Questions From Readers
● The opinion has been expressed by some that the coming of Armageddon can be hastened by Jehovah’s people engaging more zealously in the witness work, since all the “other sheep” are to be gathered before it begins. Is this the correct understanding?—W. S., United States.
With reference to the beginning of Armageddon Jesus said: “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father. For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” From this we may gather that Jehovah has set a definite time for Armageddon to begin and that it waits upon no human activity.—Matt. 24:36, 37.
Today Jehovah’s people are in a similar position to that occupied by Ezekiel. Even as Jehovah warned Ezekiel that he would be held responsible for the destruction of the wicked if he failed to warn them, so Jehovah’s people today will not be free from the blood of all men if they neglect to warn the wicked. But if Armageddon were to wait until all had been warned, then failure to assume responsibility by Jehovah’s people would merely make it necessary to postpone Armageddon.—Ezek. 3:16-21.
In times past some have construed the words at 2 Peter 3:12 (AV, margin), “Looking for and hasting the coming of the day of God,” to mean that the day of God, here referring to Armageddon, could be hastened. But not so. The New World Translation gives the correct thought: “Awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah, through which the heavens being on fire will be dissolved and the elements being intensely hot will melt!” There is, however, a sense in which God’s people may be said to hasten the day of God and that is by preaching its urgency, getting people to realize that it is nearer than they think!
● Can Satan and his demons read our minds?—M. C., United States.
There is nothing in the Scriptures to indicate that Satan and his demons can read our minds or thoughts. Rather, the implication of the Scriptures is that only God can read the mind of man: “Mere man sees what appears to the eyes; but as for Jehovah, he sees what the heart is.” Further we are told regarding God: “There is not a creation that is not manifest to his sight, but all things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of him with whom we have an accounting.”—1 Sam. 16:7; Heb. 4:13.
However, most likely the demons can, because of higher intelligence and better powers of observation, note what is in the mind of man because of his actions and facial expressions. Thus when a man goes contrary to Matthew 5:28 it may be apparent on his face, and so one could tell what is in his mind even though being unable to read it. So they may take advantage of weaknesses that one makes evident and tempt him to sin.
This underscores the importance of right thinking and dependence upon Jehovah. When wrong thoughts enter the mind they should be rejected at once; they should not be entertained, opening the way to sin. (Jas. 1:14, 15) Rather, draw close to God through prayer and meditation on his Word, because in this will be found protection against wrong desires and against the temptations of the Devil and his demons.—Jas. 4:7, 8; Phil. 4:8, 9.