Jehovah`s Witness/Man - A Temple???

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: Hello. How are you?

I dont want to tire evangelists with the same question. Its time to ask a Jehovah's witness.

There are many verses in the Bible, where we read that a man can not only be possessed by Satan and his demons, but also Jehovah, Jesus and Holy Spirit. In that cases man is often referred a "temple"

Here is a verse where we read that Jesus and Jehovah come to dwell in the one who loves them.

14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.


And now onto my question. Ok, I know that you dont believe man is something more than the flesh and an impersonal spirit of God that enlives the body. But anyway, you believe that there is a self/character having free will. Jehovah's Witnesses and all other christians say man has a free will and Adam freely chose to disobey.

So if the Bible says that when man sins he is possessed by demons or when he is moral he is possessed by God, where is the "he"? Gone? This is an absorbion of the "self" into God as in the Hindu teaching, put it simply "surrender yourself into God", extermination or personalities. How is someone responsible for his actions if he is a temple of either demonic spirits or Jehovah, if Satan or Jehovah decide for him? If hes no more "he"?

It seems that man is responsible only for saying "come into me" to Satan or Jehovah. Then he is just a "bodily vehicle" that Jehovah or Satan can use. Is that freedom, free will and responsibility for your actions?

Thank you.

ANSWER: Hello Christaras,

Before I answer that can you please tell me what texts you are referring to when you say

"the Bible says that when man sins he is possessed by demons or when he is moral he is possessed by God,"



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: According To John
14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

1st Corinthians
3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

As about being possessed by demons, it needs no introduction. There are many instances in the NT where men were possessed by evil spirits and were not themselves.


Read also the last paragraph of the following born again article about the Holy Spirit. It talks about authority, dominion, submission.

https://www.tgm.org/URTheTempleOfHS.html

Should we let God take control of us? Then what is going to happen with ourselves? Are they going into extinction?

Can you help? Thanks.

Answer
Hi  Christaras,

Thank you for those texts.  However, you did not tell me where you got the idea that  “when man sins he is possessed by demons or when he is moral he is possessed by God

Some of the points I will discuss are

God does not literally dwell in us or take us over (possesses us)
The temple is being spoke of spiritually not literally – just as Gods temple was to be a holy place we should spiritually consider our bodies holy
The spirit that dwells in us is not a person but an application of Gods breath, word, power tat changes us
Yes it is good to let God control us and submit



From what you have written, am I correct in assuming that you fell that man loses his free will by sinning  because when we sin that means Satan has possessed us?   No Satan does not poses us because we have sinned.  To sin means to fall short of the mark.  Mankind missed the mark of complete obedience to God.  Satan does not possess each and every one of us but we can be influenced by Satan just as much as we can be influenced by God.

Yes the demons have been known to “take over” or “posses” a person.  The Bible does not give exact details as to why a person becomes possessed by a demon but we can get a general idea as to why it happens. This is not totally clear to understood, but, it would seem that those that become demon possessed had dabbled in some form of spiritism.  Perhaps astrology, casting spells, divination, voodoo  or something along those lines. In other words they engaged in an activity that invited or allowed theses demons to enter a person.  If that is the case then it was the free will of the person for getting involved in such activities in the first place.  In cases as described in various Bible examples, where Jesus cast out demons, these demons  actually take control of the person.

Now God does not actually take control of a person as the demons can do. We are NE VER possessed by God when we are moral as you seem to suggest.   There is another type of “spirit” that can control a person for good or bad and it has nothing to do with being possessed. But before we look at that what does the Bible mean by the word spirit”

The Hebrew and Greek words for spirit gave a wide range of applications and to understand what those are we need to understand the basic meaning of the words.  The fist time the word “spirit appears is at Genesis 1:2  “... And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” JKV. The Hebrew word here is “ruwach”.  The basic and meaning meaning of this word is “wind” and “breath”.

What do we know about the attributes of the word wind?  Would you agree that a wind can be cooling breeze, on a warn day that gently refreshes us, or a cold blizzard that will freeze us in not time, or a hot wind that dries everything out, or such a force that it can blow over  trees, and whip up waves in a storm?  It is something that we can not see but its effects are seen and felt.  It is an invisible force either for good or bad.

[ With that in mid there is a list of other aspects of the Hebrew word   “ruwach” as well as the Greek word for spirit   see END NOTES  ]


When the Bible speaks of Gods spirit, or the holy spirit it is not talking about a person.  These expressions refer  literally to Gods breath.   So when we read of Gods spirit or the holy spirit we are reading about the invisible force, by which God accomplishes his will.  Just like the literal wind, this force of Gods can be gentle and soothing, and it can be powerful as well depending on the need.   The holy spirit is not a person and does not “invade” a person as demons have done

John 14:23  reads in the KJV “ Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”   You are under the impression that this is saying “ ... Jesus and Jehovah come to dwell in the one who loves them ”    That is not what this is saying.

The verse here does not say “dwell in ”  but “abode with ” . It is not talking about literal dwelling, or residing WITH, but being WITH in a  “metaphysical “ way.

Jesus was talking to Jews.  How would his audience  at that time understand  those words?  They would be familiar with Gods dealings with the early Nation of Israel.  As long as the people obeyed God, he was their protector

Here are some examples

Gen 21:22  “ And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest:

Deuteronomy 31 :8  “And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee , he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Joshua 3:7 “And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee .”

Zechariah 8:23 “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you .

Now God never actually resided with Abraham, Moses, Joshua or the Israelites, but he was with them in the sense that he protected  and blessed them.

So, when John recorded Jesus words, that is the sense that was being refereed to.  The Israelites of old had a condition for Gods blessing and protection, they HAD to obey him.  Notice what Jesus said in John 14: 23  “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24  He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. “

Those that want to obey Jesus and keep his commands will have God reside with them in the sense of having Gods blessings, the greatest blessing of all being life.


1 Corinthians 3:16 is along the same line but lets read  from verse 10 as well  where we see a figurative (spiritual) temple being built upon Jesus   Now lets go back a few verses starting in Verse 10   “10  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

The people that become followers of Christ at that time were spoken of collectively as being a temple. The old Jewish temple was no longer the center of worship.  True worshipers, like the nation of Israel, had to remain obedient. Verses 12 and 13 describe obedience by the type of “spiritual material” that each person uses as part of their “building”.  Each Christian would be tested as if by fire to see if they stand up to the “building code”.

So we have a spiritual temple how does the spirit of God reside in that temple?  The spirit of God is his power or force by which he accomplishes his will.  When we hear that the Bible is “the inspired word of God”, the word inspired literally means “God breathed”  so what we have in the Bible, is full of Gods spirit, his breath.  Just like literal air we must breath in, to be spiritually alive we need to breath in Gods breath, his spirit.

What is written in the Bible is very powerful. It changes peoples lives Look at the example that Paul uses while still talking to the Corinthians in chapter 6:9- 11.  First we see some disgusting habits of people “ 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

OK so those people will not have any place in Gods kingdom.  Now see the power of Gods word. It was able to make a transformation in the lives of people, the account continues...

“11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit [ literally breath] of our God.”  

In writing to the Hebrews Paul says in 4: "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The NWT reads  “12 For the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and [their] marrow, and [is] able to discern thoughts and intentions of [the] heart.”

Now remember up the page I said there are  types of “spirit”  that influence us.  Have you ever heard the expression  “The spirit is ready, but the flesh is weak.“ (Mr 14:38)  The word spirit here refers to ones mental attitude.  What about the expression “ A free spirit” in reference to a person?   It means “One who is not restrained, as by convention or obligation; a nonconformist.”  That is their dominate attitude is to do things their own way.  Or have you heard the expression  of some one having a melancholy spirit.  That is, they are sad or depressed. That is the attitude or behavior that they portray.  (see definitions bellow of the Hebrew word rendered as spirit)

These spirits are not  spirit creatures, it is the way of thinking, the dominate  attitude of people.  The spirit that can influence us in general attitude or behavior of people as described in texts like 2 Timothy 3:2-7  “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  4  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”   As well as the sort of people mentioned back in Corinthians 6:9,10 .

Opposed to that is the spirit of truth. That is the dominate attitude that one gets when one listens to, and works hard, at obeying Gods rules. It helps  one put on the new personality (see Eph 4:20-24; Ep. 3:5-11 ).  These dominate attitudes are mentioned  in the following texts

John 14:17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”  JKV (Please not the KJV uses the personal  masculine pronoun in reference to the spirit  which is a wrong translation.  It should be a neutral pronoun as in the original Greek text)

John 14:17  NWT  “the spirit of the truth, which the world cannot receive, because it neither beholds it nor knows it. YOU know it, because it remains with YOU and is in YOU.”

1 Corinthians 2:12 “ Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”

Ephesians 2:2 ”Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:


Very few people are actually possessed by demons, but the spirit of demons that is the dominate attitude of disobedience to Gods ways is what can influence us.  We all sin because of what Adam did and we can resist being actually possessed by a demon and we can resit the dominate attitude that is associated with them.

Because God used his holy spirit (literally his breath), we can benefit form that “spririt” (attitude) by doing the best we can to apply what God has said, for he knows what is best for us.  When we do, that we are letting God take control of our lives. We are still free moral agents. We make the choice.  It does not mean that our personalities are

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
END NOTES

According to the information I have this word is used about 370 times in the Old testament and the KJV translates it into English in the following ways  (the numbers say haw many times it is used with that meaning)  “Spirit or spirit 232;; wind 92;; breath 27;; side 6;; mind 5;; blast 4;; vain 2;; air 1;; anger 1;; cool 1;; courage 1;; “

1) wind, breath, mind, spirit
----1a) breath
-----1b) wind
----------1b1) of heaven
----------1b2) quarter (of wind), side
----------1b3) breath of air
----------1b4) air, gas
----------1b5) vain, empty thing
----1c) spirit (as that which breathes quickly in animation or agitation)
----------1c1) spirit, animation, vivacity, vigour
----------1c2) courage
----------1c3) temper, anger
----------1c4) impatience, patience
----------1c5) spirit, disposition (as troubled, bitter, discontented)
----------1c6) disposition (of various kinds), unaccountable or uncontrollable impulse
----------1c7) prophetic spirit
----1d) spirit (of the living, breathing being in man and animals)
----------1d1) as gift, preserved by God, God’s spirit, departing at death, disembodied being
----1e) spirit (as seat of emotion)
----------1e1) desire
----------1e2) sorrow, trouble
-----1f) spirit
----------1f1) as seat or organ of mental acts
----------1f2) rarely of the will
----------1f3) as seat especially of moral character
----1g) Spirit of God,
----------1g1) as inspiring ecstatic state of prophecy
----------1g2) as impelling prophet to utter instruction or warning
----------1g3) imparting warlike energy and executive and administrative power
----------1g4) as endowing men with various gifts
----------1g5) as energy of life
----------1g6) as manifest in the Shekinah glory


In the New Testament the fist time “spirit” is mentioned in the KJV is at Matthew 3:16.  However in the KJV the same Greek word is seen at Matthew 1:18 translated as into English as the word “Ghost”  The Greek word used here is “pneuma”  Again the basic meaning of the word is Air or wind.  No doubt you recognize “pneuma” as part of English words “pneumatic” and  the disease “pneumonia”.

Strongs Greek Lexicon says “pneuma  from “to blow or breath”; a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, a spirit,”  Here are some extended

1) the spirit, i.e. the vital principal by which the body is animated
----1a) the rational spirit, the power by which the human being feels, thinks, decides
2) the disposition or influence which fills and governs a person
----2a) the efficient source of any power, affection, emotion, desire, etc

In the NT the Greek word “pneuma” appears about 385 times.  Most of the time,  The King James bible  renders it as spirit  with or without capital “S”..  There are other ways the word is used for example  about 90 times  it is rendered as Ghost ,  at least once as wind. Occasionally as “spiritually”  for example at  Romans 8:6 where it is used to distinguish between 2 different attitudes.  “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually  minded is life and peace.”

Here is another example that shows it means mental attitude Eph 4:23  “And be renewed in the spirit  of your mind”   The NWT renders this text “but that YOU should be made new in the force actuating YOUR mind  

Jehovah`s Witness

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Brenton Hepburn

Expertise

I AM one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I am always learning. I am NOT an expert in the full sense of the word but I can answer questions on the reliability of the NWT - the so called mind control problems-so called prophecies - how being a JW affects the individual and relatives and general practices and history of Jehovah’s Witnesses. >>WARNING<< Please be aware that there are people here who ARE NOT practicing JWs. By all means ask these ones questions. Depending on the question you will get an honest answer, but, generally the answer you get, will mislead you as to what we believe, often because, they do not give ALL the relevant details. These ones will, have an agenda against JWs., and will at times give answers that are not correct in regard to JW teachings and practices. If you are after a answer from one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, please read some of the answers that the various experts have published before choosing someone. If you want to ask one of the NON JWs a question, that is fine, BUT if you want a balancing view after asking one of the NON JWs, ask a JW the same question. PLEASE ALSO NOTE: There(have been)and are, some "experts" here who are NOT always the most courteous and polite, at times are actually quite rude, that applies to both JW's and non JW's and their answers may offend, especially when they get personal and attack the character of the person and not the message. Unfortunately some here that have done that. So it IS IMPORTANT to chose an "expert" that YOU feel will best suit YOU by reading some of their past answers . . . . .

Experience

I have been a publisher since 1964. When I first went on the internet I found a lot of negative information dealing with Jehovah’s Witnesses covering prophecy, mind control and what many said was a very bad translation of the Bible known as the NWT. It shook my faith. After may hours researching these topics I could see why some felt that way, but, I was also able to explain why there were these misleading views. I can now set matters straight for anyone that has negative information about Jehovah’s Witness to show them that such information is at best misleading and at worst dangerous lies.

Education/Credentials
I have been a student of the Bible for many years, am trying to teach myself Biblical Greek. Was a public tax accountant for many years untill SEP 2009 when I gave it up due to health problems.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.