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QUESTION: Hello Mr Hepburn.

Born again evangelists claim more than any other christian group, that we must accept what is written in the Bible without spiritualizing the verses, making interpretations and putting our own ideas. Just read what the Bible says.

Lets see if they will accept what the Bible plainly says.

The first theme is "life after death".

11:11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
11:12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
11:13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
11:14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

Here we see that JESUS SAYS PLAINLY that Lazarus was SLEEPING. He was not conscious in a paradise or in heaven. To "sleep" means to be unconscious. He was dead, fully unconscious. His body was rotting in the ground. Jesus says he's going to wake him up, not to take him from a life in a paradise.

Now, Im wondering if born agains are going to believe what the Bible reads here.

Im posing this challenge to any evangelist. Evangelists believe that all sinners are conscious and go to a place called Hell, also that all believers in Christ are conscious and go to Paradise in Heaven.


Im sending this to you, because Derrick says he's tired of the same questions. Anyway, I challenge every evangelist on this subject. Can he give a honest reply? Im curious about what kind of explanation theyre going to give.

ANSWER: G'day Christaras

I have to say that I agree with you on this. Lazarus had been dead for some time and even his family acknowledged that he must smell by thus time.  The question is was there some mystical part of him his "spirit" (literally breath) that ascended to heaven? I believe many religions are under the impression that when one dies their "spirit" goes immediately to heaven or hell.  Lazarus was a God-fearing man  and a follower of Jesus, under the assumptions of most  Christians he would have gone straight to heaven.  Just image how cruel that would be it it were true, to have suffered and died and if his "spirit" had gone to a better place without pain etc, but to suddenly get called back to mortal life only to get sick again in later years and die.

Yes  the words of Jesus show that he was in a state of unconsciousness, feeling nothing knowing nothing just as is stated in Ecclesiastes 9:5 " For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing," (KJV)The dead are in a state of sleep awaiting a resurrection at a future time.

The question you are asking an "evangelists" I do not ever remember asking anyone myself, so it would be interesting to see how they respond.

So I am sorry, I can not give you any insight as to what they might say

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

QUESTION: Sir Hepburn look, I have my doubts for every subject. But now Im just following Derrick's advice. He told me "do not add your ideas, just read what is there". Well, Im reading what is there! Plain and simple. I told him that Bible supports many opinions, he says Im wrong. The Bible speaks and its doctrine.

Ok, the Bible speaks. Lets see.

Another subject - Is man a spirit?

Another SHOCK came when I read Jesus' discussion with Nicodemus. Born agains get their name from chapter 3 John's Gospel. Evangelists were angry when I told them JWs believe that 144000 will become spirits when they go to heaven. They told me that we are already spirits.

Jesus states

3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Lol!!! If "Bornagains" are already spirits, how they are BORN AGAIN AS SPIRITS IN HEAVEN? Jesus says that now they are flesh!!! They must be born again as spirits!!!

Any evangelist, Derrick or other, interested in explaining this too?
Im just giving you the exact words of Jesus.

Greetings Christaras

It is not unusual for people to have doubts. At times even the apostles did not understand everything Jesus said and had to wait patently for things to become clearer.

You are correct. Taking one text and assigning a meaning to it as it reads in a particular Bible will not necessarily tell us what was meant AT THE TIME it was written. Because there may well be another text that appears to contradict a particular understanding as you point out in your example above

Here several things I try to keep in mind when studying the Bible.

1) It is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18 )

2) All Scripture is inspired of God  (2 Tim 3:16 )

3) So when studying what God has as recorded in the Bible I know that it is truth.  Part of the problem is the Bible was written in languages that are no longer spoken in every day life. We have to rely on people to translate form those ancient languages into modern every day speech using words that correctly reflect what was originally written but in a way that we get the understanding.

4) Also there are no master Hebrew or Greek texts that can stated as a for a 100% certainty, to reflect exactly every word in the originals, because all the manuscripts that have been found vary in some minor way, but we can be confidant that the accuracy is so close to the original writings today that major doctrinal points are no longer affected by added words.

The KJV for example is written in an English style that includes many words that we no longer use in every day speech, as well as, at time, the translators, even though the knew Greek, did not have a full grasp of ancient Greek and so there are many phrases and words that the KJV uses that do not reflect the original syntax, and, thus,  meaning.  Now, in truth there is no Bible that 100% reflects exactly what the original words mean 100% of the time.  In every Bible there are odd words or phrases that do have different possible renderings into English and a translator must decide how to best translate that, so we will find slight variations in all modern Bibles.  So I use a variety of Bibles. Even the WTS uses various Translations in their printed material.

5) The next thing  that needs to be kept in mind is CONTEXT.  Not just the 5a) context of the verse, 5b) but chapter, 5c) and the rest of the Bible.  

6) We also need to try to consider who the audience is of the writer, 6a) what their customs and 6b) beliefs are.  All these those things can have an effect on what a passage is teaching.

Even though you have doubts about some things keep on searching and learning.  

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Brenton Hepburn


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 . . . . .


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.

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.

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