sick both physically and morally. Then, no resident will say: I am sick.Isaiah 33:24.
In the meantime we seek temporary relief from physical ailments. There are any number of medical treatments to choose from. Having an open mind, we will not condemn any of them simply on the basis of their being unusual or unorthodox. We will also realize that what may be effective for one person may not work for another. Thus, although we exercise due caution, an open mind will open up a much wider scope of medical therapies to choose from than a closed mind would ever allow.
An open mind helps us maintain a cheerful attitude. A closed mind is poisoned by prejudice and hate. It is unloving and therefore detrimental to health. As one psychiatrist said: It is easier to hate, but healthier to love. Yes, modern medicine has discovered the Bible truth that a tranquil mind gives life to the flesh and that a cheerful heart is a good medicine.Proverbs 14:30; 17:22, Revised Standard Version.
3 Promotes Mental Growth
It has been estimated that your brain has the capacity to remember 10,000 times as much material as is recorded in the Encyclopdia Britannica! Why stifle this tremendous capacity by allowing a closed mind to limit your intake of knowledge?
A closed mind brings mental growth to a standstill. This is dangerous because a closed mind is incapable of correcting improper or wrong ideas and views. An open mind, on the other hand, leads to maturity and greater mental balance. It helps us broaden the foundation upon which to base our views and make our decisions. Thus, the greater likelihood we have of making correct ones.
4 Helps in Solving Problems
To solve problems successfully we need to be willing to accept wise counsel. Proverbs 15:22 says: There is a frustrating of plans where there is no confidential talk, but in the multitude of counselors there is accomplishment. An open mind helps us to accept the counsel of those around us, people with whom we work, live and associate. This leads to accomplishment and success.
An open mind will help us pick up counsel by way of example, even when the one giving it may be unaware of that fact. This is illustrated by what a Christian missionarys wife used to tell her husband whenever he became upset at the way people were doing things. Remember, she would remind him, you can learn something from everyoneif its no more than how not to do something.
Yes, we can benefit greatly by not closing our minds to the thoughts and conduct of others. By open-mindedly contemplating how their conduct turns out, we can either imitate or avoid their course of action, as the case may be.Compare Hebrews 13:7.
5 Promotes Good Relationships
Did you ever jump to conclusions that later proved to be incorrect? How embarrassing. But even worse, how painful if this caused a severe strain on your marriage or on a treasured friendship. An open mind would have prevented you from making up your mind about the matter until all the evidence was in. This, in turn, would have prevented you from speaking too soon. The Bibles sage observation about this at Proverbs 18:13 is: When anyone is replying to a matter before he hears it, that is foolishness on his part and a humiliation.
It is truly difficult to have a fine relationship with narrow-minded people who see everything only from their perspective, not allowing for differences of opinion, taste and preference. And what is more narrow-minded than a closed mind?
Of course, an open mind should not be so open or broad that it loses sight of moral principles and adopts the view that anything goes. But by open-mindedly trying to understand a person, we are not condoning his wrong actions. We are simply trying to determine why he thinks or acts as he does. Are there extenuating circumstances? Could it be the way he was brought up, his background or his environment? Could it be lack of knowledge?
Being open-minded as regards the faults and weaknesses of others will make it easier for us to show them empathy. It will not be difficult to reach out to them in Christian love, helping them to change wrong actions and attitudes. It will make for meaningful relationships.
6 The Most Important Advantage
A sixth advantage of an open mind is so important that it deserves more detailed consideration. It, too, has to do with our relationship with others, this time with our Creator, Jehovah God, and with his Son and our Redeemer, Christ Jesus.
Our relationship with our fellowman, while important, can mean at most only the difference between happiness and unhappiness. Our relationship with Jehovah God and Christ Jesus means the difference between life and death! See the next article for details.
An Open Mind Wins Gods Approval
THE importance of having an open mind so as to win Gods approval is shown in the words recorded at Ephesians 5:10, 17. There we read: Keep on making sure of what is acceptable to the Lord. On this account cease becoming unreasonable, but go on perceiving what the will of Jehovah is.
But is it not a fact that many people have closed minds when it comes to religion? Some even reject the idea of a Supreme Being and are unwilling to listen to the evidence of his existence presented by believers. For them religion is a closed subject.
Even some religious people have closed minds. They are interested only in their religion, showing no willingness to as much as listen to the views of others. And even though they may not have chosen their religion but simply have inherited it from their parents, still they feel that their religion must be right. But not every inheritance is necessarily good. A quick temper, a selfish attitude or a deceitful spirit can also be parental hand-me-downs, but they are definitely undesirable.
What makes a religion right is its total adherence to Gods Word. Whether our religion meets this criterion or not can only be determined by open-mindedly comparing it with the Bible. Certainly such an important matter as our worship of God should not be determined for us by the coincidence of where we were born. After all, the child born to Catholic parents has had no more control over this fact than the child born to Muslim parents controls that.
Avoid Religious Prejudice
When people are approached with a religious message, they may react in one of several ways. Some will say: Absolute truth is impossible to find; all religions are only out for your money; science has disproved religion; religion is just a crutch for weak people. These views, and others like them, tend to close the mind and cut off investigation before it has begun. It is prejudice at work.
Why, some people have even been known to doubt the truthfulness of a message simply on the basis of where the message bearer came from. Take, for example, an event from the first century C.E. John 1:45, 46 tells us: Philip found Nathanael and said to him: We have found the one of whom Moses, in the Law, and the Prophets wrote, Jesus, the son of Joseph, from Nazareth. But Nathanael said to him: Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Philip said to him: Come and see. Philip was clearly admonishing Nathanael to keep an open mind.
Similar things happen today. When missionaries of Jehovahs Witnesses preach in foreign countries, they may experience rejection, even though their message is based on the Bible, simply because of their nationality. Following the example of Nathanael of old, some people may ask: Can anything good come out of America?
Others may tend to reject a message because it is presented in a simple way by a person of simple background. But is this wise? About members of the early Christian congregation, we read: When the Council [Jewish Sanhedrin] saw the boldness of Peter and John, and could see that they were obviously uneducated non-professionals, they were amazed and realized what being with Jesus had done for them!Acts 4:13, The Living Bible.
Yes, uneducated non-professionals can do amazing things when trained in the sayings of God. So do not allow their lack of formal theological training or professionalism to close your mind; leave it open to investigate the message they bring.
How to Find Religious Truth
An open mind is willing to do what 1 John 4:1 recommends. It says: Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world. But in view of the thousands of different religious groups and sects now in existence, is it possible to test what is true? Yes, not only possible but also not nearly as difficult as you might think. For example:
Some religions teach that in time our literal earth will be burned up. They may quote 2 Peter 3:7 in support: But by the same word the heavens and the earth that are now are stored up for fire and are being reserved to the day of judgment and of destruction of the ungodly men.
But does this text really say that the literal earth will be burned up? Actually, it only speaks of the destruction of the ungodly men. In the preceding verses, 2Pe 3:5 and 6, it likens this to the time of Noahs flood when the world of that time suffered destruction when it was deluged with water.
Now what actually perished in the Flood? Genesis 7:23 answers: Thus he wiped out every existing thing that was on the surface of the ground, from man to beast, . . . and they were wiped off the earth. Logically, when wicked people were wiped off the earth, the literal earth must have remained standing.
This is in harmony with Ecclesiastes 1:4, which informs us that a generation is going, and a generation is coming; but the earth is standing even to time indefinite. Psalm 104:5 is even more emphatic: He has founded the earth upon its established places; it will not be made to totter to time indefinite, or forever.
After comparing these scriptures, an open mind will conclude that any religion teaching the literal destruction of the earth is teaching an untruth. Could it then be the true religion, representing Jehovah God, the God of truth? Or what if it teaches other doctrines equally false? By the process of elimination, we can weed out false religions quickly.
Be Sound in Mind
The apostle Peters admonition be sound in mind includes, of necessity, having an open mind, for only an open mind can reach sound conclusions and make sound judgments. Some of the inhabitants of Beroea had such an open mind, because of them we read that they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.1 Peter 4:7; Acts 17:11.
An open mind, free of prejudice, will enable us to go on carefully examining the Scriptures daily and then to act upon what we learn. This is in harmony with the Bible counsel to become doers of the word, and not hearers only. The Beroeans were more than just hearers, because Acts 17:12 informs us that many of them became believers.James 1:22; see also Matthew 7:21.
Yes, having an open mind will pay in many ways. Using it to help us find the true religion will enrich our present life, improve our spiritual health and assist us in solving lifes problems. But, most importantly, it will also help us win Gods approval, thus putting us in the way of receiving everlasting life in his new system.See Mark 10:29, 30.
Literally hundreds of thousands of people living around the globe are happy that they were open-minded enough to investigate the Bible message. By having an open mind toward religion they have seen the marvelous prospect of everlasting life on a paradise earth opened up to them. Would you enjoy such a prospect for your future?
Are you open-minded enough to investigate? It will be to your everlasting benefit if you are.
[Footnotes]: For additional examples, see chapters 8 and 9 of the book You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, published in 1982 by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.
[Words under the Picture on Page 9]: Do you reject a message because of preconceived ideas? Or do you investigate?
[Words under the Pictures on Page 10]: An open mind can put you on the way to everlasting life in Paradise.
Awake!, March 22nd 1987 Issue, Pages 8-9:
Are You Open-Minded Toward God?
DO YOU love God? Do you want to know him better? The way to do so was shown 19 centuries ago. The apostle Paul preached to a mixed crowd of Jews and Greeks in a Jewish synagogue in Thessalonica. Some Jews and some Greeks were convinced and changed their religion, but many of the Jews, full of resentment, enlisted the help of a gang from the market place, stirred up a crowd, and soon had the whole city in an uproar.
Under cover of darkness, Paul escaped the mob and moved on to Beroea and soon was in the synagogue preaching to both Jews and Greeks. Here the Jews were more open-minded than those in Thessalonika, and they welcomed the word very readily; every day they studied the scriptures to check whether it was true. Many Jews became believers, and so did many Greek women from the upper classes and a number of the men.Acts 17:1-12.
The Jews in Thessalonica clung to their centuries-old religion with its oral traditions that made void Gods Word. (Matthew 15:1-9) How different were those of Beroeathey listened with open minds, checked the Scriptures to see whether Pauls words were true, and changed their religion.
The Watchtower, April 1st 1991 Issue, Page 17:
Mankind's Search for God
The book then raises the logical question. "Is it reasonable to assume that the religion imposed at one's birth is necessarily the whole truth?" Thus, every person is encouraged to examine other religions with an open mind. As is stated on page 10: "Understanding one another's viewpoint can lead to more meaningful communication and conversation between people of different faiths." It continues: "True, people may strongly disagree about their religious beliefs, but there is no basis for hating a person just because he or she holds a different viewpoint."-Matthew 5:43, 44.
But how is it that Jehovah and his Holy Spirit are separate. That doesn't make since.
That's right, it doesn't make sense. But even if it doesn't make sense, as a JW you will have to believe it. No option.
In addition to undisfellowshipped's suggestions, I might suggest that you seriously consider the consequences to you if you become a JW and then later, for any reason, decide to leave. The best you can hope for is that they will leave you alone. But it's much more likely they will come after you and offer you 2 choices: officially disassociate yourself, or be disfellowshipped. In either case, from that point on, no JW will have anything to do with you, not even talking to you or saying hello when you pass each other in the grocery store. Your closest JW friends will immediately treat you like the black plague. If you're married to a JW, it is likely you will end up divorced. If you have JW children, their social lives likely will be crushed because they have a "bad" daddy. No matter how long you were a JW, or how much respect they had for you, or how much work you did for them, it will all go out the window in one minute. You will be a nobody to them.
And all this even if your only "sin" was to think differently than the Society's latest version of "truth."
Does that sound Christian?
Edited by - onacruse on 16 January 2003 22:55:25
Unbaptised, I haven't read all the posts here regarding your questions, However I must Commend you for taking the time to investigate the organisation you are studying with.
Many here, including myself, have grown up in the "Truth". We did NOT have the luxury of talking to people that could show you both sides of the coin so to speak.
For your sake, take note of what some have to say here on this forum, and ask as many questions as you possibly can from the person you study with, based on what you have been told here. Do NOT accept everything shown to you verbatim by your teacher. We were HIGHLY trained to talk to people that showed interest, so I'm sure your teacher is also well "qualified", to teach the organisations ideologies.
Before you commit yourself to anything, the Jehovah's Witness organisation has to offer question it! I would say the same thing to anyone looking into other religions.
The amasing thing that you'll find is, IF you ask too many of the right questions, your teacher will eventually brand you as NOT a sheeplike person but a Goat. Just wait and see!
If he asks where you come up with these questions and you say the Internet...he/she will say AHHHHH that's Satan trying to pull you away from the "Truth". The choice ultimately is yours. However there are SOME genuine people in here that will answer your questions honestly, and with evidence to support it.
Good luck on your search for Truth.
Gizmo gave some really good advice!
I came up with a few more questions you might want to ask to the gentleman who is studying with you.
These are questions that I have been wondering about.
* Do you have to be Baptized in order to be saved by Jehovah at Armageddon?
* Are members of the Great Crowd of Other Sheep "Born Again"? (John 3:3: Jesus answered him, "Most assuredly, I tell you, unless one is Born Again, he can't see the Kingdom of God." ; John 1:12-13: But as many as received [Jesus], to them He gave the right to become God's children, to those who believe in His Name: who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.)
* Is there any Scripture anywhere in any Bible Translation that says Jesus Christ is Michael the Archangel? (See the entire Hebrews Chapter 1)
UnDisfellowshipped I don't believe that Jesus would execute judgement for that one little thing.
Jesus is very, very, very Merciful, Loving, and Kind. If someone is repentant and asks God for forgiveness based on Jesus' Sacrifice, his sins are forgiven.
When John performed his baptism's did he say in the scriptures that he was baptizing in the name of the father, Son and Holy Spirit? Did the scriptures quote any apostles saying these words before or while being baptizing. The only person who made that command was Jesus. He basically was giving a example of what people will be representing when they get baptized. And another thing the bible does say that the Holy Spirit teaches us. The WTS is taught by Jehovah
The thing that worries me most about the JW Baptism, is that people are Baptized in the name of an Organization of imperfect humans.
UnDisfellowshipped I believe that they are the real deal, Because of the information that they have. Currently there aren't any other religion's in christianity I feel that can explain a lot of the mysteries of the Bible.
Thank you very much for explaining why you believe they have the Truth.
I will reply to your other comments later tonight.
Thanks again for discussing these things with me