WT Study: How Should We “Answer Each Person”?

– posted by meleti

[Watchtower study for the week of July 7, 2014 – w14 5/15 p. 6]

Paragraphs 1 and 2 demonstrate the need to ask questions before engaging in discussions of “challenging topics, such as the Trinity, Hellfire, or the existence of a Creator”. It then offers the reassurance: “If we rely on Jehovah and on the training he provides, we can often give a persuasive answer, one that may reach the heart of our listeners.” The paragraph reassures us that “we do not need to feel intimidated by challenging topics.”
Hmm…the question that may come to mind is why we don’t apply this same reasoning to other challenging topics, such as whether the other sheep really do have an earthly hope, or how we can prove that God’s Kingdom began to rule in 1914. If you were to broach these subjects with the brothers in your field service car group you would assuredly not find them ‘relying on Jehovah and their training to give a persuasive answer.’ What you would find is a carful of very uncomfortable people wondering if you’d gone off the deep end. It is sad that we don’t deal with these issues with the same courage and aplomb we demonstrate in the door-to-door work.
In paragraph 11 we are taught how to use Revelation 21:4 to “prove” that all good people do not go to heaven. Personally, I believe that the Bible holds out the hope of both an earthly and a heavenly resurrection. However, if we meet a Christian in the door-to-door work who believes all good people go to heaven and if we follow the counsel from the article's opening paragraphs, we may learn that by “good” they mean all faithful Christians. Revelation 21:4 does not prove that faithful Christians are resurrected on earth.  There are many scriptures that prove the hope for faithful Christians is heavenly.  I do “rely on Jehovah and the training he provides” in the Bible in making that statement. I would very much like a fellow JW, a true believer in the teaching of the Governing Body, to engage in a discussion of this challenging topic with me.  Perhaps he or she could open up a topic in the Discuss The Truth forum.
As a whole, the article discusses effective use of illustrations and other time-honored teaching methods. For the old timers and even the medium timers, it will be fairly boring and repetitive.  Good reminders for the most part.  Newly converted ones will find it beneficial.

Archived Comments

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  • Comment by James on 2014-07-06 18:26:46

    I've decided...I'm going to walk in the Kingdom Hall, and blow my brains out in front of everyone

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-07-08 15:02:14

      Please tell me you are just joking, James. If not, please don't do anything rash. Talk to a friend or a health care professional.

  • Comment by kev c on 2014-07-06 18:47:46

    The brothers seem keen on tearing into other peoples beliefs and proving them wrong .but when others try to disprove some of our beliefs that stand on dodgy ground ..they close their minds and wont listen .they only want to push their version of the truth . Right or wrong .para 11 im convinced that good people will be part of both the new heavens and earth . But why not let god decide who gets what reward . The primary hope for christians is the kingdom of the heavens why teach otherwise by discouraging people to reach out for it . especially by telling the so called members of the earthly group they should not be partaking of the bread and wine . Its a clear command to a christian .where does the bible speak of a christian who shouldnt be partaking . Kev

  • Comment by Katrina on 2014-07-08 21:24:10

    James, it is so frustrating and so hard once one awakens, please consider the love of Christ, take his yoke it is light, don't allow anyone to rob you of your life, you have so much to offer, you can help others by your knew knowledge, you are loved.
    Matthew 11:28-30 - Come Unto Me. “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

    • Reply by James on 2014-07-12 23:26:49

      Thanks Katrina, I just want them to know what they did to me..I know it is irrational, but is frustrating as you said....

  • Comment by menrov on 2014-07-11 10:37:24

    Just reading the first paragraph in noticed this contradiction: it starts to say te husband is unbelieving and ends with the statement the husband wsa a nominal member of the church and believes in the trinity.......I presume unbelieving means non-JW.....

  • Comment by Mailman (@Nico_CAN_DO) on 2014-07-12 12:05:52

    "But why not let God decide who gets what reward? The primary hope for Christians is the kingdom of the heavens why teach otherwise by discouraging people to reach out for it . especially by telling the so called members of the earthly group they should not be partaking of the bread and wine . Its a clear command to a christian where does the bible speak of a christian who should not be partaking?"
    Very well asked, very well said Kev! I couldn't agree more.

  • Comment by BeenMislead on 2014-07-13 11:08:21

    Wow! – I just learned something from the NEW 2014 Book, God’s Kingdom Rules.
    I guess my Dad and I “form one generation” because our lives overlapped for a time. (See paragraph 18)
    Even though the bible seems to indicate that my Father is the first generation and I would be the second generation.
    Exodus 20:5 says: “You must not bow down to them nor be induced to serve them, because I Jehovah your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion, bringing punishment for the error of fathers upon sons, upon the third generation and upon the fourth generation, in the case of those who hate me.”
    The Book God’s Kingdom Rules states:
    “16 “This generation." Did Jesus have in mind unbelievers? No. Consider his audience. Jesus related this prophecy to a few apostles who had "approached him privately." (Matt. 243) The apostles would soon be anointed with holy spirit. Note also the context. Before he spoke about "this generation," Jesus said: "Now learn this illustration from the fig tree: Just as soon as its young branch grows tender and sprouts its leaves, you know that summer is near. Likewise also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near at the doors." Jesus' anointed followers-not unbelievers- would see the things he foretold and would discern their significance, namely, that Jesus "is near at the doors." Therefore, when Jesus spoke of "this generation," he had in mind his anointed followers.
    17 “Will by no means pass away until all these things happen." How will those words prove true? To answer that, we need to know two things: the meaning both of "generation" and of "all these things." The term "generation" often refers to people of varying ages whose lives overlap during a particular period of time. A generation is not overly long, and it comes to an end. (Ex. 1:6) The expression "all these things" includes all the foretold events during Jesus' presence, from its beginning in 1914 until its culmination at the "great tribulation."-Matt. 24:21.
    18 HOW, then, may we understand Jesus' words about "this generation"? The generation consists of two overlapping groups of anointed ones-the first is made up of anointed ones who saw the beginning of the fulfillment of the sign in 1914 and the second, anointed ones who for a time were contemporaries of the first group. At least some of those in the second group will live to see the beginning of the coming tribulation. The two groups form one generation because their lives as anointed Christians overlapped for a time.[3]
    19 What may we conclude? Well, we know that the sign of Jesus' presence in Kingdom power is clearly evident around the globe. We also see that the anointed ones who are still alive and part of "this generation" are getting on in years; yet, they will not all die off before the great tribulation begins. Therefore, we can conclude that very soon indeed God's Kingdom will come and exercise its rule over the earth! How thrilling it will be to witness the fulfillment of the prayer that Jesus taught us: "Let your Kingdom come"!” – (2014 Book, God’s Kingdom Rules, Chapter 1, Pg. 11-12, Par. 16-19)

    • Reply by search4truth on 2014-07-13 18:38:07

      Ephesians 4 - 11 And he gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelizers, some as shepherds and teachers, 12 with a view to the readjustment of the holy ones, for ministerial work, to build up the body of the Christ, 13 until we all attain to the oneness of the faith and of the accurate knowledge of the Son of God, to being a full-grown man, attaining the measure of stature that belongs to the fullness of the Christ. 14 So we should no longer be children, tossed about as by waves and carried here and there by every wind of teaching by means of the trickery of men, by means of cunning in deceptive schemes. 15 But speaking the truth, let us by love grow up in all things into him who is the head, Christ. Overlapping generation = trickery of man.

      • Reply by BeenMislead on 2014-07-14 08:04:57

        Excellent scripture search4truth. It is like we are being:
        "tossed about as by waves and carried here and there by every wind of teaching by means of the trickery of men,"

    • Reply by BeenMislead on 2014-07-14 08:25:47

      By the way a PDF of the new God’s Kingdom Rules book is available here:

  • Comment by Katrina on 2014-07-14 04:18:50

    this generation will never pass away because it keeps overlapping, GB:9 verses 1-1000.........

    • Reply by menrov on 2014-07-14 05:02:01

      are you sure you are not referring to GB 1:1914-2014 ???? :-)

      • Reply by GodsWordIsTruth on 2014-07-14 16:33:15

        Lol!! Too funny

  • Comment by Katrina on 2014-07-14 05:47:35

    ha ha, could be GB8: 143999

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