Thursday, 4 September 2014

Sylvia and the Talk

Sylvia and I did the talk tonight. This was my script, but we did manage to get it pretty much in our own words - Sylvia is very relaxed on the platform and that relaxed me.

(Material taken from "Reasoning from the Scriptures" p.361 par.2 - p.362 par.2)

Study No.25:  Use of an Outline

Setting:  Making a return visit to someone who showed interest.

Sue:  Sylvia, thanks so much for asking me in.   I wanted to find out if you enjoyed reading the Watchtower I left with you.

Sylvia:   Yes, I did read it thanks. It was interesting - but I was surprised by how literally you people take the Bible.  In that article about Genesis, you seem to think that there really is a devil, Satan. Surely he is not a person, he just symbolises the evil inside us?

Sue. Interesting that you say that Sylvia because while we do believe the Bible is what it claims to be, the inspired word of Jehovah, our Creator, and therefore true, we don't take every word of it literally. We know that some of  it, Revelation for example, is written in signs and symbols.  But we believe there really is a devil as the Bible clearly tells us so.  It repeatedly names him, as both Devil and Satan.   And Jesus himself spoke of and named the devil.   Let me show you a couple of Scriptures from Luke.  (Reads: Luke 22:31: “Simon, Simon, look! Satan has demanded to have all of you to sift you as wheat.Does it sound as if Jesus is talking about evil inside his Apostles, or about a person who is threatening them?

Sylvia.  He is talking about a person.

Sue.  Yes.  And there is this:  (reads Luke 10:18: At that he said to them: “I see Satan already fallen like lightning from heaven.")   Do you see that places Satan as someone who is in heaven, as he is going to fall from it.   He is, he was, a beautiful perfect angel, who willfully made himself the resister of God.  And also, the Bible tells us, he is presently in charge of the whole system of things on the earth.   And when you look at what is going on in the world does it seem to you that there is something terribly wrong?

Sylvia.   Can't really argue with that.  Here we are memorialising World War 1, the war to end wars, and yet we are all still fighting and killing each other.  It doesn't make any sense to keep killing each other this way.

Sue.  No. I agree with you.  And then there is the insane way we are treating the planet we live on.  We have an economic system that causes us to destroy the rainforests, the lungs of the planet.  Why would we do this to ourselves? The Bible warns that Satan is very real, that he is a destroyer and that he is pulling the strings.  He  is called both a liar - "the father of the lie", and "a manslayer".   And don't you think that the world is full of lies - or spin as it is called nowadays - and these lies are so often designed to get us fearing, hating, fighting and killing each other?

Sylvia.  It's hard to disagree with that I admit, but Sue, I just can't believe in this creature with horns, a pointed tail and a pitchfork, who roasts people in a fiery hell.  Its such a horrible idea, like an evil pantomime.

Sue.  Oh, don't ever believe in that Sylvia.  That is absolutely not a Bible teaching.  Jehovah himself assures us that the dead are conscious of nothing at all.    Would you read Ecclesiastes 9:5 for me?

Sylvia:  Reads Ecclesiastes 9:5: "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at all, nor do they have any more reward, because all memory of them is forgotten."

Sue.  So can you see that the dead are not being tortured anywhere. They don't know anything. They have no more thoughts and no more feelings.   And would it surprise you to know that hell - which is "Sheol" in the Hebrew Scriptures, "Hades" in the Christian Greek - is somewhere the Bible tells us Satan never is, never was, and never will be?

Sylvia.  Are you sure?  Because that does surprise me!                                                      

Sue. If  you could spare me a bit of time next week, I can come round and show you why I say that.  The Bible tells us where Satan is now, where he was, and where he will end up.  A rescue is so close at hand - the rescue we are asking for when we say the Lord's prayer and ask for God's kingdom to come, so please have your Bible on standby.

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