Dialogue 7: Your decision to serve God- Loyalty to Jehovah or loyalty to an organization?

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(WDGR Lesson 16: “Your Decision to Serve God”)

What is involved in “making sure of all things”? Is “doubt” a ploy that Satan uses to break our loyalty to Jehovah God? Is the Watchtower organization the “ark” of safety? Where did you learn the truth? Didn’t Jesus say a disciple is not above his teacher? If the Watchtower organization isn’t the truth, where else can we go to find accurate knowledge of truth and eternal life?1.

 

KAREN: Cindy, I was reading in the Watchtower brochure What Does God Require of Us? about what I must do in order to become a “friend of God,”2. and I have a question.

CINDY: Yes, Karen?

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Dialogue 6: Is the cross a pagan symbol?

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(WDGR Lesson 11: “Beliefs and Customs That Displease God”)

Was Jesus crucified on a cross or was He impaled on a torture stake? Why does the Greek word translated “cross” in many Bibles mean just one piece of timber? Were crosses used at the time of Christ?

 KAREN: Cindy, I noticed at 1 Corinthians 1:18, your Bible reads differently than mine. My Bible says “…the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness.…”1. , but your Bible, The New World Translation, says “…the speech about the torture stake is foolishness to those who are perishing.”

CINDY: That’s right, Karen. Just as we’ll be studying today in the Watchtower brochure What Does God Require of Us?, “Jesus did not die on a cross. He died on a pole, or a stake. The Greek word translated ‘cross’ in many Bibles meant just one piece of timber.”2. Continue reading “Dialogue 6: Is the cross a pagan symbol?”

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Dialogue 5b: Is Hell Real and the Human Soul Immortal?

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(WDGR Lesson 11: “Beliefs and Customs That Displease God”)

(CONTINUED FROM A PREVIOUS DIALOGUE)

KAREN:  Cindy, last week in our study of the Watchtower brochure What Does God Require of Us?, we discussed “Beliefs and Customs That Displease God” and talked about the Jehovah’s Witness belief that God will annihilate the wicked instead of tormenting them in a fiery hell.  You asked how I could believe in a loving God who would torment people forever, and I explained that God would neither be loving or righteous to give a viciously wicked person like Hitler the exact same punishment of annihilation that He would give to someone who never murdered a single person but simply rejected Christ’s sacrifice for eternal life. Continue reading “Dialogue 5b: Is Hell Real and the Human Soul Immortal?”

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Dialogue 5a: Is Hell Real and the Human Soul Immortal?

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(WDGR Lesson 11: “Beliefs and Customs That Displease God”)

Are the dead unconscious in the grave or are wicked souls tormented in a fiery hell?  When the Bible uses the term “eternal destruction” to refer to the punishment of the wicked, does it mean annihilation? What about the human soul? Does it live on in eternity?

KAREN:  Cindy, we’ve been reading the section on “Beliefs and Customs That Displease God” in the Watchtower brochure What Does God Require of Us?, and it says: “The dead cannot do anything or feel anything. …The soul dies; it does not live on after death.”1.But I don’t understand how this can be the case.  Doesn’t the Bible say at Matthew 25:46: “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life”?2.  If the dead are completely unconscious and cannot feel anything, how can the righteous dead enjoy “eternal life” while the wicked endure “eternal punishment”? Continue reading “Dialogue 5a: Is Hell Real and the Human Soul Immortal?”

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Dialogue 4: Are holiday and birthday celebrations pagan?

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(WDGR Lesson 11: “Beliefs and Customs That Displease God”)

Why do many individuals in Christendom celebrate birthdays and holidays when these customs originated in paganism? Since Jesus never commanded Christians to celebrate His birth, are Christmas celebrations condemned by God? Continue reading “Dialogue 4: Are holiday and birthday celebrations pagan?”

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Dialogue 3b: Is political neutrality Christian? Part 2

 

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(WDGR Lesson 13: “How Can You Find the True Religion?”)

(CONTINUED FROM A PREVIOUS DIALOGUE)

KAREN: Cindy, last week in our study of the Watchtower brochure What Does God Require of Us?, we discussed the fact that the Bible says that Christians are to be “no part of the world.”1. Jehovah’s Witnesses interpret this to mean that Christians are not to “get involved in the world’s political affairs and social controversies.”2. Yet, the Bible says at Romans 13:1-2 that the governmental authorities are “the arrangement of God” and that they “stand placed in their…positions by God.”3. I had asked, if human governments are God’s “arrangement” as the Bible teaches, how can it be wrong for Christians to take part in God’s arrangement for maintaining law and order? Continue reading “Dialogue 3b: Is political neutrality Christian? Part 2”

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Dialogue 3a: Is political neutrality Christian? Part 1

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(WDGR Lesson 13: “How Can You Find the True Religion?”)

What does the Bible mean when it calls Satan the “god of this system of things”? Are human governments under Satan’s control? Why did Jesus say that His Kingdom is no part of this world? In what way should Christians be separate from this world?

 KAREN: Cindy, I’m confused! Our lesson in the Watchtower brochure What Does God Require of Us? says that Jehovah’s Witnesses “do not get involved in the world’s political affairs and social controversies.”1. But I was reading the “Questions from Readers” section in the November 1, 1999 Watchtower and it stated that “…during an election…some Witnesses of Jehovah go to the polling booth and others do not.”2. I’m confused! Has the Watchtower Society changed its position on voting and is now allowing Jehovah’s Witnesses to vote in political elections?

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Dialogue 2: Does Christian love for brother demand abstinence from war?

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(WDGR Lesson 13: “How Can You Find the True Religion?”)

Does Jesus’ command to “love your enemies” require political neutrality during wartime? During World War II, were the Jehovah’s Witnesses as politically neutral in their dealing with Hitler as they claim?

CINDY: Karen, what do you think is the “most outstanding mark” that identifies true Christians and sets them apart from any of the other religions of the world?

KAREN: Well, Cindy, our study in the Watchtower brochure What Does God Require of Us? notes that “the most outstanding mark of true Christians is that they have real love among themselves.”1. At John 13:35, Jesus told his disciples that “by this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”2.

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Dialogue 1b: Does God’s law on blood require no blood transfusions? Part 2

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(WDGR Lesson 12: “Showing Respect for Life and Blood”)

(CONTINUED FROM A PREVIOUS DIALOGUE)

CINDY: Karen, last week we talked about blood transfusions and how God’s law commands us to abstain from blood. We discussed the fact that while “Jehovah’s Witnesses do not accept transfusions of whole blood or of its primary components (red cells, white cells, platelets, or plasma),” some “Jehovah’s Witnesses accept injections of a blood fraction, such as immune globulin or albumin” made from blood plasma.1.

KAREN: That’s right Cindy. Last week, I had asked if a fraction of blood is still a blood substance, why do Jehovah’s Witnesses accept these when the Bible says to abstain from blood? A person is not “abstaining…from blood” if he is taking in fractions of the blood, is he?

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Dialogue 1a: Does God’s law on blood require no blood transfusions? Part 1

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(WDGR Lesson 12: “Showing Respect for Life and Blood”)

Does God’s law to “abstain from…blood” apply to Blood Transfusions? Is a Blood Transfusion the same as “eating blood”? Does God’s Law condemn the use of stored blood?

KAREN: Cindy, did you see that article in Friday’s paper about the Jehovah’s Witness who died after refusing a blood transfusion? According to the article: “…the unborn son of Anthony and Minnie Peoples had a fatal birth defect. And when she delivered Anthony Jr. at a Rock Hill hospital Tuesday night, he was stillborn. But there were complications, and Minnie…needed a blood transfusion.…‘The doctors really tried to plead with me that without blood, she wasn’t going to make it,’ said her husband, Anthony Peoples.…York County coroner Doug McKnown said.… ‘She made a decision to die, basically.…I don’t fully understand why their God would expect them to die, but I can’t question that.’”1. Cindy, just as McKnown commented, I’m afraid I don’t understand either. I thought God’s laws were to protect life—not destroy it.

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Dialogue 10: Doing God’s will- What does it mean to “Come to Jesus?”

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(WDGR Lesson 15: “Helping Others to Do God’s Will”)

Who did Jesus say we must go to in order to have eternal life? Is it proper to pray to Jesus?1.

CINDY: Karen, “By now” in our study of the Watchtower brochure What Does God Require of Us?, “you have learned many good things from the Bible. This knowledge should lead to your cultivating a Christian personality.”2. Just as John 17:3 states: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.”3. “Such knowledge is essential in order for you to gain eternal life.”4. Continue reading “Dialogue 10: Doing God’s will- What does it mean to “Come to Jesus?””

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Dialogue 9: What must a person do in order to be clean in God’s eyes?

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(WDGR Lesson 9: “God’s Servants Must Be Clean”)

What did Jesus do for us when He died? Was His death merely a “ransom” sacrifice to release mankind from the “condemnation to death” due to Adam’s sin?1.

CINDY: Karen, are you home?

KAREN: Oh, yes, Cindy. Come on in. I’m working on getting grape juice stain out of my blouse. Seems like this is the toughest stain I’ve ever tried to get out of an outfit.

CINDY: That’s awful, Karen. I know how hard it is to get grape stain out of clothes. Just like we’ll be studying today in the Watchtower brochure What Does God Require of Us?, “God’s servants must be clean in all respects.” Why do you think we must “be clean in every way?”2.

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Dialogue 8: Is eternal life in the Watchtower Organization a reality?

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(WDGR Lesson 5: “What Is God’s Purpose for the Earth?”)

How realistic is the Watchtower plan of salvation? What does a person have to do in order to be assured of eternal life?1.

KAREN: Hello Cindy! I’ve been reading over our next lesson in the Watchtower brochure, What Does God Require of Us?, and I am fascinated by the prospect of eternal life forever in paradise. I can’t wait to learn more about how I can have this hope.

CINDY: That’s great, Karen! Do you know why the earth is not a paradise now?

KAREN: Yes, Cindy, the brochure notes that “Adam and Eve sinned by deliberately breaking God’s law. So Jehovah put them out of the garden of Eden. Paradise was lost.” 2.

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Dialogue 7: What is the proper balance between “faith” and “works” in salvation?

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(WDGR Lesson 3: “Who Is Jesus Christ?”)

“If the evidence of our faith is our good works, how many good works are enough so that we know we will be forgiven and accepted by God?” Karen challenges Cindy in regard to the Jehovah’s Witness concept that “exercising faith” through the door-to-door preaching activity proves an individual worthy of everlasting life.1.

KAREN: Hi Cindy!

CINDY: Oh, Hi Karen. I’m looking forward to our study in the Watchtower brochure What Does God Require of Us?. We’ve talked a lot about who Jesus Christ is, but why do you think Jesus came to earth as a man?2.

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Dialogue 6: Was Jesus created as God’s “firstborn son?”

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(WDGR Lesson 3: “Who Is Jesus Christ?”)

In what way is Jesus the “firstborn over all creation”? Does Proverbs 8:22-23 prove that Jesus was created? If Jesus was not created, why does the Bible say that Jesus is “the beginning of the creation of God” at Revelation 3:14?

KAREN: Hello Cindy!

CINDY: Oh, Hi Karen! I was thinking about our study last week in the Watchtower brochure, What Does God Require of Us? We had talked about how there is only one true God and you had said that you believe that Jesus is the true God along with the Father. But I have a question: If Jesus is God, why do you think “Jesus is called God’s ‘firstborn’ Son?”1.

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Dialogue 5: How can Jesus be “with” God and at the same time be God?

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(WDGR Lesson 2: “Who Is God?)

Is Jesus “a god” or is He the one true God? If Jesus is God, why does the Bible say “No one has ever seen God”? How can Jesus be the Son of God and at the same time be God? Should Jesus be worshipped?

CINDY: Hello, Karen, how was your week?

KAREN: Not too good, Cindy. My nephew just returned to the U.S. after spending a year in Japan and evidently he has decided to become a Buddhist. When he was a teenager, he turned his back on God and now he thinks that by following the path of “enlightenment” through his good deeds, he can reach nirvana.

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Dialogue 4: Why is the father “greater” than Jesus?

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(WDGR Lesson 11: “Beliefs and Customs That Displease God”)

If the Trinity is a Biblical Doctrine, why does the Bible teach that Jesus is subject to God? Is there a single verse in the Bible that proves the Trinity?

CINDY: Karen, last week in our study of the Watchtower brochure, What Does God Require of Us?, we started reading about “Beliefs and Customs that Displease God,”1. and you had mentioned that you believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is from the Bible even though similar concepts are taught in pagan religion.

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Dialogue 3: Is the Trinity doctrine from paganism?

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(WDGR Lesson 11: “Beliefs and Customs That Displease God”)

Examining the Watchtower brochure “Should You Believe in the Trinity?”, Karen asks Cindy why the Watchtower endeavors to substantiate its claims about the Trinity by quoting authors that teach that the Bible is the source of paganism in Christianity.

CINDY: Hello, Karen. What are you reading?

KAREN: Oh, Hi, Cindy. I was just reading the Watchtower brochure Should You Believe in the Trinity?. In this brochure, the Society quotes a number of sources that say that the doctrine of the Trinity is of pagan origin.

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Dialogue 2b: Should Christians use the divine name “Jehovah” in prayer? Part 2

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(WDGR Lesson 7: “Drawing Close to God in Prayer”)

(CONTINUED FROM A PREVIOUS DIALOGUE)

KAREN: Hello, Cindy, have you done any research on what we talked about last week? We had discussed how the Watchtower Bible inserts the divine name in their New Testament translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures even though there is not a single Greek manuscript of the Christian Scriptures that contain the name Jehovah. I had asked you why the Watchtower Society argues that we must use Jehovah’s name in our prayers based on verses that do not even contain His name in the original language.

CINDY: Yes, Karen, the Watchtower brochure The DIVINE NAME That Will Endure Forever discusses this very issue. They admit that apart from partial abbreviated forms of Jehovah’s name—such as “Jah” in “Hallelujah”— that “…no ancient Greek manuscript that we possess today of the books from Matthew to Revelation contains God’s name in full.”1. But since most of the manuscripts of the Christian Greek Scriptures in existence today “were made during or after the fourth century” the Society argues that “something” happened “to the text of the Christian Greek Scriptures before the fourth century that resulted in the omission of God’s name.”2.

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Dialogue 2a: Should Christians use the divine name “Jehovah” in prayer? Part 1

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(WDGR Lesson 7: “Drawing Close to God in Prayer”)

Why do many Christians address Almighty God in prayer by the titles “Lord” or “God” instead of calling Him by His personal name “Jehovah” or “Yahweh”? Is there any evidence for the use of the Divine Name in the original Christian Greek (NT) Scriptures? In what way do true Christians today “sanctify” God’s Name?

CINDY: Hi Karen, what are you reading in your Bible?

KAREN: Oh Cindy, I was reading over the model prayer that Jesus gave us in
Matthew 6:9. I was thinking about this in light of the next lesson we’ll be studying in the Watchtower brochure What Does God Require of Us? I think it’s wonderful that God has provided a way for us to be able to approach Him in prayer.

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